Family and tradition figure prominently in Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s season finale when sitarist Anoushka Shankar makes her LACO debut, under Music Director Jaime Martín’s baton, with a performance of Concerto No. 3 for Sitar composed by her legendary father, the late Ravi Shankar, who brought the sitar into the mainstream through his pop music collaborations with The Beatles and others. Anoushka, heralded for her “lush mediations…dazzling runs and leaps,” has forged a “Grammy-nominated career (that) has carried the family business to new cross-cultural heights” (New York Classical Review). The concerts are Saturday, May 20, 2023, 8 pm, at Glendale’s Alex Theatre, and Sunday, May 21, 2023, 7 pm, at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Anoushka Shankar. Photo credit Laura Lewis.

The Orchestra also performs the world premiere of HaZ’màn HaZèh (translation: “this present time”) by 2022-23 LACO Sound Investment composer Marc Lowenstein, the founding music director of The Industry, Los Angeles’ groundbreaking and widely acclaimed experimental opera company, whose music is infused with a searching sense of narrative and mysticism. LACO Sound Investment is a groundbreaking program the Orchestra established in 2001 that engages audience members in developing new classical works. De Falla’s colorful The Three-Cornered Hat Suite No.1, opens the program, which wraps with Bizet’s Symphony No. 1 in C major, written when the composer was just 17-years-old. 

Marc Lowenstein courtesy of Marc Lowenstein.

Lowenstein explains that HaZ’man HaZeh, refers to the Shehecheyanu, a common Hebrew prayer that is recited at momentous occasions and is translated “Blessed are You, God, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this present time.” According to Lowenstein his work “is about the search for the sense of presence-in-the-moment that lies somewhere above nostalgia, regret, hope, and worry.” His rich and varied career includes organizing operas in limousines and train stations, writing operas in the spirit of Bugs Bunny, singing whispering premieres, and teaching young songwriters at CalArts.

Shankar’s list of accomplishments reads as many life stories in one: masterful sitarist; film composer; impassioned activist; the youngest and first female recipient of a British House of Commons Shield; the first Indian musician to perform live or to serve as presenter at the Grammy Awards with seven nominations under her belt, and the first Indian woman to be nominated; one of the first five female composers to have been added onto the UK A-level music syllabus. Immersed from a young age on the world stage, with over a quarter-century’s performing behind her, she is a singular, genre-defying artist across realms – classical and contemporary, acoustic and electronic.

The appearance of Anoushka Shankar is made possible, in part, with support from Shaheen + Anil Nanji. 

Shankar Plays Shankar is made possible, in part, from a generous contribution from Ray + Ann Lowe.

Sound Investment sponsors are: Barry + Nancy Sanders, Anne-Marie Spataru and Anna Butturini. Additional support is from Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Foundation, Elizabeth + J Schlichting, Robert + Kerry Shuman and Gregory Soukup + Mary Jo Carr. 

LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. LACO gratefully acknowledges Hogan Lovells US LLP for generous pro bono support. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. 


The Shankar house, a respite from a world where ANOUSHKA SHANKAR (sitar) grew up under the public’s intense gaze, was seldom a silent place. Musicians were a permanent presence – learning, rehearsing, improvising, or simply playing musical games around the dinner table. Anoushka began studying the sitar – and Indian classical music – from the age of 9 under the intensive tutelage of her father, Pandit Ravi Shankar: a master of the instrument, and a figure without whom 20th Century music would quite simply not have been what it was. After making her professional debut at thirteen, she began touring worldwide alongside her father then embarked on a successful touring career when she was 18, becoming known for her virtuosic yet emotional playing style, unusual instrumentation, and precise rhythmic interplay. Having discovered electronic music as a teenager before later immersing herself in the Goan psychedelic trance scene, she found parallels with the meditative, introspective qualities of Indian classical music in the ecstatic release of the dancefloor: using different colours to paint the same picture.

Having released three classical albums for Angel Records EMI and performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Barbican multiple times by the age of 25, the switch to earthy ambience and deep textures on 2005’s Rise was fuelled by a desire “to create music that more fully represents who I am.

Self-composed and produced, and infused with electronics created alongside Gaurav Raina of the MIDIval Punditz, Rise “was a way to speak the language of my own history: growing up across three continents with one foot in the past and one in the present.”

Earning her a second Grammy nomination, this cinematic album formed the blueprint for her intensive solo career. Notions of physical and sonic space are inverted; instruments flow into each other like merging streams; disparate systems of tuning, scale, and instrumentation are made to sound as if they were always meant to co-exist. Her follow-up album Breathing Underwater, created in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale, envisioned a sonic world where ragas, bright analogue soundscapes, contemplative electronics, and guest turns by Ravi Shankar, Sting, and Anoushka’s half-sister Norah Jones could all slot next to each other without seeming an inch out of place.

Signing to Deutsche Grammophon in 2011 marked the start of a decade of unbridled fertility. Over the course of four distinct albums, each Grammy-nominated, disparate threads were woven into a tapestry, even as themes shifted and sound palettes expanded. Deep meditations of love and loss on the Nitin Sawhney-produced Traces Of You nestled against a quietly-triumphant return to pure raga improvisations on Home; the historical relationship between Indian classical music and Spanish flamenco was explored on the Javier Limón-produced Traveller whilst the current global refugee crisis informed the rallying cry of Land Of Gold. Co-written with frequent collaborator and handpan exponent Manu Delago and featuring M.I.A, Vanessa Redgrave and Alev Lenz, Land Of Gold crystallised Anoushka’s sound: a de-exotified, high-definition sitar resonating across unpredictable, genre-resistant instrumentation. Alev’s hypnotic presence is also felt on Love Letters – Anoushka’s most recent release, existing in its own universe. The co-produced EP contains startingly-beautiful turns by Ibeyi, Shilpa Rao and Ayanna Witter-Johnson and distills the raw emotions of each note, showcasing an artist who is increasingly comfortable with being vulnerable.

In a world market designed more for the solo auteur, those who grow up with an impulsive and collective music-making process may often find themselves at a loose end. Anoushka’s environment entrenched a liquid approach to composition and performance – letting the creative process itself provide clarity, and lighting the path ahead with the sparks of connection that develop. A love of that connection has drawn her to collaborate with diverse artists including Herbie Hancock, Patti Smith, Joshua Bell, Gold Panda, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Jules Buckley and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her touring career has taken her from legendary jazz cafes to iconic Symphony Halls and festival stages in front of 40,000 people, and her versatility transforms each of these locations into an intimate experience for all listening. That versatility comes out of years spent building the confidence to be artistically truthful and to connect to her audience from the heart.

Anoushka’s foray into composing for film birthed what she considers her most challenging piece of work: scoring the British Film Institute’s restoration of Shiraz, one of the first major Indian silent feature films, and performing it live at screenings. The flexibility of live performance is tethered by the technical exactitude of film, and the heavy weights of the histories and cultures being showcased, but also the ability to subvert audience expectations and not give in to any obvious signifiers. Her recent work co-composing the score to Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy is a sonic portrait of post-partition India, showcasing how she can flit between the decades effortlessly whilst not compromising artistic integrity.

As her music speaks to timeless pasts and urgent futures, so she is just as tireless in her activism work. She has been outspoken about her experiences as a woman and a survivor of child abuse, throwing her weight behind campaigns such as One Billion Rising. She frequently works with organizations such as the UNHCR and Help Refugees to raise funds and awareness for the refugee crisis. In 2020 she was announced as the inaugural President of the F-List: a UK database created to help bridge the gender-gap in music, and as an Ambassador for The Walk: an international artistic project in support of refugees.

All of this speaks to a rare breed of artist; one who can balance many lives in one, each one seeming as natural as the next. Anoushka’s tempests of sound present ancient instruments in modern lights, not as exotic set pieces, but as living, breathing, and wildly expressive, full-bodied gifts to this world. Every note played comes from the soul, “playing to connect to the innermost part of my myself and hopefully the listener, evoking empathy or a feeling of hope…you have to believe you might make a difference in order to bother trying.”

LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO) ranks among the world’s top musical ensembles. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and, with eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a champion of contemporary composers. Headquartered in the heart of the country’s cultural capital, LACO has been proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” (Public Radio International), “LA’s most unintimidating chamber music experience” (Los Angeles magazine), “resplendent” (Los Angeles Times), and “one of the world’s great chamber orchestras”(KUSC Classical FM). Performing throughout greater Los Angeles, the Orchestra has made 32 recordings, including, most recently, a 2019 BIS Records release of works for violin and chamber orchestra that features Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and the world premiere recording of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto (a LACO co-commission). In 2020, due to the global pandemic, LACO pivoted from presenting live performances to producing the groundbreaking CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series melding musical and visual arts, which has garnered more than 1.8 million views across social media platforms since its debut in November 2020. The “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming and applauded as “musically and artistically compelling” (Los Angeles Times) have “redefined how classical music can be presented in the 21st century (Cultural Attaché). LACO, with offices located in downtown Los Angeles, has toured Europe, South America and Japan, and performed across North America.

JAIME MARTÍN assumed his LACO post and also became Chief Conductor of Ireland’s RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in September 2019. In LACO concert reviews, the Los Angeles Times has hailed Martín’s “infectious music making,” noting “the musicians seem to be having a blast. The audience is invited to the party.” Overseas, he has been praised as “a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous” (Platea Magazine), and London’s The Telegraph said, “his infectious enjoyment of the music communicated to the orchestra and audience alike.” He has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra since 2013 and is the Artistic Advisor of the Santander Festival.  He was also a founding member of the Orquestra de Cadaqués, where he was Chief Conductor from 2012 to 2019. Having spent many years as a highly regarded flautist, Martín turned to conducting full-time in 2013, and very quickly became sought after at the highest level.  Recent engagements include appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Antwerp Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony and Gulbenkian orchestras, as well as a nine-city European tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Martín has recorded a series of highly acclaimed Brahms discs for Ondine Records with the Gävle Symphony and various discs with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for Tritó Records. He has also commissioned multiple world and regional premieres of works by composers including Ellen Reid, Andrew Norman, Missy Mazzoli, Derrick Skye, Albert Schnelzer and Juan Pablo Contreras. As a flautist, Martín was principal flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English National Opera, Academy of St Martin the Fields and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Jaime Martín is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a flute professor.


Saturday, May 20 2023, 8 pm, Alex Theatre, 216 North Brand Boulevard,  Glendale, CA 91203;

Sunday, May 21, 2023, 7 pm, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095


DE FALLA El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat Suite No.1)
RAVI SHANKAR Concerto No. 3 for Sitar
MARC LOWENSTEIN HaZ’màn HaZèh (translates to: “this present time”)  (LACO Sound Investment Commission, World Premiere) 
BIZET Symphony No. 1 in C major 


$32 – $142
213 221 3920