Amjad Ali Khan

Sarod

"One of the 20th century’s greatest masters of the Sarod…"

Songlines Magazine

"the finest living exponent of the sarod"

Guardian

"this is a player at the height of his inventive powers and currently unequalled"

BBC Music Magazine

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Amjad Ali Khan is one of the undisputed masters of the music world. Born to sarod maestro Haafiz Ali Khan, he is the sixth generation in the legendary line of the Senia Bangash School. Since giving his first performance at the age of six, he has played for audiences worldwide, bringing a new and yet timeless interpretation to the repertoire, whilst being widely credited with reinventing the technique of playing the sarod.

Over the course of a distinguished career spanning more than six decades, Amjad Ali Khan has won numerous accolades including a Grammy nomination, the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum, Unicef's National Ambassadorship and the Fukuoka Cultural grand prize.

Amjad Ali Khan has made regular appearances at Carnegie Hall New York, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall London, Sydney Opera House Australia, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Esplanade Singapore, Kennedy Center Washington and Symphony Center Chicago. He has performed at festivals worldwide including the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, WOMAD, World Beat Festival, Enescu Festival Bucharest, and the BBC Proms as well as for prestigious organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, World Arts Summit and for the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo in 2014.

Samaagam, his first sarod concerto, has been performed by the Britten Sinfonia, Orchestre National d'lle de France, Orchestre d'Auvergne, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Amjad Ali Khan’s passion for bringing the sarod to new audiences has seen him give numerous residencies as well as being appointed as Visiting Professor at several universities, including Stanford University, University of New Mexico, York University and Jacob’s School of Music.

Amjad Ali Khan is a Gold Medal Winner at the Global Music Awards for his outstanding contribution to the global music industry and excellence in the classical music sphere. This honour was bestowed on the trailblazing trio of Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash in recognition of their “Peace Worshipers” album which was released in July 2017 by Affetto Records and distributed by Naxos.

Follow Amjad Ali Khan on Twitter and Instagram at @AAKSarod, and on Facebook as @SarodMaestroAmjadAliKhan.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Selected praise for Amjad Ali Khan

One of the delights of Indian classical music is that it can be such an easy-going affair… [Amjad Ali Khan is] rightly regarded [as] the finest living exponent of the sarod…  It was a masterful set.

Robin Denselow, The Guardian

[Amjad Ali Khan] gave each melodic phrase an individual character with an expert use of dynamics. And in the improvisations, he was creating his own original shapes. He placed important notes between beats; he used trembling-pitch ornamentation, but not too much; his phrases began mildly, became distended, and dove into silence... Once you hear his sons, you fully appreciate Mr. Khan’s power. His sons are both excellent musicians, who play with power and precision and can light up an audience with fast passages.

The New York Times

[Amjad Ali Khan] is at the height of his inventive powers and currently unequalled.

BBC Music Magazine

It was like watching an Indian classical answer to Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker crashing through their favourite Robert Johnson covers at the Cream revival earlier this month. Amjad Ali Khan may be a master of the sarod rather than the guitar, but once he had built up to the crescendo of his solo set - improvising furiously around the melody line with repeated, rapid-fire playing and then letting his equally frantic tabla player take over - it was easy to see why great Indian music can be as exciting as classic blues and rock.

The Guardian

Amjad Ali Khan is the master of the Sarod. Smaller than a sitar, it has 19 strings. Accompanied by his two sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, on similar instruments, they created a 57-string three-man symphony orchestra.

The Times

Amjad Ali Khan's playing here is outstanding.

Gramophone

In the Art of Sarod playing echoes the human voice… Amjad Ali Khan's were the right hands to be doing these things.

The New York Times

In the case of a musician like Amjad Ali Khan, who has arrived at the top grade of artistry, the years to come, theoretically speaking, ought to be ones that will take him to unscaled heights. At fifty, he reigns supreme in the field of Sarod

The Telegraph

Amjad Ali Khan, One of the great names in Indian Classical music, reached a wide audience as a star of the last year's Indian prom.

BBC Music Magazine

Amjad Ali Khan casts a kind of charm on audiences, sending out ripples of excitement

The New York Times

Amjad Ali Khan […] .a renowned Sarod player.

National Geographic

Amjad Ali Khan, who, for many, is god-like in his dramatic powers on the Sarod, delivered his music with the emotional voltage of the blues, and a flexible instrument line that was almost vocal in its expressiveness.

The Edinburgh Herald

Imagine a violin virtuoso like Itzhak Perlman also being a direct descendant of Stradivarius, and you can come close to the stature of Indian Sarod master Amjad Ali Khan. Khan is a spiritual, expressive musician, a technically brilliant and inventive player.

The Inquirer

The 65-year-old sarod virtuoso is a superstar in India, revered for his expressive, vocalized playing on that lute-like instrument… Amjad Ali Khan’s playing explained why everyone was there: not just to study the exotic harmonies and complex rhythms of an ancient musical tradition, but to experience string music that spoke directly to the heart…. In his hands, the sarod’s 25 strings produced a rich palette of overtones, further mimicking the complex tone colors and expressive range of the human voice… Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan are the seventh generation of sarod virtuosos from this remarkable family, and they are already putting their own stamp on the instrument.

Chris Waddington, The Times Picayune

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