Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: India’s Sarod Samrat

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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan


Amjad Ali Khan is an Indian classical Sarod player who believes that music is a form of prayer. Highly acclaimed the world over for his music, he has even been given honorary citizenship of three states in the US along with numerous international awards and recognition. Flying India’s flag high by bringing laurels to the country with his exceptional skills; we take an in-depth look at his life and talent.


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  • Amjad Ali Khan was born in 1945 and was the youngest of six children born to musician Gwalior- Hafiz Ali Khan. He was born into a family that lay claim to having invented the Sarod in its modern-day form and have re-invented the Sarod, setting benchmarks for others.

  • He was home-schooled in music by his father and from the descendants of Miyan Tansen, who is considered to be the greatest musician of all times. It was clear from a young age when he began touring for performances that the Ustad was god-gifted. He announced himself globally after he gave his first international performance at the young age of 18.

  • He is famous for playing the Sarod with his fingernails instead of fingertips which gives a clear ringing sound to the music. It is considered the most difficult technique to apply on the Sarod and is the testament of Amjad’s immense talent.
  •   His various ragas like Shivanjali, Jawahar Manjari, Kiran Ranjani, Suhag Bhairav, Haripriya Kanada, Shyam Shri, Lalit Dhwani, Amiri Todi, etc. have been critically acclaimed the world over.


  • Brought together Charley Byrd, Violinist Igor Frolov, Suprano Glenda Simpson, Guitarist Barry Mason and UK Cellist Matthew Barley to work in a single album.

  • He has performed at some of the most reputed places in various parts of the world like Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, House of Commons, Royal Festival Hall, Kennedy Center, Opera House Australia, Mozart Hall Frankfurt and many more.

  • Khan received Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989.He was facilitated Padma Shri in 1975 and bagged Padma Bhushan in 1991.


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