August 21, 2006

Indian Maestro

Shehnai king Bismillah Khan dead - Video

Ustad Bismillah's unfulfilled dream


Remembering legendary shehnai player Bismillah Khan

Falstaff pays tribute... Bidai (found this link via Amit Varma's post, where he rightly expresses indignation at the UP government "declared a one-day mourning and closure of all government schools, colleges and offices" to mourn the maestro's death.)

Bismillah Khan is one of the few legends of Indian classical music that I have had the good fortune of listening to live... (On second thoughts, more than a handful, coming to think of it - Zakir Hussain (twice - once with his father Allah Rakha, and the 2nd time with his brother, Fazal Qureshi and Vikku Vanayakaram on the ghatam), Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shiv kumar Sharma, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt ...who else..hmm.. will have to dig deeper to think.. aah yes.. the dance maestro, Baiju Maharaj... hmm...

Trivia (via wikipedia article on Bismillah Khan)
  1. He was the third classical musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna (in 2001), the highest civilian honour in India and is one of the few people (how many have this honor? any one know?) to be awarded all the top four civilian awards.
  2. He performed Raga Kafi from the Red Fort on the eve of India’s first Republic Day ceremony, on January 26th, 1950.

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