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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

News On Classical Music

Naushad Ali passes away

Legendary music director Naushad Ali passed away in Mumbai on 5th May 2006. He was aged 86. The distinguished composer started his career in 1940 with the film Prem Nagar, eventually composing music for 67 films. His last work was in 2005 for the film Taj Mahal- An Eternal Love Story, directed by Akbar Khan. Naushad saheb played a leading role in getting the 41year old ban on the showing of Indian films, recently overturned by the Pakistani Government. Ironically, two of his films, Mughal-e-Azam and Taj Mahal, were amongst the first films shown in Pakistani cinemas following the Government’s ruling.

Naushad Ali

The composer was a strong advocator of promoting classical music and lamented the current trends of Western music dominating the Indian film industry. One of Naushad saheb’s major contributions was that he was instrumental in introducing classical music to the masses through his hit scores for films Baiju Bawra and Mughal-e- Azam which included Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit D.V. Paluskar and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan lending their voices to the Indian film industry. The maestro was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1981 for his services rendered to the Indian film industry. Besides his family, Naushad Ali leaves a huge number of admirers and a long line of music directors who look up to him for musical inspiration. May God Rest his soul in Peace. Aameen.

Sadarang Archives launch the Sponsor a Musician Scheme

Sadarang Archives are launching a new initiative aimed at safeguarding certain musical traditions in danger of dying out. The basis of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to a number of musicians over a period of twelve months. Senior musicians will be supported only on the condition they teach their art to a talented youngster. Each student will receive a monthly amount in order to provide assistance to his family. Sponsorship will also extend to talented musicians of the younger generation. For the scheme to commence sufficient funds are required and for this we urgently need the assistance from music lovers, multinational companies, and arts-promoting bodies to make this scheme a success and rejuvenate the dying musical traditions of the Indian sub-continent.

Please click on link for further details

Prospective candidate sarangi nawaz Zohaib Hassan

Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Khan & sons tour Europe

Eminent vocalist Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Khan and his talented sons, the duo of Chand Khan & Suraj Khan are presently touring the UK and Europe until July 2006. Any individuals interested in organising a concert, kindly call 00 44 7931 839298 for further details.

Ustad Hussain Bukhsh

Mehdi Hassan receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from PTV

Shehenshah-e- Ghazal Mehdi Hassan was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award and a cheque for Rs100,000 at the 13th PTV Awards ceremony held at PAF Museum in Karachi on 16th July 2006. The award was presented by the legendary Farida Khanum and the Minister of State Information and Broadcasting Tariq Azeem. A special tribute for the art of ghazal was held on the occasion and prominent vocalists paid homage to Mehdi Hassan, Farida Khanum and Iqbal Bano.

Mehdi Hassan being honoured by PTV

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan music conference

The Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan music conference was successfully held at the Alhamra Arts Centre in Lahore on 15th May 2006. Organised by the Qasur Patiala Gharana Music Circle in collaboration with the Lahore Arts Council and cultural organisation Caravan, it featured major names from both the light and classical music fraternity. Artistes performing at the event included Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, ghazal maestro Ustad Ghulam Ali, Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, Arshad Fateh Ali Khan, Tarranum Naz, Allahditta Loonaywala, Humera Chana and Saira Nasim.

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan received the inaugural Bade Ghulam Ali Khan award for his services to classical music. Ghazal maestros Ustad Mehdi Hassan & Ustad Ghulam Ali, folk singer Allahditta Loonaywala, television producer Farrukh Bashir, composer Wazir Afzal and lyricist Tajammul Hussain were the other recipients of the award. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s grandsons, Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan and Ustad Jawwad Ali Khan had been specially invited from Delhi to perform at the event. The credit for organising the conference goes to Naqi Ali Khan, the younger brother of Mazhar and Jawwad, and it is hoped that the event will be an annual feature of the cultural activities of Lahore.

The All Pakistan Music Conference in Lahore March 2006

The Annual All Pakistan Conferences were successfully held in the cities of Karachi and Lahore and included a series of memorable performances. The three-day conference in Karachi took place on 20-22 January 2006 at the Hindu Gymkhana. Ustad Raza Ali Khan of the Qasur- Patiala gharana had especially arrived from India to perform. The other notable inclusion was that of tabla maestro Ustad Abdul Sattar Khan Tari who enamoured the Karachiites with his dazzling solo performance and accompaniment with Ashraf Sharif Khan, Ustad Hamid Ali Khan and the duo of Ustad Hameed Ali Khan- Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Performances from Salamat Ali (ghazal), Ustad Bashir Khan (tabla), the duo of Javed Bashir- Akbar Ali (vocal) and Nafees Ahmed Khan (sitar) were also well appreciated.

APMC Lahore 2006. Photo courtesy of

The All Pakistan Music Conference in Lahore commenced on 28th March 2006. The most important event in the Pakistani classical music calendar, the conference opened with a tribute to the late Hayat Ahmed Khan, the founding member of the organisation, who passed away on 6th February 2005. All the major Pakistani classical musicians participated in the five-day event. Performances from Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Hussain Bukhsh, Ustad Allah Lok and the duo of Ustad Hameed Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan received great reviews.

For further details on the All Pakistan Music Conference please visit and

Farida Khanum receives Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan award 2005

Legendary ghazal vocalist, Farida Khanum, was honoured with the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan award for 2005, presented to her by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Gwalior. Gwalior gharana’s Malini Rajurkar was also honoured for her contribution towards Indian classical music. Referring to both musicians, the prime minister said "Listening to your music and seeing you immersing in emotions, we feel the power and presence of God”. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has been instrumental in instituting the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan awards since 1985. Pakistani recipients of the award have included the late maestos, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Referring to Farida Khanam, Dr. Singh said she had played a major role in popularizing the ghazal genre.

Image reproduced courtesy of the Hindu newspaper. Photo A.M. Faruqui

Farida Khanum receiving the award from Indian PM Manmohan Singh

Hariharan New Ghazal Album Release

Sachal Music, a music label devoted to South Asian music has been launched to promote the musical traditions of the Indian sub-continent. The brainchild of Izzat Majeed and Mushtaq Soofi, the label aims to present traditional music in a contemporary mould. The first CD release “Lahore Ke Rang, Hari Ke Sang”, is a unique collaboration between ghazal singer Hariharan and Pakistan based composers and musicians. London based promoter Jai Viswadev is the project consultant of Sachal Music.

Album: Lahore Ke Rang Hari Ke Sang

Books published on prominent musicians

Karachi based musicologist, S.M. Shahid has authored a set of books looking at the life and career of three prominent artistes associated with South Asia’s melodic culture. The books on ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan, folk singer Tufail Niazi and music director Kamal Dasgupta emphasize the contribution made by each within their respective fields. Each book is accompanied with two CDs containing popular works of each musician. With a number of books to his credit including “Classical music of the Indian Sub-continent” and “Immortal Film Songs inspired by Raags”, S.M. Shahid hopes that the three books will serve as a useful starting point for additional research. With the dearth of good books written in English on Pakistani musicians, these books will surely be a wonderful step in providing readers a personal insight on their musical heroes. The book on Mehdi Hassan is now available from our sales catalogue.

Click here to purchase Book

Hritik Roshan & Rafaqat Ali Khan

The thawing of relations between India and Pakistan has seen a surge in the number of tours being undertaken by the classical musicians of both countries across the sub-continent during 2005. Indian musicians performing in Pakistan have included Gwalior gharana’s Lakhshmanrao Shankar Pandit, his daughter Meeta Pandit, sitarist Ustad Shahid Parvez, vocalists Ustad Raza Ali Khan, Subra Guha and Wasifuddin Khan Dagar. From the Pakistani side, sitar maestro Ustad Rais Ahmed Khan, Ustad Abdul Sattar Khan Tari, Ustad Hussain Bukhsh, Ustad Imtiaz Ali Khan, Ustad Sharafat Ali Khan and Shafqat Ali Khan have entertained audiences across India. The Patiala Heritage Festival held in February 2006, included performances from Farida Khanum and Shafqat Ali Khan, whilst Ustad Nazakat Ali Khan's son Rafaqat Ali Khan has sung two songs for the recently released Bollywood blockbuster Krrish. This is a great step in halting the demise of cultural activities in Pakistan and signifies the fact that although the nations may be divided, they share the same cultural identity.

Ustad Salamat Ali Khan Awards Ceremony 2005

Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Khan and noted music director Master Manzoor were the recipients of the Ustad Salamat Ali Khan awards show in Lahore on 10th December 2005. Organised by the Salamat Ali Khan Music Circle, the event has been taking place annually since 2003, mainly due to the efforts of the late maestro’s son Shafqat Ali Khan and aims to reward deserving musicians for their services rendered to classical music. The event drew a huge crowd at the Al-Hamra Arts Complex and included senior musicians Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan, Ustad Tafo Khan, Imtiaz Ali Khan and Qadir Ali Shaggan amongst the audience. Performances came from Tanveer Hussain (Rabab), Shujaat Ali Khan (vocal), Naqi Ali Khan (vocal) and violin player Anupriya Roy who was specially invited from India. The finale came from Shafqat Ali Khan- and Ustad Sharafat Ali Khan who performed a khayal and tarana in Raag Chandrakauns.

Click to hear audio excerpt of Shafqat Ali Khan perform Raag Chandarkauns

Images from the Ustad Salamat Ali Khan Award Ceremony

Audience at the Alhamra Arts Centre

Ustad Shaggan, Ustad Hussain Bukhsh and Inaam Ali Khan

Indian violinist Anupriya with Kashif Ali Dhani on tabla

Shafqat Ali Khan & Sharafat Ali Khan rendering Raag Chandarkauns

Ustad Abdul Sattar Khan Tari tours India

Distinguished tabla player Ustad Abdul Sattar Khan Tari recently completed a highly successful tour of India by giving a series of solo performances, most notable of which was his solo performance and accompaniment with sitar maestro Ustad Rais Ahmed Khan at the Harvallabh Sangeet Sammellan in December 2005. The maestro hailing from the Punjab gharana, has a large fan base across India and received a rousing reception throughout his stay.

Ustad Tari Khan

Prominent personalities pass away

Finally, on a sad note the past year has seen the passing away of a number of notable personalities associated with the classical music scene in Pakistan. The founder of All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC), Hayat Ahmed Khan passed away in Lahore on 6th February 2005, aged 84. The sole driving force of the APMC, Hayat saheb had dedicated his life for the promotion of classical music and was one of the few individuals who had prevented the untimely death of classical music in Pakistan.

Hayat Ahmed Khan

Born inside the walled city of Lahore on 15th September 1921, Hayat Ahmed Khan graduated from the Punjab University and attended the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, where he received his musical training. He also learnt the tabla from the legendary Mian Qadir Bukhsh. In 1959, he was instrumental in setting up the All Pakistan Music Conference, the organisation provided a platform to both seasoned and budding classical musicians. The showcase event saw many great performances by the leading luminaries of the classical music world and became a lifeline to those musicians who were struggling financially

Hayat Ahmed Khan leaves behind four daughters. His daughter Dr. Ghazala Irfan has taken up the mantle of leading the APMC.

Parvez Mehdi

Ghazal Maestro Parvez Mehdi

Renowned ghazal singer Parvez Mehdi passed away in Lahore on 11thSeptember 2005 as a result of a heart attack. He was 58. Widely regarded as Mehdi Hassan’s finest disciple, Parvez Mehdi created an independent stylistic identity in the genre of ghazal singing due to his training in both the classical and folk forms of music. Apart from being a leading ghazal singer, he was also a brilliant composer, a number of his compositions were adapted by the Indian film industry. The ghazal maestro had been conferred the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, just days prior to his death.

Ustad Aslam Khan

Senior tabla player, Ustad Aslam Khan popularly known as “Accha Pehalwan” passed away on 18th September 2005, aged 70. A senior disciple of Punjab gharana’s Ustad Allahditta Khan, Aslam Khan was regarded as an authority over his knowledge on rare compositions of the Punjab gharana. Blessed with a warm personality and gentle nature, the maestro, apart from his love for music, had a passion for wrestling and poetry, and wrote under the pseudonym of “Najafi”. He leaves behind a healthy line of disciples including Kaleem Raza, Gulfam Raza, Erum Butt, Naveed, Sohail Bhatti and son Abid Ali Khan. His nephew, the late Khalifa Akhtar Hussain Khan had also been partly trained by him.

Please click on the following link to view report on the Ustad Aslam Khan tribute concert

Ustad Aslam Khan

Ustad Rahmat Ali Khan

Ustad Rahmat Ali Khan of the Gwalior gharana passed away on 3rd January 2006 in Karachi. Belonging to the family of Mian Banne Khan, Rahmat Ali Khan sang in partnership with his younger brother, the late Ustad Ahmed Ali Khan. Both brothers were trained by their father Ustad Misri Khan and cousin, the illustrious Ustad Umeed Ali Khan.

Ustad Rahmat Ali Khan

Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan

Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan

Classical vocalist, Ustad Haji Latafat Hussain Khan passed away in 2005 at the age of 89. Hailing from a distinguished line of musicians representing both the Rampur and Bhindi Bazar gharanas, Latafat Hussain was highly regarded for his knowledge over rare raags. Prior to partition, he was associated with the Indian film industry as a music director, composing for a number of films in partnership with his elder brother, Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan, the teacher of renowned music director Naushad Ali. The maestro had been based in the UK for the past ten years and taken retirement from all musical activities. His final years were devoted to Islamic mysticism. Most notable amongst his disciples are the famous Qawwali group Sabri Brothers, the late Ustad Bashir Ahmed Khan, son Ali Hafeez Khan and ghazal singer Farida Rahman.

Ustad Bahauddin Qawwal

Renowned qawwal Ustad Bahauddin Khan passed away on 3rd February 2006 in Karachi as a result of ill health. Hailing from the prestigious Qawwal Bacche gharana, Bahauddin Khan was born in 1934 at Hyderabad Deccan. He was groomed by his father, Haji Suleman Khan and uncle Ustad Sardar Khan, the grandsons of Ustad Tanras Khan. The maestro spent the early part of his career at the court of Hyderabad Deccan and received a number of titles namely Nanhay Raagi from the Government of India. He migrated to Pakistan in 1956 and joined his cousins Munshi Raziuddin Khan and Manzoor Ahmed Niazi to form a Qawwali ensemble.

Ustad Bahauddin Khan

In 1966, he formed his own Qawwali group with brother Qutubuddin Khan and won international recognition. Ustad Bahauddin Khan was a multi-lingual and had inherited a vast amount of traditional musical repertoire from his ancestors. He was at ease at presenting Qawwali in Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Arabic. He toured Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on an extensive basis. He was the recipient of the Pride of Performance and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz medals from the Government of Pakistan. His sons, Najmuddin and Saifuddin are now carrying forward his torch for the propagation of Qawwali.

Khalifa Irshad Ali

Khalifa Irshad Ali

Senior tabla player Khalifa Irshad Ali passed away in Rawalpindi on 24th May 2006, aged 84. The son of Punjab gharana's legendary tabla maestro, Mian Nabi Bukhsh Khan, Khalifa Irshad had inherited the title of Khalifa from his late father and was considered the figurehead of the Punjab gharana by tabla players associated with the silsila of Mian Fateh Din Qasurwalay. Associated with Radio Pakistan, Rawalpindi for over 35 years, Khalifa Irshad leaves behind a daughter and a host of disciples including Akhtar Hussain Tandaywasia, Aqeel Bhatti and Yunus Gill.

Mehdi Hasan receives Rs1m from President

Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan was presented with a cheque for Rs 1 Million on behalf of the President of Pakistan, General Parvez Musharraf on 27th January 2003 in recognition of his contribution to music. Presidential spokesman Maj-Gen. Rashid Qureshi visited the residence of the maestro in Karachi and communicated good wishes on behalf of the President. Presenting the cheque, Rashid Qureshi said the maestro was a national asset who had made significant contributions to the melodic culture of the subcontinent.

Mehdi Hassan

Rustam Ali Khan to tour Europe in April 2003

Talented vocalist of the Patiala gharana, Rustam Ali Khan will be touring Europe in April 2003. Rustam is the son and disciple of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and is regarded as one of the finest vocalists amongst the younger generation. He has received national acclaim for his renditions of khayal and thumri and represented Pakistan on cultural delegations to India, South East Asia and Europe. Any individuals or organisations interested in arranging concerts can contact Saqib Razaq on

Rustam Ali Khan

Pakistani classical music concert

Shafqat Ali Khan will present a concert of classical music in San Francisco on Sunday, 26th January 2003 at 5:00pm. Accompaniment on the tabla is provided by Ferhan Najeeb Qureshi. The concert will take place at 2852 25th St. on the corner of Hampshire, San Francisco. For further information please contact Deirdre (415)970-8837 or Michael (415)647-9194.

On Saturday, February 1, at 8:00 pm, Shafqat will perform a musical evening of sufi music, ghazals and classical ragas at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley at 8.00 p.m.

Shafqat Ali Khan

The death of Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan Sheranwale

Classical tabla playing in Pakistan suffered a tremendous loss by the recent death of Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan Sheranwale at the age of 70. The ustad was the disciple of Punjab gharana's Ustad Allah Ditta Khan and was widely respected for his knowledge and skill of accompaniment to classical vocal music. He was one of the few tabla players who had received the prestigious "Pride of Performance" Medal from the Government of Pakistan in 1998. Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan was associated with the National Radio and Television stations and regularly seen performing on the classical music programme "Raag Rang". May his soul rest in peace.

Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan


Amjad Amanat Ali Khan passes away

Patiala gharana vocalist Amjad Amanat Ali Khan passed away in Lahore during the month of Ramzan (November 2002). Amjad was the eldest son of the illustrious Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and was trained by his grandfather Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan and uncle Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Following the death of his father, Amjad Amanat Ali Khan provided vocal accompaniment to Ustad Fateh Ali Khan on a regular basis. His style of performance mirrored that of his late father and was appreciated by the followers of Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. May the Almighty bless his soul and give courage to his family to overcome this loss.

Amjad Amanat Ali Khan


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