Roopa Panesar remains firmly within the Hindustani classical idiom, but brings a distinctive style to sitar performance. Born in Leicester, she trained under UK-based maestro Dharambir Singh MBE. Additionally, she has received informal instruction from others including Pandit Arvind Parikh, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, and Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. Her sitar’s design is modelled closely on those from the Imdadkhani gharana, and she takes inspiration from the greats of that region including Ustad Vilayat Khan.
Aside from touring Europe and the US, she has made numerous BBC appearances, collaborated with Talvin Singh and the Belgian Symphony Orchestra, and recorded on the soundtrack of the film West is West. She recently released her debut album, Khoj (‘discovery’), and her promising career continues on an upward trajectory. She is currently a student of Pandit Arvind Parikh.
"I was a chemical engineer and went to Aston University, and didn't think I would take up music professionally until about six years ago. I worked...for about two years, but then I decided to to take music up full time. I just didn't feel fulfilled in my job."
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