Ali Akbar Khan

Bangladeshi Musician
Born Apr 14, 1922

Ali Akbar Khan, often referred to as Khansahib or by the title Ustad (master), was a Hindustani classical musician of the Maihar gharana, known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod. Khan was instrumental in popularizing Indian classical music in the West, both as a performer, and as a teacher.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Ali Akbar Khan.


1922 Birth Born on April 14, 1922.


1936 14 Years Old Ali Akbar Khan, after years of rigorous training, gave his debut performance at a music conference in Allahabad in 1936, at the age of 13.
1938 16 Years Old In 1938 Khan gave his first recital on All India Radio (AIR), Bombay (accompanied on the tabla by Alla Rakha), and starting in January 1940, he gave monthly performances on AIR, Lucknow. … Read More
1939 17 Years Old Three years later, in December 1939, he accompanied Ravi Shankar on the sarod during the latter's debut performance at the same conference; this was the first of many jugalbandis (duets) between the two musicians.
1941 19 Years Old …  Shankar and Annapurna Devi were married in 1941. … Read More


1943 21 Years Old In 1943, on his father's recommendation, Khan was appointed a court musician for the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh. … Read More
1947 25 Years Old When the princely states were wound down with India's independence in 1947 and Hanwant Singh died in a plane crash in 1948, Khan moved to Bombay. … Read More


1955 33 Years Old He also played Sarod for a song in 1955 film Seema which had the music composed by Shankar Jaikishan. … Read More
1956 34 Years Old He performed in India and travelled extensively in the West. In 1956, Khan founded the Ali Akbar College of Music in Calcutta, with the mission to teach and spread Indian classical music.


1967 45 Years Old He founded another school of the same name in Berkeley, California in 1967 and later moved it to San Rafael, California.
1969 47 Years Old Khan performed in Boston with Shankar Ghosh in 1969 for the Peabody Mason Concert series. … Read More
1971 49 Years Old In August 1971, Khan performed at Madison Square Garden for the Concert for Bangladesh, along with Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha and Kamala Chakravarty; other musicians at the concert included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr. … Read More


1991 69 Years Old He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991.
1997 75 Years Old In 1997, Khan received the National Endowment for the Arts' prestigious National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' highest honour in the traditional arts. … Read More
2009 87 Years Old Died on June 18, 2009.
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