Nitin Sawhney

Sawhney’s output as a musician is astonishing. He has scored for and performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, and collaborated with the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, The London Symphony Orchestra, Brian Eno, Sinead O’Connor, Anoushka Shankar, Jeff Beck, Ellie Goulding, Horace Andy, Akram Khan, Nelson Mandela and John Hurt.


Overview – Performing extensively around the world, Nitin has achieved an international reputation across every possible creative medium. Often appearing as Artist in Residence, curator or Musical Director at international festivals, Sawhney works tirelessly for musical education, acting as patron of the British Government’s Access-to-music programme and the East London Film festival as well as acting as a judge for The Ivor Novello Awards, BAFTA, BIFA and the PRS foundation. He is a recipient of 5 honorary doctorates from British universities, is a fellow of LIPA and the Southbank University, an Associate of Sadler’s Wells, sits on the board for London’s Somerset House and in 2007 turned down an OBE for ethical reasons.

Studio Albums – Now signed to Universal Music Publishing Ltd., Sawhney has released 9 studio albums, each garnering critical acclaim. Indeed, Sawhney has received no less than 17 major national awards for his album work alone. In 1999 Sawhney released his fourth breakthrough Gold selling album, Beyond Skin, on London’s Outcaste Records, which took a prestigious Technics Mercury Music Prize nomination and won Sawhney the coveted South Bank Show Award. After a subsequent signing to Richard Branson’s V2 Records, Sawhney released the millennial epic and Silver certified Prophesy in 2001, winning a MOBO Award as well as a BBC Radio 3 Music Award. Sawhney’s seventh album, Philtre, was released in May 2005, taking yet another BBC Radio 3 Award and in 2008, his eighth album, London Undersound, released on Cooking Vinyl, featured artwork by Antony Gormley and performances from Paul McCartney, Anoushka Shankar, Imogen Heap and Natty, amongst many others. Sawhney’s latest 2011 studio album, Last Days of Meaning, previewed at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2011, centres on a stunning performance from legendary actor, John Hurt, and follows the epic, metaphorical, Dickensian journey of a lonely and intransigent man.

Film and Television – To date, Sawhney has scored over fifty films as well as a plethora of international TV programmes, ads and cinema trailers. Signed to prestigious London agency, Hothouse, he has scored everything from dark, high-tension drama to light hearted animatronics. Most recently he scored all 8 episodes of the BAFTA nominated BBC’s landmark series The Human Planet for the National Orchestra of Wales, which broadcast across 44 countries internationally and has already received huge critical acclaim (Sawhney received a BAFTA nomination for the series) after it’s primetime broadcast in the UK. In 2004, his music for Channel 4’s Second Generation saw him nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Film and TV Composition and his subsequent film catalogue includes work from Mira Nair’s internationally acclaimed The Namesake to his recent project for the London Symphony Orchestra, Hitchcock’s The Lodger.

He has also scored Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s book, Midnight’s Children. More recently he scored Japan in Day and Vara:A Blessing. Sawhney has scored ad campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Nike and Sephora and Trailer scores include Hollywood release The Men who Stare at Goats.

Videogames – Sawhney has worked extensively with Cambridge based games developers, Ninja Theory, on their international best-selling and groundbreaking titles, Heavenly Sword, Pigsy and Enslaved. Last year the latter received an Ivor Novello Award nomination for Nitin’s orchestral score with the Prague Philharmonic. As sole composer for these games, Sawhney has evolved an entirely new range of technical skills for the cutting edge world of motion capture videogame narrative.

Live – An acclaimed flamenco guitarist and classical/ jazz pianist, Sawhney’s musical ability to transcend cultural barriers has gained him much recognition from the classical and pop communities, leading to his unique claim to broadcasting and selling out as artist in his own right for both the BBC Traditional and Electric Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall and Roundhouse respectively. His band has toured the world for decades and Sawhney has performed and scored in recent years with international orchestras to silent films, most notably Franz Osten’s A Throw of Dice and Naruse’s Yogoto No Yume with the LSO. More recently conducting the LSO performing is score for Hitchcock’s The Lodger. Nitin conducted the Singapore Festival Orchestra in May 2011 and performed at Toronto’s Luminato festival with his band last June. Sawhney performed with his band at London’s Union Chapel, showcasing tracks from the new album Last Days of Meaning which was released in September 2011.

DJ – Now with his own BBC Radio 2 show “Nitin Sawhney Spins the Globe”, Sawhney, given his classical background, is a surprisingly experienced and established DJ, spinning everything from Afro-beat and Dubstep to Asian breakbeat and drum ‘n’ bass. Cutting his Dj-ing teeth at London’s tastemaking Fabric nightclub, Sawhney has Dj-ed at the Big Chill, Womad, Womadelaide and across the world at numerous major festivals. Clubland has seen 3 international DJ album releases by Sawhney; All Mixed Up – The definitive remix collection; Fabriclive 15 and In the Mind of… Nitin Sawhney.