All Press Releases for May 10, 2019

Shubha Sankaran Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Ms. Sankaran has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the music industry

    WASHINGTON, DC, May 10, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Shubha Sankaran with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Ms. Sankaran celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Supported by more than 45 years of musical achievements, Ms. Sankaran currently serves as the President of the non-profit foundation, the Dhrupad Music Institute of America (, founded in 2011), and as Artistic Director of International Music Associates (established in 1982). Before entering her professional careers, Ms. Sankaran earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Jadavpur University in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, enrolling at the age of 14. Subsequently she worked as a commercial model and furniture designer in Kolkata. From there, she developed a high level of expertise in information systems management with Union Carbide in India. In 1979 she immigrated to the Boston area to work with Digital Equipment Corporation, undertaking a sequence of senior management roles. In 1988, after her marriage to Brian Q. Silver, she moved to Washington DC, where she was also a senior manager with Digital. Then, in 1997, she devoted her full time toward her true passion: music.

For musical performance, her chosen instrument is the surbahar, a large bass lute which might best be described as "the cello to the sitar's violin"; for many years, she has been the only woman actively performing this instrument on the international concert stage. Her instrumental studies in Kolkata were with the late Ustad Imrat Khan—the world's acknowledged master or the surbahar—on the sitar, and her classical vocal training in the khayal vocal style was with the late Pandit Shrikant Bakre, a senior disciple of the late Ustad Amir Khan, one of the twentieth century's most esteemed vocalists. Her first public concert was in Kolkata in 1978 in the Ustad Keramatullah Khan Memorial Festival. After coming to the U.S. in 1979, she began to perform on the surbahar—as opposed to the sitar—in the greater Boston area; her first important appearance in the U.S. was at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, with a subsequent performance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Since their marriage in 1988, she has performed with her husband, Brian Q. Silver (he on the sitar, and she on the surbahar), in concert and in radio and television broadcasts in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Dubai, Egypt, Morocco, Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Central and South America, and throughout the United States. Among her most notable appearances was a command performance in 1997 in Lima, Peru during the State visit to that country of India's President Narayanan, as part of the worldwide celebrations of the fiftieth year of India's independence. She also has performed at the Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata; at the National Center for Performing Arts in Mumbai; and along with her husband at Lincoln Center in New York. She appeared as the opening artist with the Gundecha Brothers in their 2004 North American tour (along with driving over 13,000 miles for the ensemble), and Australia and Singapore in 2005.

Throughout her musical career, she has lent her expertise to a range of endeavors, including releasing two CDs of her surbahar perfomance, "Resurrecting a Raga" and "Seven Ragas in Seven Talas" on Surbahar Records. She served as the senior musical consultant for a ten-part National Public Radio series, "Passages to India," for which she composed, arranged, directed, and performed; this series garnered a number of awards, including a Gold Cindy Award in 1989, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold Medal for Best Documentary in 1991, and in that same year, four awards from the International Radio Festival in New York, including Gold Medal for Best Sound. Finally, she again composed, arranged, directed, and performed the music for a BBC documentary, "Monsoon," which won a Gold Cindy Award in 1999. Both "Passages to India" and "Monsoon" were released on CD by Independent Broadcasting Associates ( In addition, Ms. Sankaran recorded her sitar performance for the 1999 Kennedy Center production of "Gandhara: East West Passages", composed by David Maddox and choreographed by Dana Tai Soon Burgess; the CD was released by Sound Science Recordings.

She has also created and performed original music for a range of dance pieces by Washington-area dancers and choreographers. She has composed, directed, performed, and recorded music for a major Indian ballet, "Dasavatar", in the classical Orissi style, choreographed by Chitra Krishnamurti, and performed in Rockville, MD, in 1991, and in Baltimore in 1992. She has also composed and performed music for a range of dance settings by Tehreema Mitha in both the classical tradition of Bharata Natyam and modern interpretive dance. She composed and performed (along with her husband Brian Q. Silver) live music for the 2003 production by the Open Theatre's of Strindberg's "A Dream Play." She also composed and performed live music for the Kennedy Center's 2008 production of "Kite on the Wind," in an ensemble described by the Washington Post as a "trio of terrific musicians . . . [playing] marvelous music."] She has also been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered."

After moving to Boston in 1979, she began giving private lessons in Indian classical instrumental (on sitar and surbahar) and vocal music, and presented lecture-demonstrations in various Massachusetts public schools. Since moving to Washington, DC, she has continued to teach music, with a range of students in the Washington, DC area, as well as across the U.S. and India, giving lessons on Skype. She was Visiting Lecturer in Indian Music at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998-99, and conducted a workshop on Dhrupad instrumental music at the Sanjan Nagar Institute for the Arts in Lahore, Pakistan in 1997. She has also lectured and presented musical demonstrations at various U.S. schools, colleges and universities since 1981.

During her career she has received a wide range of awards (in addition to her broadcasting honors), most notably a citation from the Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, and three Artist Grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, under funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additionally, she won the Gold Medal for Best New Performance from the All Pakistan Music Conference in 1990, and the Saeeda Khan Memorial Award from that organization in 1997.

As a sideline, Ms. Sankaran has nurtured her interest in international cuisine, and continues her musician-style improvisation in her cooking efforts, the results of which have been widely praised for their taste and innovation by guests from many countries and all walks of life. She also enjoys gardening with her husband in their home on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

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In recognition of outstanding contributions to her profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Shubha Sankaran has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit for more information about this honor.

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