Back to All Events

Sitar - Roopa Panesar

  • Chhandayan Center For Indian Music 4 West, 43rd Street, #618 New York City 10036 United States (map)

Roopa Panesar


Considered one of the finest sitar players to emerge on the Indian music scene, UK based Roopa Panesar is recognized as an emerging talent. Her soulful and unique style of playing has been receiving accolades from audiences and peers alike for her outstanding ability and quality of music, which has left her listeners captivated.

At the age of seven she began her training under the great educationalist and sitar maestro Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE and under the guidance of Pandit Arvind Parikh and Ustad Shahid Parvez.
With the incredible emotional depth of her sound, she has touched the hearts of audiences far and wide touring extensively in the UK and Europe at major festivals and venues such as WOMAD UK, Royal Festival Hall London, BBC Radio 3, Brighton Festival, Darbar Festival at South Bank Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Colston Hall, Bristol.

Roopa has collaborated with artists from many different genres, including Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh, Laura Wright and Dirk Brosse, Belgian Symphony Orchestra, Limburg Symphony Orchestra, German Chamber Music Festival, and with music director Rob Lane for the soundtrack of the film ‘West is West’. Rob Lane adds, ‘Roopa’s sitar playing on “West Is West” added immeasurably to my score and showed effortless versatility in moving between blues and classical Indian styles’.

UK Press Reviews

‘British-Indian sitar player Roopa Panesar and her band were outstanding’ – The Independent

‘Sitar star Roopa Panesar, from Leicester, captivated in the wooded arena, her music the perfect soundtrack’ – The Guardian

‘Roopa Panesar stole the show with her graceful and seductive solo Sitar’ – The First Draft

Pirashanna Thevarajah

South Indian Percussion

Pirashanna Thevarajah is a senior disciple of Mridanga Vidwan Sri. M. Balachandar.

A versatile performer, he is one of the few percussionists of his generation to have a command of the various Indian percussion instruments such as the mridangam, kanjira, ghatam and morsing; and is also proficient in the art of konnakol (Indian spoken rhythm).
He has collaborated and performed with many of the world’s foremost Indian classical and contemporary musicians, including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Dr M. Balamuralikrishna, Mandolin U. Shrinivas,Talvin Singh and many others.
His busy schedule has taken him to many venues and festivals across Europe, India, the USA and Canada. Pirashanna has featured on many albums and movies, including Anoushka Shankar’s Grammy nominated albums Traveller and Traces of You.

Nittin Mitta


Nitin Mitta, based in New York, is one of the most sought after tabla players of his generation. Apart from being a dynamic soloist, he is a highly sought after accompanist who has performed with some of India’s most celebrated Hindustani classical musicians, including Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandits Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Pandit Janardan Mitta, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee, Ustad Shahid Parvez and Ustad Nishat Khan to name a few.

Nitin has also made a mark as a versatile collaborator in other spheres. He joined forces with 2010 Grammy nominee pianist Vijay Iyer and electric guitarist R. Prasanna to produce a studio album titled Tirtha that blends elements of contemporary jazz with the North and South Indian traditional ragas and compositions. He has been a band member of the Juno award winning singer, Kiran Ahluwalia. Other musicians he has performed with include Yoko Ono and Simon Shaheen.

Born and brought up in Hyderabad, India, Nitin received his early training in tabla at the age of 9 from Pandit G. Satyanarayana. After winning the First prize in the All India competition and the National Scholarship for music, Nitin continued his further training in tabla under the distinguished teacher Pandit Arvind Mulgaonkar of Mumbai. Both of Nitin's gurus are disciples of the late Ustad Amir Hussain Khan, legendary doyen of the Farukhabad Gharana.

Nitin maintains a busy schedule of performances and tabla workshops, traveling throughout the U.S, Europe, Canada and India. He has performed at several prominent venues, including the Weill Recital Hall and the Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He has also performed at many of the major music festivals in India, including the Pandit Motiram and Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh in Hyderabad, the Harivallabh Sangeet Samaroh in Jalandhar and the Music Academy Venue in Chennai.
‘A wakeful, radiant performance, suffused with a tricky tranquillity.’ – NY Times
‘Bewitching… takes listeners to places they’ve never heard.’ – LA Times