Ali Akbar Khan was born on April 14, 1922 Comilla, Bangladesh. Present day, Bangladesh (then East Bengal), to renowned musician and teacher, Allauddin Khan and Madina Begum. Soon after his birth, Ali Akbar Khan’s family returned to Maihar (in present day Madhya Pradesh, India) where his father was the primary court musician for the Maharaja of the princely state. He was hindustani classical musician. Ali Akbar Khan married three times, and is survived by seven sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Aashish Khan is also a renowned sarod player. Ali Akbar Khan was instrumental in popularizing Indian classical music in the West, both as a performer (often in conjunction with Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar), and as a teacher.
Ali Akbar Khan also composed several classical ragas and film scores. 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. He was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
He was trained as a musician and instrumentalist by his father, Allauddin Khan, Ali Akbar Khan first came to America in 1955 on the invitation of violinist Yehudi Menuhin and later settled in California. Ali Akbar 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.
Ali Akbar Khan was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1989, among other awards. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991. In 1997, Ali Akbar Khan received the National Endowment for the Arts’ prestigious National Heritage Fellowship, the United States’ highest honor in the traditional arts.
Ali Akbar Khan also has received two Grammy nominations
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