Ali Akbar Khan

Ali Akbar Khan ( Bengali: আলী আকবর খান, Ali Akbar Khān; born February 14, 1922 in Shibpur, of East Bengal, † June 19 2009 in San Francisco, California ) was an Indian musician and composer.


Ali Akbar Khan was born in the village of Shibpur in the district East Bengali Kumilla and grew up in Maihar. Even with three years of his father Allauddin Khan, the court musician of the Maharaja of Maihar taught him was, first in song, later in his main instrument, the sarod. According to the company, Ali Akbar Khan was over 20 years long day up to 16 hours of instruction.

At age 13, Ali Akbar Khan performed for the first time publicly on in Allahabad. At age 17 he joined in 1939 at the All India Music Conference in Allahabad on, a memorable event in the North Indian classical music, since there had learned a new meaning by it the Sarodspiel. Early 20s, he was a court musician at the Maharaja of Jodhpur. There, the title Ustad ( virtuoso, master ), he was awarded. At times, he was a teacher of Nikhil Banerjee. After his patron, the Maharaja of Jodhpur Hanwant Singh, 1952, died in a plane crash, he went to Bombay, where he composed the film music for Chetan Anand's Aandhiyan ( 1952). His later work for the film emerged for Bengali films of Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha and Satyajit Ray as well as early works of James Ivory.

At the invitation of Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Ali Akbar Khan in 1955 came the first time to the U.S. and made ​​the Indian classical music known in the West.

Ali Akbar Khan has composed the music for the Bernardo Bertolucci film, Little Buddha, and other films. Together with sitar player Ravi Shankar, he played at the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. With the jazz saxophonist John Handy, he has the plates Karuna Supreme (1975, with Zakir Hussain, among others ) and Rainbow (1980, with L. Subramaniam, among others ) was added. On many recordings his life's work has been preserved.

Ali Akbar was from 1956 lessons in Hindustani music in its own music school in Kolkata. In 1967 he opened the Ali Akbar College of Music, today in San Rafael, California, and in 1985 another school in Basel ( Switzerland ).


Khan's younger sister Annapurna Devi married the sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and became a champion on the Surbahar, but the convention forbade her public appearances. Ali Akbar Khan was married three times and is survived by his wife Mary, seven sons and four daughters. His eldest son Aashish Khan is also a renowned sarod player.