Artiste of the Month - November 2018
Aashish Khan was initiated into North Indian Classical Music at the age of five by his grandfather, the legendary Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan Sahib of the Senia Gharana and creator of the Seni-Maihar gharana. Aashish also learnt music under the guidance of his father, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and aunt, Vidushi Annapurna Devi.Aashish gave his first public performance at the age of 13, with his grandfather, on the All India Radio National Program along with Pandit Kanthe Maharaj on Tabla, in New Delhi. In that same year, 1953, he performed with his father and grandfather at the Tansen Music Conference, Calcutta. Since then, he went on to perform throughout India and the world, not only with his father but also gaining acclaim as a soloist in his own right. Besides his virtuosity as a traditional sarodiya, for which he was recognized in 1996 with the `Best Sarode Player` award from the All India Critics Association of India, he is also considered to be a worthy music teacher.Aashish Khan pioneered the establishment of cross-cultural genre of `World Music` as a founder of `Shanti`, an Indo-American Group (1969-70) and later of the fusion group `The Third Eye` (1978). Later, in 2003, he formed an Indo-Jazz group in New Orleans called `Shringar`, to continue his contributions to `World Music` and harmony of Inter Cultural diversities.He was the first to write a Sarode concerto in Raga form in 1972. He has composed music for ballets, movies and has worked on many musical projects for both films and stage. In his numerous projects, he has collaborated with Uday Shankar, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Maurice Jarre and many others. He composed the music for Tapan Sinha`s films `Aadmi aur Aurat` and `Joturgriha`, for which he received the `Best Film Score Award` by the Bengal Film Journalist`s Association. He has also collaborated with diverse Western musicians on numerous recordings including the likes of John Barham, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Charles Lloyd, John Handy, Alice Coltrane and the Philadelphia String Quartet.In 1989-90 Aashish was appointed to the prestigious post of Composer and Conductor for the National Orchestra, Vadya Vrinda of All India Radio, New Delhi, succeeding musical stalwarts as Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Pannalal Ghosh. He was the first Indian Musician to represent India as an ambassador of Indian culture and classical music in South Africa.Aashish represented India in the prestigious `Asian Fantasy Orchestra` (1998) along with other Asian musicians from countries like Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Phillipines, Korea etc to share Indian music for the cause of `Inter Cultural Harmony` among Asian countries. In 2002, he received The Fellowship Award` from The Illinois Arts Council, Chicago, USA for conserving and continuing the Indian Musical Heritage.A teacher for many years and formerly on the faculties of the Ali Akbar College of Music in Calcutta, India and San Rafael, California, Ravi Shankar`s Kinnara School of Indian Classical Music, University of Washington, Seattle, Aashish and his brother Pranesh Khan founded the `Allauddin Academy of Music and Performing Arts` in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1978. Also taught at The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He teaches students throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa and India while pursuing a busy career as a concert artist and composer.In 2005 Aashish Khan received the Sangeet Natak Academy from the President of India Dr. A.P. Kalam. In 2007 he was nominated for the Grammy Award for Traditional Classical Music of India, under the World Music Category.In spite of pursuing a very busy career as an artist, a composer and a teacher, his true belief and objective lies in passing on an age-old tradition and culture to generations to come.