Bismillah Khan - Musicians, Life Achievements and Childhood

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Bismillah Khan's Personal Details

Ustad Bismillah Khan was a great exponent of Shehnai

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 21, 1913
Died onAugust 21, 2006
NationalityIndian
FamousMusicians
Known asQamaruddin Khan
Birth Place Dumraon, Bihar
GenderMale
FatherPaigambar Khan
MotherMitthan
Sun SignAries
Born inDumraon, Bihar
Died at Age93

// Famous Musicians

Bismillah Khan's photo

Who is Bismillah Khan?

Ustad Bismillah Khan was a great Shehnai player from India. His name was and will forever be associated with shehnai, the musical instrument that he made famous with his talent and deliberation in the post independent India. Khan belonged to a family of traditional musicians of Bihar who used to play in the courts of the princely states, which is why playing shehnai came very natural to him. He was brilliant at what he did - the reason why he had always played at the important national events for national audience like the first Indian Independence Day and first Republic Day. Khan with his simplicity, love for music and straightforwardness did not only become a national favorite but also gained a lot of popularity and love from the west. For his creativity and mastery in his art, Khan was bestowed with the title of ‘Ustad’ and earned many accolades like the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, honorary doctorates from Banaras Hindu University and Viswa Bharati University.

// Famous Indian

Childhood & Early Life

Bismillah Khan was born in Bhirung Raut Ki Gali at Dumrao, Bihar, in 1913 to Paigambar Khan and Mitthan into the family of musicians.

His forefathers were musicians in the courts of the princely states of that time like Bhojpur, Bihar and his father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh, Dumrao.

At the tender age of 6, Khan was shifted to the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, where he received training in music under the supervision of his uncle Ali Baksh, who was a famous shehnai player and used to play for Varanasi’s Vishwanath Temple.

Career

Khan learnt the art of playing shehnai and mastered it in a short span of time. It is not farfetched to say that he was the one who made shehnai a famous classical instrument with his natural talent and great devotion.

With his concert in All India Music Conference in 1937 (at Calcutta), Khan brought shehnai at the forefront of Indian classical music. He played so well that his name got attached to the instrument in no time.

In 1947, on the occasion of India’s celebration of its first independence day, Khan was invited by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to come and perform live at the Red Fort in Delhi. This performance became one of his most celebrated ones.

He again performed in 1950 - this time on the occasion of India’s first Republic Day at Red Fort in Delhi.

Khan did not just perform for the Indian audience but on many occasions performed for the global audience as well. He took part in Cannes Art Festival, Osaka Trade Fair and World Exposition in Montreal.

Khan had a deep association with the world of cinema as well. He played beautiful shehnai symphonies for a kannada language movie named Sadaadi Appanna. He also acted in a Satyajit Ray’s movie Jalsaghar in 1958.

He did some other movies as well - Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959), Sange Meel Se Mulaqat, a documentary on his own life and also appeared in the capacity of a musician in Dustin Hoffman’s The Graduate (1967).

Major Works

Khan’s whole life was devoted to playing shehnai with all his passion - a tradition he helped in keeping alive in the post independent India. If it was not for him, shehnai would have been redundant in the newly independent India. He made shehnai one of the most popular musical instruments from Asia.

Awards & Achievements

Khan was bestowed with the title of ‘Ustad’ and earned many accolades like Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, honorary doctorates from Banaras Hindu University and Viswa Bharati University, etc.

Personal Life & Legacy

Khan was survived by his five daughters, three sons and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He also adopted a daughter named Dr Soma Ghosh. She is a famous Hindustani shastriya sangeet exponent.

He died in 2006 due to cardiac arrest. He was buried in a national ceremony along with his shehnai at Fatemain burial ground, Varanasi.

Trivia

His burial ceremony received the national pride of 21 gun salute from the Indian Army.

Khan did not generally take students under him and the only people that he associated with in that capacity were S. Ballesh and his own sons - Nazim Hussain and Nayyar Hussain.

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Bismillah Khan awards

YearNameAward

Other

Padma Shri
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
honorary doctorates from Banaras Hindu University and Viswa Bharati University
Bharat Ratna
Padma Vibhushan
Padma Bhushan

Bismillah Khan biography timelines

  • // 21st Mar 1913
    Bismillah Khan was born in Bhirung Raut Ki Gali at Dumrao, Bihar, in 1913 to Paigambar Khan and Mitthan into the family of musicians.
  • // 1937
    With his concert in All India Music Conference in 1937 (at Calcutta), Khan brought shehnai at the forefront of Indian classical music. He played so well that his name got attached to the instrument in no time.
  • // 1947
    In 1947, on the occasion of India’s celebration of its first independence day, Khan was invited by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to come and perform live at the Red Fort in Delhi. This performance became one of his most celebrated ones.
  • // 1950
    He again performed in 1950 - this time on the occasion of India’s first Republic Day at Red Fort in Delhi.
  • // 1958
    Khan had a deep association with the world of cinema as well. He played beautiful shehnai symphonies for a kannada language movie named Sadaadi Appanna. He also acted in a Satyajit Ray’s movie Jalsaghar in 1958.
  • // 1959 To 1967
    He did some other movies as well - Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959), Sange Meel Se Mulaqat, a documentary on his own life and also appeared in the capacity of a musician in Dustin Hoffman’s The Graduate (1967).
  • // 2006
    He died in 2006 due to cardiac arrest. He was buried in a national ceremony along with his shehnai at Fatemain burial ground, Varanasi.

Bismillah Khan's FAQ

  • What is Bismillah Khan birthday?

    Bismillah Khan was born at 1913-03-21

  • When was Bismillah Khan died?

    Bismillah Khan was died at 2006-08-21

  • Where was Bismillah Khan died?

    Bismillah Khan was died in Varanasi

  • Which age was Bismillah Khan died?

    Bismillah Khan was died at age 93

  • Where is Bismillah Khan's birth place?

    Bismillah Khan was born in Dumraon, Bihar

  • What is Bismillah Khan nationalities?

    Bismillah Khan's nationalities is Indian

  • Who is Bismillah Khan's father?

    Bismillah Khan's father is Paigambar Khan

  • Who is Bismillah Khan's mother?

    Bismillah Khan's mother is Mitthan

  • What is Bismillah Khan's sun sign?

    Bismillah Khan is Aries