Amjad Ali Khan

Greatest Master of the Sarod!


Amjad Ali Khan, one of the 20th century’s Sarod maestros was awarded India's second highest civilian honor Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to Indian classical music.

With his first recital of Sarod at the age of six, Ustad Amjad started his journey in Indian classical music. He belongs to the Bangash lineage and he is the sixth generation of musicians from his family.

Ustad Amjad collaborated with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and composed a piece for the tribute to Hong Kong and had also collaborated with several renowned artists including guitarist Charley Byrd, Violinist Igor Frolov, Suprano Glenda Simpson, and cellist Claudio Bohorquez among others.

Widely known for his magical performances, he represented India at the first World Arts Summit in Venice in 1991.

In 1998, Ustaad Amjad composed the signature tune for the 48th International Film Festival, and in 1999, he inaugurated the World Festival of Sacred Music with his holiness the Dalai Lama.

On the ninth anniversary of 9/11, Amjad Ali Khan gave a Peace Concert at the United Nations in New York in the presence of the UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon.

Ustad Amjad has also performed at the central hall of the Indian parliament on the commemoration of India's 60th year of Independence in 2007.

He has performed at the most prestigious venues around the world such as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Kennedy Center, Theater Dela Ville, Esplanade in Singapore, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Chicago Symphony Center, Opera House in Australia, and was the first Indian to perform at the Sanctuary Hall.

He has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, Indiana University, York University, Washington University, Stony Brook, North Eastern, and New Mexico University.

Ustad Amjad received honorary doctorates from the Universities of York in 1997, England, Delhi University in 1998, Rabindra Bharati University in 2007, Kolkata, and Vishva Bharti in Shantiniketan in 2001.

His concert for Sarod, Samaagam premiered with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2008, and with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra in 2009, and in the same year he was also nominated for a Grammy award in the best traditional world music album category.

Two books have been written on him, The world of Amjad Ali Khan by Raghava Menon in 1995, and Abba-God’s Greatest Gift to us by his sons, Amaan and Ayaan in 2002.

Ustad Amjad authored his first book, My Father, Our Fraternity in 2012, an intensely personal memoir of the life and times of his father, the famous sarod icon, Haafiz Ali Khan, and his second book Master on Masters, a book where he talks about 12 famous musicians.

In 2014, along with his two sons, Ayaan Ali Khan and Amaan Ali Khan, he performed Raga For Peace in the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

Awards and accomplishments

Awards and accomplishments

  • Ustad Amjad was bestowed with the ‘21st Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award’.
  • He received ‘Padma Shri’ in 1975, ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1991, and ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2001. 
  • He was awarded the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award’ in 1989 and the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship’ in 2011.
  • He was awarded the ‘Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize’ in 2004
  • The U.S. state of Massachusetts proclaimed 20th April as ‘Amjad Ali Khan Day’ in 1984.
  • He was made an honorary citizen of Houston, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, in 1997, and of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007.
  • Ustad Amjad received the ‘Banga-Vibhushan’ in 2011.
  • Gulzar directed a documentary on Amjad Ali Khan named Maestro Amjad Ali Khan which won the ‘Filmfare Award’ in 1990.
  • He is also the recipient of Unicef’s National Ambassadorship, ‘The Crystal Award’ by the World Economic Forum.

Why Amjad Ali Khan?

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is a musical legend who has led millions of people to witness and fall in love with his scintillating performances over the years. He never fails to impress with his tonal clarity and the swooping slides between the melody notes along with the beauty of his instrument. It is his love and belief in his music that has allowed him to interpret old musical conceptions in a new and creative way, reiterating the challenge of creativity while respecting the timelessness of tradition.

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