Sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar honoured as Doctor of Music by Oxford University

Sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar honoured as Doctor of Music by Oxford University

World-renowned sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar has been honoured alongside distinguished individuals representing the fields of science, business, academia, and entertainment with an honorary degree at Oxford University’s annual Encaenia ceremony last week.

Encaenia is held annually and is the ceremony at which honorary degrees are conferred by the university to distinguished individuals, and its benefactors are commemorated.

Anoushka Shankar, a British-Indian-American musician, sitarist, composer and producer, began studying the sitar as a child under her father, Ravi Shankar, and made her performing debut aged 13.

Since releasing her first solo album at 17, she has made ten studio albums, three live albums and numerous collaborative recordings. Among her accolades are nine Grammy nominations, an Ivor Novello Award nomination, and a Songlines Best Artist Award. Shankar frequently works with organisations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Choose Love, to raise funds and awareness for the refugee crisis. She has also been outspoken about her own experiences, supporting campaigns such as One Billion Rising.

Anoushka Shankar is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and was one of the first female composers to be added to the A-Level music syllabus by one of Britain’s biggest exam boards.


Sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar honoured as Doctor of Music by Oxford University
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“It’s genuinely hard to put into words the day I’ve just experienced,” said Shankar after the ceremony.

She received her honorary doctorate alongside the likes of Sir Michael Palin –actor, comedian, writer and television presenter, and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Nigerian economist and the seventh Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees, said: “From AI, engineering and economics, to music, medicine and the world of television and travel writing, our honorands have impacted our world in so many different ways, and we are thrilled to welcome them to Oxford.”

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