Ustad bismillah khan
Born:21 March 1916
Died:21 August 2006
- He often referred to by the title Ustad, was an Indian musician credited with popularizing the shehnai, a subcontinental wind instrument of the oboe class.
- While the shehnai had long held importance as a folk instrument played primarily schooled intraditional ceremonies, Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the concert stage.
- He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001, becoming the third classical musician after M. S. Subbulakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be accorded this distinction.
- On his 102nd birthday, Google honored Bismillah Khan with a Google doodle.
- He had a brief association with movies.
- He played the shehnai for super star Rajkumar’s role of Appanna in the Kannada movie Sanaadi Appanna which became a blockbuster.
- He acted in Jalsaghar, a movie by Satyajit Ray and provided sound of shehnai in Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959). Noted director Goutam Ghose directed Sange Meel Se Mulaqat, a documentary about the life of Khan.
- In the 1967 film The Graduate, there is a poster advertising “Bismillah Khan and the seven musicians” on a street of Berkeley, California.
- He as a five year old, played gilli danda near a pond in the ancient estate of Dumraon in Bihar.
- He would regularly go to the nearby Biharji temple to sing the Bhojpuri ‘Chaita’, at the end of which he would earn a big laddu weighing 1.25kg, a prize given by the local Maharaja.
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March 21, 2019