Ali Akbar Khan biography

Ali Akbar Khan

Hindustani classical music, Musical Artist

1922 – 2009


Who was Ali Akbar Khan?

Ali Akbar Khan, often referred to as Khansahib or by the title Ustad, 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. He established a music school in Calcutta in 1956, and the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967, which is now located in San Rafael, California and has a branch in Basel, Switzerland. Khan also composed several classical ragas and film scores. He was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Trained as a musician and instrumentalist by his father, Allauddin Khan, Khan first came to America in 1955 on the invitation of violinist Yehudi Menuhin and later settled in California. Khan was nominated for five Grammy Awards and was accorded India's second highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, in 1989. He has also won a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts's National Heritage Fellowship.


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Apr 14, 1922
Also known as
  • Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar
  • Khan, Ali Akbar
  • Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
  • Khansahib
  • Ustad
  • Ostad Ali Akbar Khan
  • Bangladeshi American
  • United States of America
  • India
  • Bangladesh
Jun 18, 2009
San Anselmo

on July 23, 2013