About Ustad

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 Visvanath temple. It was due to this that Bismillah became inclined toward the Shehnai. At an early age, he familiarized himself with various forms of the music of UP, 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 in that he went from being an unknown musician to 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 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.