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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was born on 9th October, 1945 at a place called Gwalior located in Madhya Pradesh. His father Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan was a musician in the court of the royal family of Gwalior. He received training from the descendants of Miyan Tansen, who is considered to be the greatest musician of all times. Amjad Ali Khan was the youngest son in his family. His first tutor was his father and he began playing at a very young age. At the mere age of twelve years, Amjad Ali Khan gave his first solo recital. The rest as they say is history. It was his love for the instrument and passion for music that made him famous and recognized as one of the greatest Sarod players.

 

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Career

Amjad Ali Khan gave his first solo recital at the age of 12 in 1958. He has developed a unique style of playing the sarod. The key innovations in his style are compositions based on vocal music, the technical ability to play highly complex phrases (ekhara taans) on the sarod spanning three octaves and the emphasis on simple and elegant compositions. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has simplified the instrument by removing some strings (his sarod has only two jod and chikari strings and 11 tarab stings) and has also removed the resonant gourd (tumba) which is in use by other sarod schools.

In 1977, Amjad Ali Khan founded the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Society which organises concerts and bestows an annual Hafiz Ali Khan award on outstanding classical musicians in India and aboard. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has performed in different parts of the world. He has performed at the WOMAD Festival in Adelaide and New Plymouth, Taranaki in New Zealand, WOMAD Rivermead Festival in UK, Edinburgh Music Festival, World Beat Festival in Brisbane, Summer Arts Festival in Seattle, BBC Proms and International Poets Festival in Rome, Shiraz Festival, UNESCO, and Hong Kong Arts Festival.

 

Awards

1970- The International Music Forum Award, UNESCO

1975- Padmashree

1989- Sangeet Natak Academy Award

1989- The Tansen Award

1991- The Padma Bhushan

 

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