Born - 1862
Died - 1972
Achievements - Sarod expert, Allauddin Khan was a
multi-instrumentalist and among the greatest musicians of India. Khan
was the court musician of Brijnath Singh, the Maharaja of Maihar Estate
in the Central Province and is said to have completely revamped the
Maihar gharana of Indian classical music.
Though famous mainly as a Sarod expert, Allauddin Khan was, infact, a
multi-instrumentalist and among the greatest musicians India's ever had.
Fondly also called Baba Allauddin Khan, he was father to Ali Akbar Khan
and Annapurna Devi and guru to many Indian musical stalwarts like Ravi
Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Indranil Bhattacharya, Pannalal
Ghosh, Wazir Khan and so on. He was the son of Sabdar Hossain Khan and
was born in 1862 at Shibpur village in Brahmanbaria located in today's
on about the biography of Allauddin Khan. It was his brother Fakir
Aftabuddin, who first introduced him to music at home. But suddenly Khan
ran away from home at the age of 10 to work in the traditional Jatra
theatre and this gave him the opportunity to learn about the rich
Bengali folk art. Some time later, he reached Kolkata, where singer
Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya took him under his tutelage for 12 years.
However, sometime near the 7th year Khan's guru became a victim of
plague and passed away.
After this, Allauddin Khan turned into a disciple of Amritalal Dutt, a
kin of the great Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda and also the music
director of Kolkata's Star Theatre. By this time, Allauddin Khan had
made up his mind that he wanted to become an instrumentalist. During the
same period, Khan learnt the European classical violin from a Mr Lobo,
who was a bandmaster from Goa. Khan developed an interest in the Sarod
after attending a musical show hosted by Jagat Kishore Acharya, the
zamindar of Muktagachha.
At this show, Allauddin Khan heard the student of Asghar Ali Khan's
student, Amjad Ali Khan playing the Sarod and instantly fell in love
with it. He then became Asghar Ali Khan's disciple and studied the Sarod
for five years. Since his too failed to satiate Khan's love for music,
he next headed to Rampur to take lessons from Wazir Khan Beenkar, who
was the court musician of the Nawab there and among the last direct
descendants of the legendary Tansen.
It was through Wazir Khan Beenkar that Alauddin gained entry into the
illustrious Senia gharana of Indian classical music. Also known by the
name of the Tansen school of music, this particular Gharana comprises
north India's most coveted body of musical knowledge. Later Khan became
the court musician of Brijnath Singh, who was the Maharaja of Maihar Estate
in the Central Province
and completely revamped the Maihar gharana of Indian classical music.
Though this gharana came into inception in the 19th century, yet the
changes made by Allauddin Khan to it were so significant that he is
often said to be the creator of the Maihar genre of music. During the
entire course of his life, Allauddin khan resided at Maihar and set up
the Maihar College of Music during the year 1955. In recognition to the
field of music, he was presented the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1952
followed by the coveted Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the
Government of India during the years 1958 and 1971 respectively.