South Asian Arts-uk (SAA-uk) is bringing its year long ‘Women in Arts’ programme to a climactic end this weekend, with a performance in Leeds from one of the world’s leading Indian musicians, Roopa Panesar.

Roopa Panesar
Roopa Panesar

In the classical world of Indian music, dance and arts it is typically men who are celebrated and rewarded for their musical talents. Over the last year, SAA-uk has recognised the women of the Indian music community by holding a series of performances across Yorkshire, celebrating their musical achievements.

The final performance in the programme sees top Sitar player Roopa Panesar with Shri Bhupinder Singh Chaggar on tabla performing ‘Aurat’ at Leeds College of Music on March 7.

Roopa is considered one of the world’s finest female sitar players and is one of only a handful of UK musicians to be recognised in India. Her most recent tour of the country saw her sell out venues in Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata in January.

The Leicester-born musician learned under Sitar maestro and educationalist Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE and has already received rave reviews for her work on Talvin Singh’s Bombay Talkies at London’s Southbank Centre back in April 2014.

The sitar has been a prominent instrument in Indian Classical and Hindustani music since the 16th century.  The instrument has also become popular in the West with bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones adopting the rich, exotic sound – Norwegian Wood by The Beatles was the first song to introduce the plucked string instrument to the Western World in 1965.

Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, Chief Executive of SAA-uk, comments: “Our Women in Art series wouldn’t be complete without a performance from Roopa, and what better way to end the programme than by inviting her to share her talent with the Leeds College of Music.

“Roopa is regarded as one of the best Sitar players to come out of the UK and, coupled with Shri Bhupinder Singh Chaggar’s talents on Tabla the evening promises to be a fantastic event.”

SAA-uk’s Women in Arts programme has seen varied performances over the last year, including children’s stories and shows about the oppression of women.

Keranjeet added: “The programme has proved a huge success over the last twelve months, with performances from lots of inspiring women really showing the value of female performers. SAA-uk plays an important role in celebrating these women’s wonderful talents and we are delighted that so many have enjoyed the programme.

“The arts are a wonderful mechanism for joy and happiness that enables people to come together. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Tickets can be purchased directly from Leeds College of music or by visiting

Saturday 7th March 2015

Time:  7.30pm

Venue: The Venue,

Leeds College of Music,

3 Quarry Hill, Leeds,

West Yorkshire LS2 7PD


Tickets: £10 / £5 / £30 Group of 4

£25 Family (2 adults and up to 3 under 16’s)

£3 for SAA-uk and YYM students

Box Office: 0113 222 3434



More details about the season of concerts contact SAA-uk on 0113 244 5523 or email




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