About Us

Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan (March 21 1916 to August  21 2006)
Bismillah Khan was born in the small village of Dumraon in Bihar. He spent his childhood in the holy city of Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganga, where his uncle was the official shehnai player in the famous Vishwanath temple. It was due to this that Bismillah became inclined towards Shehnai. At an early age, he familiarized himself with various forms of the music of Uttar Pradesh, such as Thumri, Chaiti, Kajri, Sawani, etc. Later he studied Khayal music and mastered a large number of ragas. Ever since Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar introduced Indian music to the West, a number of Indian musicians have been invited to perform abroad. Bismillah Khan’s career is emblematic of this unique tradition from where he scaled to be one of the greatest musicians ever recorded for posterity by The Gramophone Company. Ustad Bismillah Khan was an icon of the composite culture of India. He was a worshipper of both Allah and Saraswati. Ustad Bismillah was greatly attached to the city of Varanasi and the holy river Ganga He played at the Royal Albert Hall on two occasions, where he was praised by critics such as John Arman and Helen Coates. Ustad Bismillah Khan was a recipient of many honors and awards.


  • Had honorary doctorates from Banaras Hindu University, Visva Bharati University & Santiniketan.
  • Was invited by the then Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to play Shehnai on the first Independence Day (August 15, 1947) at Delhi’s Red Fort.
  • Participated in World Exposition in Montreal
  • Participated in Cannes Art Festival
  • Participated in Osaka Trade Fair
  • His 80th birthday was celebrated by World Music Institute in New York.



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