Ustad Rafique Khan was born in Dharwad into an illustrious family of accomplished musicians belonging to the Gwalior Gharana. His father, the late Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, was a distinguished sitarist of his time; while his grandfather, the late 'Sitar Ratna' Ustad Rahimat Khan was accredited for adding the base octave in the sitar.
With such a lineage, spanning seven generations of his family, it is no surprise that the young Rafique Khan took to the sitar at the tender age of nine. He blossomed under the skilful and caring tutelage of his father and mentor Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. Elder brothers Ustad Usman Khan and Ustad Bale Khan too tutored him. He received special lessons in 'Gayaki Ang' from his uncle Ustad Dastagir Khan. He passed his music exams from Gadharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai and graduated in Philosophy from the University of Goa.
Rafique Khan has performed in different places all over India. His performances have been acclaimed at prestigious music concerts like Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Sangeet Sammelan (Goa), Swami Haridas Sangeet Samaroh and Kalke-Kalakar (Mumbai) and' Arambh' Music Festival (Bhopal). Apart from his solo recitals, he also performs with his twin brother Shafique Khan and the Khan duo have received much praise for their 'Jugalbandhis'.
It is to the credit of Rafique Khan that he has won the prestigious 'Sur Mani Award' from Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai, at the young age of 23 years, a feat not accomplished by many. All India Radio has rated him as an 'A' grade artiste and has broadcast three of his recitals on their National Programmes. To music lovers Rafique Khan's face is a familiar sight on the television too. Recently he has toured Europe for his solo performances. He has participated in prestigious music festivals like 'Festival delle Colline'-Italy, 'Concerti All' Abbazia Di San Fruttuosco Di Camogli'-Italy, "Festival Ljubljana'-Slovanija, 'Emilia Romagna Festival'-Caviro, 'Taulse Music Festival'-France and 'Saraswathi House'-Italy. He has also visited Germany.
One of the unique characteristics of his playing is that he preserved the purity of the raag and maintains the balance of the two mixed styles in 'Gayaki Ang' and 'Tantakari Ang'. His self discipline and devotion to music is evident in the fact that he has mastered the 'Gamak Taans', which is considered to be the most difficult technique on the sitar. His command over the finger board is exemplary. The music that he produces is pure melody. Audiences are enthralled by the movements of his nimble fingers on each note he plays.
Rafique Khan loves his audiences and they, in turn, adore him. He goes to great lengths to please them. At present he is on the staff for All India Radio at Mangalore.