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Bismillah khan- Shehnai Maestro-biography, age, birthday, family, performances & more

Bismillah Khan is an Indian musician born in Bihar. Originally from Buxar district, Bismillah Khan was born in the year 1916. He is credited with popularizing the Shehnai which is a subcontinental instrument and is very much in demand during any cultural gathering or function. This folk instrument has been a part of Indian culture for ages but Bismillah khan was the one who brought it to the fore and started playing it during concerts.

Upbringing and Career:

His contributions to the Indian music scene earned him an honorific title of Ustad. Ustad Bismillah Khan was born in a muslim family of traditional musicians. His father paigambar Baksh Khan was himself a renowned musician. At the age of 6, Khan moved to the cultural capital Varanasi to hone his skills as a Shehnai player under the aegis of his uncle Ali Baksh. Coming of age, Khan literally had a monopoly over the instrument. He and shehnai almost became synonyms. He also had the rare honor of playing Shehnai at the Red Fort on the eve of India’s independence in 1947. His recitals became a regular feature on India’s independence day celebrations.

bismillah-khan-at-concert- Mythical India

Awards for Bismillah Khan:

For the contribution, Bismillah Khan was awarded  Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India. His fame reached other countries too and he was awarded with Talar Mausiquee by the Govt. of Iran. He’s also the recipient of India’s highest civil honor, “Bharat Ratna” becoming the 3rd classical musician to be accorded with it

Bismillah khan biography

Name Bismillah Khan
Birth Name Qamaruddin Khan
Occupation Shehnai player
Known for Credited with popularizing shehnai and contribution to Indian Classical Music

Personal Life

Important dates Birthday: 21 March 1916

Death: 21 August 2006

Important places Birth place: Bhirung Raut Ki Gali, Dumrao, Buxar in Bihar

Place of death: Varanasi, India

Nationality Indian
Educational qualification  
Family Father: Paigambar Baksh Khan (Musician in Dumrao palace by Raja of Bhojpur)

Mother: Mitthan

Siblings: Shamsuddin khan


Children: Nazim Hussain and Nayyar Hussain

Professional life

Teacher Late Ali Baksh ‘Vilayatu’
Basic Career Information Bismillah Khan was single-handedly responsible for making Shehnai famous classical instrument. He brought it upfront with his concert in the Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. He was so devoted to his art that he referred to shehnai as his begum. Bismillah Khan performed at Delhi’s Red Fort on the eve of India’s Independence in 1947 and on the eve of India’s first Republic Day ceremony, on 26th  January 1950
Achievements and Awards 1.       Bharat Ratna

2.       Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi

3.       Padma Vibhushan

4.       Padma Bhushan

5.       Padma Shri

6.       Sangeet Natak Akademi Award

7.       Tansen Award

Lesser Known Facts

1.       Bimsillah khan was a Shia Muslim where music is forbidden. He started worshipping Goddess Saraswati so that he could adapt seven swaras as his namaaz

2.       He was invited by the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to come and perform at Red Fort in Delhi in 1947

3.       His entry into films started with ‘Goonj Uthi Shehnai’ in 1959. He also created the ‘Swades’ soundtrack in 2004

4.       Bismillah Khan did not accept students as he thought the knowledge he would give would not be complete

5.       He received a a 21 gun salute at his burial ceremony from the Indian Army

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