Ustaad Amir Khan Saheb (1912-1974) is one of India’s greatest musicians certainly of this century and perhaps of all time. Born at Indore into a family of musician he was trained in Sarangi by his father, Shamir Khan and Later under Ustaad Rajab Ali Khan of the Bhendibazar Gharana. He was also deeply influenced by the masters of Kirana Gharana, Ustaad Abdul Karim Khan and Ustaad Abdul wahim Khan, especially the latter’s exposition of Khayal in slow tempo. However he was not bound by the limitations of any one Gharana. Instead he absorbed all that was good and unique in various traditions and took them to a level of greater awareness and appreciation by music connoisseurs.
Musically Ustaad Amir Khan is one of those rare individuals who have left an indelible mark on classical music in the way it is performed and appreciated. He was a greatly respected artist and a musician’s because of his unique technical style and strong spiritual approach to music. The great Sitarist Late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee described him as a great thinker and a composer who was capable of translating his ideas into practice. He says Music with Amir Khan Sahab was a spiritual pursuit something which by awakening in our mind and image of beauty and harmony keeps the idea of eternal truth alive.
He was truly unique and the world of Hindustani classical music will look back for ages to come and marvel that such a voice and style ever existed especially when so far no one has been able to quite achieve it let alone emulate it. He was one of a kind the like of which will not likely be seen for quite some time to come.
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