Amjad Ali Khan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Amjad Ali Khan
Ustad amjat ali khan.JPG
Background information
Birth name Masoom Ali Khan
Born (1945-10-09) 9 October 1945 (age 71)
Gwalior, Central Provinces and Berar, British Raj
Genres Hindustani classical music
Instruments sarod
Associated acts Hafiz Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan, Ayaan Ali Khan, Gurdev Singh

Amjad Ali Khan (IAST: Amjad Alī Khān) (born 9 October 1945) is an Indian classical musician who plays the Sarod. Khan was born into a musical family and has performed internationally since the 1960s. He was awarded India's second highest civilian honor Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

Early life and career[edit]

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.[1][2] 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.[2][3][4] His personal name was changed by a sadhu to Amjad.[1] Khan received homeschooling and studied music under his father.[1] In 1957, a cultural organization in Delhi appointed Hafiz Ali Khan as its guest and the family moved to Delhi.[1] Friends of Hafiz Ali convinced him of the importance of formal schooling for his son; as a result, Amjad was taken to meet the Principal of Modern School in New Delhi and admitted there as a day scholar. He attended Modern School from 1958 to 1963.[5]

Khan first performed in the United States in 1963 and continued into the 2000s, with his sons.[1][6] He has experimented with modifications to his instrument throughout his career.[3] Khan played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and worked as a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico.[2] In 2011, he performed on Carrie Newcomer's album Everything is Everywhere with his sons.


Khan was awarded 21st Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award. Khan received Padma Shri in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 1991, and Padma Vibhushan in 2001, and was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1989 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2011.[7][8] He was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2004.[9] The U.S. state Massachusetts proclaimed 20 April as Amjad Ali Khan Day in 1984.[10] Khan was made an honorary citizen of Houston, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, in 1997, and of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007.[10] He received the Banga-Vibhushan in 2011.[11] Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, who has shared his rich experience in Indian classical music in classes across the West, will now teach for a quarter (three months) at Stanford University, this course will have lessons on Sarod as well.


A Gulzar directed documentary on Amjad Ali Khan won Filmfare award in 1990.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Khan cared for his diabetic father until he died in 1972.[1] His family arranged a marriage, which failed, and Khan was married a second time, to Bharatanatyam dancer Subhalakshmi, on 25 September 1976.[1] Subhalakshmi Barooah Khan is a native of Assam and has stopped performing.[13] They have two sons, Amaan, the older one, and Ayaan, who were taught music by their father.[1] Khan is a Muslim and his wife is a Hindu.[2] Their family home in Gwalior was made into a musical center and they live in New Delhi.[14][15]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Sawhney, Anubha (23 November 2003). "Amjad Ali Khan, unplugged". Times News Network. The Times of India. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bhatia, Shyam (1 October 2002). "The sound of sarod music". Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Weisman, Steven R. (7 June 1988). "Traditionalist Reshapes India's Ancient Sarod". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  4. ^ Rockwell, John (24 February 1991). "Review/Music; Another Indian Master, This Time of the Sarod". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Singh, Khushwant; Hameed, Syeda Saiyidain (1995). A Dream Turns Seventy Five: The Modern School, 1920-1995. Allied Publishers. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-81-7023-499-9. Retrieved 29 June 2012 
  6. ^ Ratliff, Ben (30 October 2006). "From India, a Sarod Dynasty Represented by Father and Sons". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees – Instrumental – Sarod". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 21 November 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Amjad Ali Khan – The 15th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes 2004". Asian Month. 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Amjad Ali Khan honoured in the US". Press Trust of India. The Times of India. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "State honours nine with Banga-Vibhushan". The Times of India. Times News Network. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "Amjad Ali Khan". IMDb. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Zakir Hussain and Bangash brothers' ode to heritage". The Tribune. 13 December 2003. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  14. ^ Ramnarayan, Gowri (8 January 2006). "Commitment to tradition". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  15. ^ Steinberg, David (11 April 2004). "Sarod player preaches music". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 

External links[edit]