Ali Akbar Khan - Sarod Players, Family and Family

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Ali Akbar Khan's Personal Details

Ali Akbar Khan was a great Hindustani classical musician

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 14, 1922
Died onJune 18, 2009
NationalityIndian
FamousMusicians, Sarod Players
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Ali Akbar College of Music
Discoveries / Inventions
  • Raga Chandranandan
Birth Place Comilla, in present-day Bangladesh (then East Bengal)
GenderMale
FatherAllauddin Khan
MotherMadina Begum
Sun SignAries
Born inComilla, in present-day Bangladesh (then East Bengal)
Famous asMusician
Died at Age87

// Famous Musicians

Ali Akbar Khan's photo

Who is Ali Akbar Khan?

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was one of the most renowned sarod maestros. He was born into the family of musicians and was trained under the supervision and guidance of his father who himself was a renowned percussionist of his era. He started learning to play instruments since the age of three and by the age of 13 his father thought him capable and ready enough to play in front of public. After serving as a court musician for one of the Maharaja’s of Rajasthan, Khan became a full time music composer for All India Radio, Lucknow. He later tried his hand in the Indian film industry as he started creating music for big directors like Satyajit Ray. Khan wanted to dedicate his life in spreading the essence of Indian traditional music all over the world which is why he founded Ali Akbar College of Music in Calcutta as well as in the United States and Switzerland. He is known for his epic jugalbandis (musical pairings) with prestigious performers like, Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee and violinist L. Subramaniam.

// Famous Sarod Players

Childhood & Early Life

Ali Akbar Khan was born in Comilla, present-day Bangladesh (then East Bengal), to Allaudin Khan and Madina Begum. His father was a well known musician and teacher and started training his son when he was just three years old.

Khan began to learn percussion from his uncle Fakir Aftabuddin. His uncle made sure that he fully understood vocal and various musical instruments so that he could get in depth knowledge of music. Along with his uncle, his father also kept teaching him until he passed away in 1972.

During the time when Khan was being taught, he came across several prominent musicians, like the sarod player Timir Baran and flutist Pannalal Ghosh. These musicians came to study with his father. After a while he was joined in his lessons by his sister, Annapurna Devi.

Career

After learning music for several years and getting trained by the best in the business, Khan gave his very first public performance at a music conference in Allahbad in 1936. He was merely 13 years old at that time.

After this, Khan gave his first performance on air on All India Radio (AIR) in Bombay, Maharashtra in 1938. He was accompanied on the table by Alla Rakha and within a few years giving monthly performances on AIR became an usual thing for him. He was also getting regular on AIR, Lucknow.

In 1939, Khan supported to Ravi Shankar by playing sarod along with him at Ravi’s debut performance at the same conference where he first gave his debut performance - the music conference in Allahbad, Uttar Pradesh.

His father coaxed him into getting appointed as a court musician for the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh in 1943. There he mainly taught music to other musicians and gave solo performances. It was Hanwant Singh who gave him the title of ‘Ustad’.

Ravi Shankar and Khan both left Maihar to initiate their professional careers as musicians in 1944—Shankar settled in Bombay and Khan became the youngest Music Director for AIR, Lucknow. He used to give solo performances and composed for the radio ensemble.

From 1945, he started recording his series of 78 rpm disks at the HMV Studios in Bombay. For one of these records he created a new composition - Raga Chandranandan. This record was an epic hit in India, and also found a worldwide audience.

Khan founded the Ali Akbar College of Music in Calcutta in 1956. His sole motive with that was to teach and spread Indian classical music and not let it die in the course of evolving times and new age music coming into picture.

He also founded another school of the same name in Berkeley, California in 1967 and later shifted it to San Rafael, California. It was around this time that he performed in Boston with Shankar Ghosh for the Peabody Mason Concert series. In a few decades to come, he founded another Ali Akbar College of Music in Basel, Switzerland.

With his growing popularity, Khan fetched for himself the role of a music composer for many film scores like: Chetan Anand's Aandhiyan (1952), Satyajit Ray's Devi (1960), Merchant-Ivory's The Householder, and Tapan Sinha's Khudito Pashan ("Hungry stones", 1960) etc.

In 1971, Khan performed at Madison Square Garden for the Concert for Bangladesh, along with Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha and Kamala Chakravarty - other musicians at the concert included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr.

Major Works

Khan had dedicated a good part of his life in promoting and preserving Indian traditional music and founded Ali Akbar College of Music not only in Calcutta but took it to the west as well. It was his efforts to get Indian traditional music the kind of recognition it deserves from the whole world.

Awards & Achievements

For his brilliant work in the field of Indian classical music, Khan received many accolades like: Padma Vibhushan, MacArthur Fellowship, National Heritage Fellowship, etc. He also received two Grammy nominations.

Personal Life & Legacy

Khan got married three times in his life and had seven sons and four daughters in total with all of his partners.

He was settled in the Unites States for almost four decades before his death. He died of renal failure in 2009 in San Anselmo, in California.

Trivia

Lata Mangeshkar sang the title song, "Har Kahin Pe Shaadmani" that Khan composed and as a token of respect to him, she did not charge any fee.

He appeared in musical pairings (jugalbandis) with many well-known performers like, Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee and violinist L. Subramaniam.

// Famous Indian

Ali Akbar Khan awards

YearNameAward

Other

National Heritage Fellowship
Two Grammy nominations
Padma Vibhushan
MacArthur Fellowship
National Endowment for the Arts

Ali Akbar Khan biography timelines

  • // 14th Apr 1922
    Ali Akbar Khan was born in Comilla, present-day Bangladesh (then East Bengal), to Allaudin Khan and Madina Begum. His father was a well known musician and teacher and started training his son when he was just three years old.
  • // 1936
    After learning music for several years and getting trained by the best in the business, Khan gave his very first public performance at a music conference in Allahbad in 1936. He was merely 13 years old at that time.
  • // 1938
    After this, Khan gave his first performance on air on All India Radio (AIR) in Bombay, Maharashtra in 1938. He was accompanied on the table by Alla Rakha and within a few years giving monthly performances on AIR became an usual thing for him. He was also getting regular on AIR, Lucknow.
  • // 1939
    In 1939, Khan supported to Ravi Shankar by playing sarod along with him at Ravi’s debut performance at the same conference where he first gave his debut performance - the music conference in Allahbad, Uttar Pradesh.
  • // 1943
    His father coaxed him into getting appointed as a court musician for the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh in 1943. There he mainly taught music to other musicians and gave solo performances. It was Hanwant Singh who gave him the title of ‘Ustad’.
  • // 1944
    Ravi Shankar and Khan both left Maihar to initiate their professional careers as musicians in 1944—Shankar settled in Bombay and Khan became the youngest Music Director for AIR, Lucknow. He used to give solo performances and composed for the radio ensemble.
  • // 1945
    From 1945, he started recording his series of 78 rpm disks at the HMV Studios in Bombay. For one of these records he created a new composition - Raga Chandranandan. This record was an epic hit in India, and also found a worldwide audience.
  • // 1952 To 1960
    With his growing popularity, Khan fetched for himself the role of a music composer for many film scores like: Chetan Anand's Aandhiyan (1952), Satyajit Ray's Devi (1960), Merchant-Ivory's The Householder, and Tapan Sinha's Khudito Pashan ("Hungry stones", 1960) etc.
  • // 1956
    Khan founded the Ali Akbar College of Music in Calcutta in 1956. His sole motive with that was to teach and spread Indian classical music and not let it die in the course of evolving times and new age music coming into picture.
  • // 1967
    He also founded another school of the same name in Berkeley, California in 1967 and later shifted it to San Rafael, California. It was around this time that he performed in Boston with Shankar Ghosh for the Peabody Mason Concert series. In a few decades to come, he founded another Ali Akbar College of Music in Basel, Switzerland.
  • // 1971
    In 1971, Khan performed at Madison Square Garden for the Concert for Bangladesh, along with Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha and Kamala Chakravarty - other musicians at the concert included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr.
  • // 18th Jun 2009
    He was settled in the Unites States for almost four decades before his death. He died of renal failure in 2009 in San Anselmo, in California.

// Aries Celebrities

Ali Akbar Khan's FAQ

  • What is Ali Akbar Khan birthday?

    Ali Akbar Khan was born at 1922-04-14

  • When was Ali Akbar Khan died?

    Ali Akbar Khan was died at 2009-06-18

  • Where was Ali Akbar Khan died?

    Ali Akbar Khan was died in San Anselmo, California, United States

  • Which age was Ali Akbar Khan died?

    Ali Akbar Khan was died at age 87

  • Where is Ali Akbar Khan's birth place?

    Ali Akbar Khan was born in Comilla, in present-day Bangladesh (then East Bengal)

  • What is Ali Akbar Khan nationalities?

    Ali Akbar Khan's nationalities is Indian

  • Which company or organization was founded by Ali Akbar Khan?

    Ali Akbar Khan was the founder/co-founder of Ali Akbar College of Music

  • What is Ali Akbar Khan's inventions/discoveries?

    Raga Chandranandan was invented (or discovered) by Ali Akbar Khan

  • Who is Ali Akbar Khan's father?

    Ali Akbar Khan's father is Allauddin Khan

  • Who is Ali Akbar Khan's mother?

    Ali Akbar Khan's mother is Madina Begum

  • What is Ali Akbar Khan's sun sign?

    Ali Akbar Khan is Aries

  • How famous is Ali Akbar Khan?

    Ali Akbar Khan is famouse as Musician