Sarod 'samrat', Amjad Ali Khan is one of the most distinguished maestro in the world of Indian classical music. Amjad Ali Khan, born on October 9th, 1945 at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, is the sixth-generation sarod player in his illustrious family. His ancestors of famous musicians, from the Bangash lineage rooted in the Senia Bangash School of music,has the distinction of having developed and shaped the instrument 'Sarod' over several hundred years from the ancient Rabab (an Iran Folk Instrument).
Amjad is the youngest son of Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan a musician to the royal family of Gwalior who has received musical tuition from descendants or followers of Miyan Tansen (c1520-1590), one of India’s most celebrated singers and court musician to the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Taught by his father, Amjad started playing the sarod at a very young age. Ustad has achieved immense popularity in India as well as abroad. He has the distinction of being the first north Indian artist to have performed in honour of Thyagaraja at the saint musician's Thiruvaiyur shrine.
He has traveled widely and performed in several international music festivals in Pakistan, China, New Zealand, London, Rome, USA, Moscow, Germany, Japan etc. A regular performer at the famous halls such as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Kennedy Center, Santury Hall (First Indian performer), House of Commons, Theater Dela Ville, ESPLANADE in Singapore, Mozart Hall in Frankfurt, Chicago Symphony Center, St. James Palace and the Opera House in Australia, the master has received Hon'ry Citizenship to the States of Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee and the city of Atlanta.
Amjad Ali Khan has won several titles and honours - the 'Padmashree' in 1975, the Sangeet Natak Academy award in1989, the Tansen Award in 1989, Sarod Samrat, UNESCO Award in 1970, Unicef's National Ambassadorship, the Padma Bhushan in 1991, the International Music Forum Award etc.and Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of York, England, Delhi University, the
Vishva Bharti (Deshikottam) in Shantiniketan and 'Commander of the order of Arts and letters' by the French Government. Two books written on him are the 'World of Amjad Ali Khan' (1995) and 'Abba- God's Greatest gift to us' by his sons Amaan and Ayaan in 2002.
In 2001, he was awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. And he was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2004. On April 8, 2007, he got international recognition too. He was honored with the Key to the City award by Kathy Taylor Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma state, for his long-standing contribution to the Indian Classical Music.
In 1977, he founded the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Society which organises music festivals in different parts of India. He has contributed in propagating and creating music for children. In Gwalior, the family house where Amjad Ali Khan was born, has been converted into Sarod Ghar (the ‘Home of the Sarod’) a teaching centre and museum of his family and the sarod, with an impressive collection of instruments including his ancestor’s rababs.
Ustad lives with his wife Subbalakshmi and two sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash. His sons Aman and Ayan are promising sarod players referred to as the 'coming masters'. They are the seventh generation in the family to continue the Sarod tradition.
The great master remains devoted to Sarod and popularising his music throughout the world.
Official site: www.Sarod.com