Monday, January 25, 2010

Allauddin Khan

Indian classical music is blessed with numerous gems. One of the most prominent figures in Indian classical music was Allauddin khan. He was born in 1862 at Shibpur village in Brahmanbaria (located in modern day Bangaldesh) and kept enthralling people with his mesmerizing talent as long as he was alive. He is believed to be one of the greatest musicians Indian people have ever seen. He was primarily a Sarod expert but at the same time, he was equally good at playing other instruments as well. He had a great influence on Maihar gharana of Indian classical music. Allauddin Khan was the court musician of Brijnath Singh, the Maharaja of Maihar Estate in the Central Province.

To his credit, Baba Allauddin Khan gave birth to music stalwarts like Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi. Other great Indian musicians like Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Indranil Bhattacharya, Pannalal Ghosh, Wazir Khan etc took their training in music from baba Khan only. His introduction to music happened courtesy his brother Fakir Aftabuddin. Later on, he learned fine nuances of music from singer Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya.

His interesting life journey took him to another music legend Amritalal Dutt who further finetuned his skills. He also learnt European classical violin from a Mr Lobo. Later on he fell in love with Sarod and decided to study Sarod. He learnt Sarod from Asghar Ali Khan and later on Wazir Khan Beenkar who was among the last direct descendants of the legendary Tansen.

Soon, Baba Allauddin Khan became the court musician of Brijnath Singh and completely transformed the Maihar gharana of Indian classical music. He also set up the Maihar College of Music during the year 1955. Baba was recipient of several prestigious awards including Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1952, coveted Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India during the years 1958 and 1971 respectively.

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