Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 16 June 2024

Brighton Festival Guest Director For 2025 Will Be Grammy-Nominated Musician, Composer & Activist Anoushka Shankar

Brighton Festival has announced Anoushka Shankar as next year's Guest Director. The Festival will take place from 3-25 May and is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events in venues and locations across Brighton, Hove and Sussex.

Credit Laura Lewis

Anoushka Shankar's many accomplishments include a series of notable firsts: with nine Grammy nominations under her belt, she was the first Indian musician to perform live and present at the Awards and the first Indian woman to be nominated. 

She was also the youngest and first female recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, recognising her as a pre-eminent musician of the Asian arts, and one of the first female composers to become part of the UK's A-level music syllabus.

With more than 25 years of performing behind her, she is a singular, genre-defying artist spanning the worlds of classical and contemporary and acoustic and electronic music. 

Shankar began studying the sitar and Indian classical music at the age of nine under the intensive tutelage of her father, legendary sitar master Pandit Ravi Shankar. 

Making her professional debut at 13, she began touring worldwide, embarking on a successful solo touring career at 18 and becoming known for her virtuosic yet emotional playing style, unusual instrumentation and precise rhythmic interplay.

Her touring career has taken her from legendary jazz cafes to iconic symphony halls to large-scale festival stages. 

A frequent collaborator, she has worked with a diverse range of artists such as Herbie Hancock, Patti Smith, Joshua Bell, Sting, Gold Panda, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Jules Buckley, her half-sister Norah Jones and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Shankar has also composed for cinema, scoring the British Film Institute's restoration of Shiraz, one of the first major Indian silent feature films, and co-composing the soundtrack to Mira Nair's A Suitable Boy.

Known for her activism, Shankar has been outspoken about her experiences as a woman and a survivor of child abuse, supporting campaigns such as One Billion Rising, which aims to end violence against women and girls. 

She frequently works with organisations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Help Refugees and The Walk, 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.

Anoushka Shankar will be Brighton Festival's 16th Guest Director, following in the footsteps of Anish Kapoor, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Kae Tempest, Lemn Sissay OBE and, in 2024, author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce. 

Brighton Festival 2024 enjoyed its highest ticket sales in five years, with more than 50k tickets sold, plus more free and pay-what-you decide events than ever before.

On becoming Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2025, Anoushka Shankar says:

"It brings me so much pride and joy to have been invited to be Brighton Festival's Guest Director for the 2025 season. 

"I have loved the beauty, energy and eclecticism of Brighton since I was a teenager and was thrilled to play Brighton Festival myself a couple of years ago. 

"I'm elated to now have the chance to get involved in programming a festival of diverse and cross-pollenating art forms from around the globe. 

"It's my hope that the artists involved in the Festival can draw on their skills and heritages past and present to share perspectives on new ways forward across all areas of our lives, our challenges, and our dreams."

Shankar will work with the Brighton Festival programming team to develop a diverse and inclusive programme of events, which will be revealed at the official launch in February.

Brighton Festival 2025 will take place from Saturday 3rd – Sunday 25th May.

by: Mike Cobley




Share    

Ravi Adelekan & Poundland Foundation

Ravi Adelekan, a nine-year-old boy from Brighton, was one of twelve children and their families who had their wish granted to visit the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone over the weekend. This was thanks to a £30,000 donation from the Poundland Foundation to Make-A-Wish UK.

Memory Walk is back and locals can join thousands taking part in Brighton Memory Walk - at Hove Lawns No.1, on 29th September 2024.

FareShare Sussex & Surrey has launched a new crowdfunding campaign to help charities and community groups increase their capacity for frozen food, to feed more people experiencing hunger and food poverty.

A Brighton teacher who helps struggling local families with clothes and food, raises money in charity fun runs and regularly dons fancy dress to read to children at local events has been nominated in a national Teacher of the Year competition.
Credit: Dean Koopman

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is bringing a new collection of ocean-themed films to Brighton Dome, this autumn. 
Credit Shervin Lainez

Alt-pop duo Cults will play Concorde 2, Brighton, later this year in support of the band's fifth studio album, To The Ghosts.

Heads On, the official charity for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is announcing the launch of Living Histories - an oral history project capturing the life stories of service users and staff with experience of NHS mental health services in Sussex. The charity is seeking volunteers to be trained as oral historians to collect stories across the county.

The first-ever Brighton & Hove performance by one of the most listened-to living pianists in the world today will take place at The Old Market this November.

Immortal Apples, Eternal Eggs  - at Hastings Contemporary -  is a meeting of two of the UK's most significant collections – The Ingram Collection and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection.

Carl Cox is one of the most in demand DJs, multi award winning, with countless club dates and festival appearances every year. 

Born in the Philippines and raised in London, Brighton-bound Beatrice Laus, known as Beabadoobee, has emerged as a British indie icon.

Lighthouse Project Space - Brighton's first ever public, youth-led artspace – opens this month with a programme of public events and activities.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...





Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd