Barno Iskhakova with a few of her awards
|Birth name||Бахмал Бераховна Исхакова (Bakhmal Berakhovna Iskhakova)|
May 12, 1927|
Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, USSR
|Died||September 7, 2001
|Occupation(s)||Uzbek, later Tajik folk and Shashmaqom singer|
|Associated acts||Neriyo Aminov, Ahmad Boboqulov, Shoista Mullojonova|
Barno Iskhakova (Tajik: Барно Исҳоқова, Russian: Барно Исхакова, Hebrew: ברנו יצחקובה) was a famous Bukharian Jewish musician from Tajikistan. Born in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, USSR on May 12, 1927 to the traditional Bukharian Jewish family of Berakh and Rachel Iskhakov. She later immigrated to the capital of the Tajik SSR, Stalinabad (Dushanbe) and made her career as a singer there. Barno Iskhakova was considered one of the greatest modern female singers in the history of Central Asia and Tajikistan. She was married to singer Isroel Badalbayev, although she retained her original surname as a stage name. She was very famous for her rendition of traditional Shashmaqom (a type Central Asian Music) songs in Tajik and Uzbek, and other songs in Russian, as well as her mother tongue of Bukhori (Judeo-Tajik Language). She is considered a remarkable performer, in the same class as other Tajik stars as Seeno, Davlatmand Kholov, and Daler Nazarov. Known as the Queen of the Shashmaqom tradition of Tajik music, she sang side by side on the radio and television with other famous performers of the Tajik Soviet Era such as Neriyo Aminov, Rafael Tolmasov, Shoista Mullodzhanova, Hanifa Mavlianova, Rena Galibova, Ahmad Boboqulov, and others. When Soviet Tajik writer Sadriddin Ayni heard her sing, he called her "Levicha among women" for Levi (Levicha) Babakhanov was a famous Bukharian Jewish traditional singer who performed for the last Emir of Bukhara in the early 20th century. Iskhakova won many awards and recognitions for her work in the USSR as an entertainer. She won the State Rudaki Prize of the Tajik SSR, the Soviet Order of the Red Banner of Labour, as well as Honored and People's Artist of the Tajik SSR.
She immigrated to Israel with her family in 1992 due to the Civil War in Tajikistan and the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism following the collapse of the USSR and died on September 7, 2001 in Ramle, Israel. She, along with her husband Isroel are buried at the Har HaMenuchot (Mountain of Respite) Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem. Her voice and spirit remains alive among the hearts of millions of fans throughout Central Asia, Israel, and the United States as well as other countries around the world.
- Broughton, Simon and Sultanova, Razia "Bards of the Golden Road" c. 2000