Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar had the longest performing career of any artist of the twentieth century.

The LP he released with Yehudi Menuhin in 1967, West Meets East, marked the first time leading classical musicians from different cultures had collaborated on an equal footing.

George Harrison called him “the godfather of world music” and it was Shankar’s vision that brought the sounds of the raga into western consciousness.

David Murphy worked closely with Ravi Shankar in the last years of his life until his passing in 2012 and is ideally placed to lead Shankar’s orchestral works.


In Sukanya, Shankar brings together all of the elements of his life as a performing artist. From his childhood years spent as a dancer through to the growth of his superlative musicianship, his sense of stagecraft and his love of film and the moving image.

The Wagnerian concept of Gesamtkunstwerk – total art work integrating music, dance, drama, all aspects of stagecraft – was a part of Indian culture thousands of years before Wagner wrote his influential essays. Ravi Shankar saw what is now possible in a 21st Century opera – a cross cultural Gesamtkunstwerk for the globalised world of the twenty first century.

David Murphy worked closely with Ravi Shankar on the opera, notating and transcribing Shankar’s ideas for a truly ground-breaking piece of musical theatre which explores the common ground between the music, dance and theatrical traditions of India and the West.

Sukanya can be performed in concert, semi-staged or fully staged as well as in a soon-to-be completed chamber version.

To find out more about the Sukanya story, read reviews from its premiere performances, watch videos about the creation and enquire about programming this remarkable new work please visit www.sukanyatheopera.com.

Ravi Shankar 100

2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of Ravi Shankar’s birth. To celebrate this centenary David Murphy presents a special programme of music presenting Ravi Shankar’s Symphony in its musical and cultural context. David will be joined by Ravi Shankar’s daughter Anoushkar, who has followed in his footsteps performing the sitar to worldwide acclaim.

This concert is available for touring worldwide with Sinfonia Verdi, or can programmed by any orchestra and led by David Murphy.

Holst: Indra (1903)
Elgar: Suite from The Crown of India (1912)
Anoushka Shankar: New work for sitar and orchestra (world premiere)
Ravi Shankar: Symphony

Anoushkar Shankar sitar
David Murphy, conductor
Sinfonia Verdi

This programme can be presented together with pre-concert events with David Murphy in conversation with Professor Nalini Ghuman. Ghuman’s recent book Resonances of the Raj refutes the conventional history that depicts a one-way influence of Britain on India, revealing instead that “England was both deeply aware of and profoundly influenced by India musically during the Indian-British encounter”.

This programme also opens up possibilities to combine with a small exhibition to bring the Indian – British musical encounter vividly to life.