Sharif Khan Poonchwaley

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Mohammad Sharif Khan (Born in 1926, Poonch, British India – Died 26 May 1980, Pakistan) known as Ustad Sharif Khan Poonchwaley,[1] was a classical player of sitar, vichitra veena and raza been (rudra veena) in the hindustani classical music tradition.


He learned sitar from his father Ustad Rahim Bakhsh Khan, who himself was a student of Ustad Imdad Khan. His father, in fact, was a court musician of the Raja of Poonch. Sharif Khan Poonchwaley learned vichitra veena from Ustad Abdul Aziz Khan Beenkar.[1]

Ustad Sharif Khan Poonchwaley‚ belongs to Poonch gharana (traditional school) of sitar. He performed as a young sitar player at the YMCA Hall in Lahore in 1942. Some renowned luminaries of music also performed there with him including Bade Ghulam Ali Khan of Kasur, Ustad Fayyaz Khan of Baroda and Ustad Amir Khan of Indore. All of these musicians were invited to participate in the 2-day music festival at Lahore in 1942. He played a key role in promoting the sitar in Pakistan. He was a member of the early original team hired by the first Managing Director Aslam Azhar of Pakistan Television, Lahore Center to perform as a sitar player, when it first started TV broadcasts in 1964. Everywhere he went he charmed audiences with his stylishness, registering the intricacies and subtleties of otherwise typical ragas. Sharif Khan was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 1965 for his services to Pakistan.[2][1]

In 2011, his son Ashraf Shareef Khan gives sitar performances at music festivals in Pakistan.[3][1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ustad Ghulam Haider Khan (15 April 2011). "Sharif Khan Poonchwaley (profile)". The Friday Times (newsweekly). Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  2. ^, Sharif Khan Poonchwaley profile on Radio Pakistan website, Retrieved 22 Jan 2016
  3. ^ Sitar festival ends on a high note Dawn (newspaper), Published 7 May 2011, Retrieved 29 December 2018

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