Roopa Panesar

Indian Classical Music Sitarist


Roopa Panesar is considered one of the finest sitar players to emerge on the Indian classical music scene from the UK. Embracing Indian classical music as well as jazz and western classical genres, Roopa Panesar leaves audiences captivated and peers filled with respect.

Roopa’s outstanding musical ability has resulted in a stream of high-profile national and international concerts, tours and televised performances including the BBC1 televised VJ75 memorial in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales and working with the Belgian Symphony Orchestra. Roopa Panesar has also collaborated with Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh and been a participating musician at London’s prestigious Darbar Festival of Indian classical music and dance and WOMAD UK.

In a live review by The Guardian during the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Centennial anniversary concert conducted by the esteemed Sir Simon Rattle O.M. C.B.E., it was noted, “AR Rahman‘s suite from his Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack is effectively a concerto for sitar and orchestra, the former played with staggering dexterity by Roopa Panesar.

Born in London and raised in one of the UK’s most culturally diverse cities, Leicester, afforded Roopa Panesar the opportunity to learn sitar from an early age. At the age of seven, Roopa’s lifelong journey with renowned educationalist and leading UK musician Ustad Dharambir Singh ji MBE started. Ustad Dharambir Singh was a disciple of the late Ustad Vilayat Khan. Roopa was quickly recognized as a talent for the future and remains with her musical guru to this day.

Roopa’s knowledge and skills have also been strengthened by additional training from masters including Pandit Arvind Parikh, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt. Buddhaditya Mukherjee and Ustad Bahauddin Dagar. Roopa Panesar proudly joins the modest number of Indian females worldwide who have launched their careers as full-time touring and teaching sitar players.

Roopa has toured extensively in the UK, India, Europe and USA. Roopa’s debut album ‘Khoj’ was released through the Milapfest Institute for Indian Arts in 2011. Roopa Panesar’s new album of morning ragas, SUBHA is being released internationally through the Asian Arts Agency with distribution through Cadiz Music on 12 August 2022.