“One of the 20th century’s Greatest Masters of the Sarod”
- Songlines World Music Magazine, UK 2003
“The Indian string instrument called the sarod looks a bit like a lute. Its rounded back is wooden and its flat belly is made from goat skin. It has an unfretted, steel fingerboard and 25 steel strings, and in the hands of Amjad Ali Khan, its sound is delicate and highly expressive.”
New York Times
Born into the illustrious family of Gwalior Court Musicians, Amjad Ali Khan is one of the colourful, versatile and charming musicians who enthralled audience all over the world with his reverberating Sarod strings.
Khan was born in Gwalior on 9 October 1945 as Masoom Ali Khan, the youngest of seven children, to Gwalior court musician Hafiz Ali Khan and Rahat Jahan. His family is part of the Bangash lineage and Khan is in the sixth generation of musicians; his family claims to have invented the Sarod from the Iranian string instrument Rubab. It’s a national musical instrument of Afghanistan.
Amjad Ali Khan has contributed immensely in the field of classical music. He plays the Sarod with his finger nails instead of finger tips. This gives a clear ringing sound and is also the most difficult technique to apply on the Sarod.
This innovative genius has composed many ragas of his own like Kiran Ranjani, Haripriya Kanada, Shivanjali, Shyam Shri, Suhag Bhairav, Lalit Dhwani, Amiri Todi, Jawahar Manjari and Bapukauns.
During his 5-decade long career, he has given performances in almost every corner of the globe. He has also given performances in Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Kennedy Center, House of Commons, Singapore, Mozart Hall in Frankfurt, Chicago Symphony Center, St. James’ Palace and the Opera House in Australia.
According to Maestro, “the music has no language. It is the music of sounds, the sound of human expression, it is universal.”
Two books have been written on him. The World of Amjad Ali Khan by UBS Publishers in 1995 and Abba-God's Greatest Gift To Us by his sons, Amaan and Ayaan published by Roli Books-Lustre Publications in 2002. A documentary on Mr. Khan called ‘Strings for Freedom’ won the Bengal Film Journalist Association Award and was also screened at the Ankara Film Festival in 1996.
Awards & Rewards:
In the matter of awards, Amjad Ali Khan has the privilege of winning the kind of honours and citations at his relatively young age, which, for many other artists would have taken a lifetime. He is a recipient of the UNESCO Award, Padma Vibhushan second-Highest Indian civilian award), Unicef's National Ambassadorship, The Crystal Award (by the World Economic Forum and Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of York, England, Delhi University and the Vishva Bharati (Deshikottam) in Shantiniketan and "Commander of the order of Arts and letters' by the French Government and this year, the 15th Fukuoka Asian Culture Grand Prize 2004 in Japan.
He represented India in the first World Arts Summit in Venice, received Honorary Citizenship to the States of Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee and the city of Atlanta. April 20th, 1984 was declared as Amjad Ali Khan Day in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1995, Mr. Khan was awarded the Gandhi UNESCO Medal in Paris for his composition Bapukauns.
Now, it’s the turn of Surtarang to honour the legend. The stage is set to celebrate his birthday. As a tribute to the Sarod Samrat Padma Vibhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan [9.10.1945], the Surtarang’s broadcast will be slotted on the 16th of October '16.
Enjoy the great music…
WE WILL BE INTRODUCING 8 MUSICIANS:
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