Nitin Sawhney

Nitin Sawhney is widely regarded as one of the most influential and versatile creative talents alive today. Firmly established as a world-class producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, orchestral composer, and cultural pioneer, Sawhney has become a latter-day Renaissance man in the worlds of music, film, videogames, dance and theatre.

Sawhney has released eight studio albums - each one garnering critical acclaim. London's Outcaste Records released the breakthrough Gold selling Beyond Skin in 1999, which took a prestigious Technics Mercury Music Prize nomination and won Sawhney the coveted South Bank Show Award. Subsequently, Sawhney signed a multiple album deal to Richard Branson's V2 Records, and released the millennial epic and Gold certified Prophesy in 2001, winning a MOBO Award as well as a BBC Radio 3 Music Award. Sawhney's seventh studio album, Philtre, was released in May 2005, winning another BBC Radio 3 Award and he has recently released his eighth album, London Undersound. He has toured each of his albums extensively and has sold-out many of the world's most prestigious venues both as a band and DJ.

To date, Sawhney has scored over forty films, as well as having scored TV ads for top international agencies. His music for Channel 4's Second Generation saw him nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Film and TV Composition (2004). Known for his incredible versatility Sawhney has established himself as one of the world's leading composers for film, and has acted as a judge for BAFTA, BIFA and The Ivor Novello Awards. Recent works include orchestral scores for Mira Nair's The Namesake, Sony Playstation 3's Heavenly Sword, and Franz Osten's silent film classic, A Throw of Dice, which he wrote for the London Symphony Orchestra and Henrique Goldman's Jean Charles, on the life of Jean-Charles de Menezes. Sawhney will be scoring Deepa Mehta's forthcoming adaptation of Salman Rushdie's book  Midnight's Children, The Fifth Beatle, on the life of Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, and the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis, Dark Blue Rising. He is also currently scoring a major eight part TV series for the BBC, Human Planet, which will air in October 2010.

An acclaimed flamenco guitarist and classical/jazz pianist, Sawhney's musical ability to transcend cultural barriers has also gained him much recognition within the classical community. In 2006 Sawhney composed a 1 hour 20 minute symphony to accompany A Throw of Dice, which premiered with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, London and which led to a season with the LSO over 2009/10, including another score for Japanese silent movie Yogoto No Yume. He has subsequently toured globally with international orchestras, including the BBC Concert Orchestra on Natural World Symphony, and the London Philharmonia on The Namesake. In 2000 Sawhney produced the Varekai album for Cirque du Soleil, taking his unique sound to an even wider audience. In 2002 he worked with Akram Khan and Anish Kapoor, scoring the music to Khan's critically acclaimed choreographed work Kaash, and also wrote the music for Khan's zero degrees (nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award, and designed by Antony Gormley). Sawhney also scored Khan's recent work, bahok, for the Royal Ballet of China, Khan's new work, Vertical Road, and reprising their collaborative work, Confluence, in July 2010. Recent works in theatre include Simon McBurney's Olivier award-winning A Disappearing Number for Complicite, Sawhney's own production, Entanglement for the Royal Opera House, The Mahabharata adaptation by Olivier award-winning writer Stephen Clarke and Jonathan Holmes' Fallujah.

Much of Sawhney's attention remains focused on the areas of education and community building, accepting the role of Artist in Residence for five separate performing arts organisations around the world. In 2006 Sawhney was awarded an Honorary Graduate Degree from London's South Bank University and in late 2007 was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Kent along with a fellowship of Paul McCartney's LIPA. Sawhney also received three further university doctorates respectively from the universities of Sussex, Roehampton and Staffordshire in 2009.


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