Source: Rajasthan Patrika-Pariwar Magazine (21-March-2018)

Klipinterest pays tribute to Bharat Ratna, Shehnai Maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan on his 102nd Birth Anniversary.

Tribute to Bharat Ratna, Shehnai Maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan on his 102nd Birth Anniversary

Ustad Bismillah Khan (21 March 1916 – 21 August 2006) (born as Qamaruddin Khan), often referred to by the title Ustad, was an Indian musician credited with popularizing the shehnai, a subcontinental wind instrument of the oboe class. While the shehnai had long held importance as a folk instrument played primarily schooled in traditional ceremonies, Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the concert stage.

He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001, becoming the third classical musician after M. S. Subbulakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be accorded this distinction. On his 102nd birthday, Google honored Bismillah Khan with a Google doodle

Khan was perhaps single-handedly responsible for making the shehnai a famous classical instrument. He brought the Shehnai to the center stage of Indian music with his concert in the Calcutta, known as Kolkata in All India Music Conference in the year 1937. He was credited with having the almost monopoly over the instrument as he and the shehnai are almost synonyms.

Khan is one of the finest musicians in Indian classical music. He played the shehnai to audiences across the world. He was known to be so devoted to his art form that he referred to shehnai as his begum (wife in Urdu) after his wife died. On his death, as an honour, his shehnai was buried with him. He was known for his vision of spreading peace and love through music.

Khan had the rare honour of performing at Delhi’s Red Fort on the eve of India’s Independence in 1947. He also performed raga Kafi from the Red Fort on the eve of India’s first Republic Day ceremony, on 26 January 1950. His recital had become a cultural part of India’s Independence Day celebrations, telecast on Doordarshan every year on 15 August. After the prime minister’s speech from Lal Qila (the Red Fort) in Old Delhi, Doordarshan would broadcast a live performance by the shehnai maestro. This tradition dated from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru.

Awards

  • Bharat Ratna (2001).
  • Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi (1994).
  • Tahar Mausique from Republic of Iran (1992).
  • Padma Vibhushan (1980)
  • Padma Bhushan (1968)
  • Padma Shri (1961)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1956)
  • Tansen Award by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Three medals in All India Music Conference, Calcutta (1937)

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