Shubha Sankaran

Title: Musician, Musician Educator
Location: Washington DC, United States

Shubha Sankaran, Musician and Musician Educator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in playing and teaching the surbahar.

Shubha Sankaran: Resurrecting a Raga

Music struck a chord in Ms. Sankaran’s heart at an early age during her youth in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and she knew it was her destiny to pursue a creative life. With much hard work, talent and discipline, she has carved out a successful career in teaching and performing music. While she earned a Bachelor of Science with honors in mathematics from Jadavpur University in 1969, she had earlier begun to study sitar in 1966 with the late Ustad Imrat Khan. But after immigrating to the U.S. in 1979, she undertook the pursuit of the surbahar (a large, deep-voiced bass lute which might be characterized as the cello to the sitar’s violin), and in this endeavor she is entirely self-taught, and credits this accomplishment to her keen powers of listening and observation.  Once in the U.S., Ms. Sankaran realized the value in teaching, and she not only taught her students with full dedication, but also learned a great deal more about music in this process. In addition to teaching, she has been the Artistic Director for International Music Associates—surbahar.com—since 1988, and in 2011 she became President of the Dhrupad Music Institute of America (dhrupad.com). 

In recognition of her talent and abilities, Ms. Sankaran has received a number of accolades.  For her teaching, she was presented with an apprenticeship grant by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  She was awarded the 1990 Gold Medal by the All Pakistan Music Conference and received their Saeeda Khan Memorial Award in 1997. In addition, Ms. Sankaran was given a travel grant to Pakistan by the Sanjan Nagar Institute Philosophy and Arts in Lahore, and over the years she was awarded three Artist Fellowships by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. In reflecting upon her career, Ms. Sankaran hopes to be remembered by her peers as an honest musician who has striven to do her best. She is proud of never having taken shortcuts, and remaining serious and engaged in her pursuit of her art.

For more information, please visit:

Lifetime Achievement

Independent Broadcasting Associates

Contact Ms. Sankaran:

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