|Biographical detail : ||Indian Sarod player, composer and musician.
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan under the training of his father became the court musician of Maharaja of Jodhpur. Smaller than the sitar, the sarod has an unfretted fingerboard made of metal. Of the 25 metal strings, 10 are played, the rest are sympathetic. The strings are plucked with a coconut shell for glissando effects. He was a colossus in the world of Indian classical music for the last five decades.
In his early 20s, Ali Akbar Khan became music director of All-India Radio in Lucknow. Later he scored many films, among them Aandhiyan (Storm, 1952), Sayajit Ray’s Devi (The Goddess, 1960), the Merchant Ivory production, The Householder (1963) and Bernardo Bertolucci” Little Buddha (1993).
A man of few words, introverted and never given to extravagant flourishes Ali Akbar Khan was completely absorbed in the music of the classical tradition that he inherited, and that he brought Indian classical music to an international audience. After 1955, Ustad lived in America, on the invitation of Yehudi Menuhin to perform in New York. Ustad often performed with his brother-in-law Ravi Shankar.
A recipient of India’s Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Khan was awarded the National Heritage fellowship of the US.
He founded schools of music in Calcutta, in 1956. His San Rafael college in San Francisco later opened a branch in Basel, Switzerland.
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was born in the village of Shibpore in the Camilla district of what is now Bangladesh. He died after a prolonged kidney ailment in San Francisco.