Early life and career
Khan was born in Gwalior on 9 October 1945 as Masoom Ali Khan, the youngest of six children, to Gwalior court musician Hafiz Ali Khan and Rahat Jahan.His family is part of the Bangash lineage and Khan is in the sixth generation of musicians; his family claims to have invented the sarod.
His personal name was changed by a sadhu to Amjad. Khan received homeschooling and studied music under his father.His family moved frequently and Khan performed on the sarod from a young age.Khan first performed in the United States in 1963 and continued into the 2000s, with his sons.He has experimented with modifications to his instrument throughout his career.Khan played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and worked as a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico.
RecognitionKhan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989, and received the Padma Shri in 1975, the Padma Bhushan in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.He was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2004. The U.S. state of Massachusetts proclaimed April 20 as Amjad Ali Khan Day in 1984.Khan was made an honorary citizen of Houston, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, in 1997, and of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007. He received the Banga-Vibhushan in 2011.
Family and personal lifeKhan cared for his diabetic father until he died in 1972. His family arranged a marriage, which failed, and Khan was married a second time, to Bharatanatyam dancer Subhalakshmi, on September 25, 1976.Subhalakshmi Barua Khan is a native of Assam and has stopped performing. They have two sons, Amaan, and Ayaan, who were taught music by their father.Khan is a Muslim and his wife is a Hindu. Their family home in Gwalior was made into a musical center and they live in New Delhi.
Sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's latest album 'Moksha' has been nominated for a Grammy in the 'traditional world' category.
While other purists of Indian classical music refrain from experimenting with the age-old forms of raga, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan does not mind innovation in Indian classical music as long as the sanctity of the raga is maintained.
His latest album, Moksha, is replete with such innovations. The album has eight solo pieces that have been put together keeping in mind the sensibilities of music listeners in the west. Ustad's two sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash - both sarod players - have also contributed in the album.
'Moksha' was released in Europe in May and in the US in June by Real World Records. It has been received very well in the west so far. And whether it gets a Grammy will be known in February next year when the winners will be declared.
Ustad is presently on a musical tour of the US. He, along with his sons, will perform in Chicago on Oct 16. The concert is already believed to have been sold out.
Creativity can be harnessed only in a peaceful world, sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan says, voicing concern over the mounting threats to peace since the 9/11 attacks in the US 10 years ago and the recent retaliatory killing of Osama bin Laden.
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and renowned painter Jogen Chowdhury were Friday conferred with lifetime achievement awards by luxury accessories maker Mont Blanc and Dakshinee, a premier music academy in Kolkata.
Siliguri, April 8: The UGC today asked North Bengal University to set up a department as well as a centre of fine arts and music in honour of sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.
Siliguri, April 5: The North Bengal University will confer the DLitt degree to sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan during the varsity's annual convocation on April 9. Sources in the varsity said the Honoris Causa Committee had proposed the names of the sarod maestro for DLitt and S. Chandrasekharan, the president of the Chemical Research Society