The master sarod player, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is a world-renowned musician. Hailing from Gwalior, he was born on October 9, 1945 into a family of musicians that is said to have invented ‘sarod’. He is the sixth-generation sarod-player in his illustrious family.
The eminent musician steps into his 77th year, today. On the special occasion of his birthday, we bring to you some lesser-known facts about the maestro:
- The US state had named a day after Amjad Ali Khan on April 20, 1984. It is called Amjad Ali Khan Day.
- Master on Masters is a book written by him where he talks about 12 famous musicians.
- He was the Indian representative at the first World Arts Summit in Venice in 1991, following which Houston, Texas, Nashville and Tennessee made the sarod virtuoso and composer an honorary citizen in 1997. Once again in 2007, Amjad Khan was bestowed upon with this honour by Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- The legendary artist got to learn sarod at a very early age from his father Hafiz Ali Khan whom Tansen’s descendants taught music.
- Amjad Khan, at the age of 6 gave his first recital; and Masoom Ali Khan is his birth name that was changed by a sadhu.
- In 1990, a documentary on him was made by the well-known writer-director, Gulzar. It was titled ‘Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’.
- In India, he has been honoured with Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, Banga Bibhushan Samman, and the 21st Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award.
- Mohammad Hashmi Khan Bangash, Amjad Khan’s great great great grandfather had brought rubab to India from Afghanistan. Then it was his descendant Ghulam Ali Khan Bangas who transformed the rubab into sarod.
- Subhalakshmi Barooah, Amjad’s second wife, is a Bharatnatyam dancer.
- He has two sons named- Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash who have been carrying forward the master musician’s legacy. On Amjad Khan’s 75th birthday, his 2 grandsons, Zohaan Ali Bangash and Abeer Ali Bangash (twins of Ayaan Ali) paid tribute to their grandfather by performing a lovely arrangement that was composed by Amjad Khan himself.
- He performed Raga for Peace during Nobel Peace Prize at Oslo in 2014.