Artiste of the Month - July 2019
Rashid H Khan
Ustad Rashid Khan’s talent blossomed at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy under the tutelage of Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan. A child prodigy, the immensely gifted Rashid joined ITC-SRA with his grand uncle, one the greatest maestros of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana.
Though the young Rashid initially showed little or no interest in music, his tutelage under his illustrious grand uncle, changed the course of his life. The nooks and corners of the institution reverberated to the richness of Ustad Rashid Khan’s voice even as the Academy’s mango trees groaned under his weight when the fruits were in season. Rashid was six years old when Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan intuitively perceived his latent potential. The Ustad decided to nurture his grand nephew’s musical sensitivity in the traditional Guru Shishya Parampara.
Ustad Rashid Khan's growth from a child prodigy to a maestro is noteworthy. He became a scholar at the Academy in April 1980 when he was barely 14. The long and arduous training under his guru made Rashid a perfect exponent of the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana. He remained a scholar under the tutelage of Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan until the latter’s demise in 1993. He then became a ‘scholar musician’. He also trained scholars at the Academy between 1994 and 1998.
Rashid became a Top Grade artiste of All India Radio in his very first audition, and has never looked back since. He has won accolades for all the aspects of his musical performance – voice, phrasing, virtuosity and sensitivity. The fine balance between his technical virtuosity and artistic creativity has amazed connoisseurs. He is also a master of the tarana like his guru but sings them in his own manner, preferring the khayal style rather than the instrumental stroke-based style for which Nisar Hussain was famous.
His vocal prowess is in the best tradition of his gharana and his mastery of all aspects of tonal variations, dynamics and timbre adjustment leave very little to be desired. A notable achievement of Ustad Rashid Khan is the infusion of an emotional content into his melodic elaboration. The spontaneous emotional appeal of his manner of singing, be it in the melodic elaboration or in the upper octave pukars, have won him enthusiastic listeners and followers the world over. He has performed in an endless list of prestigious concerts, in the greatest of festivals in the country and abroad. He was awarded the Padma Shree as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006.
Listen to an excerpt of his performance at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2017, where he was accompanied by Pandit Shubhankar Banerjee on the tabla, Pandit Jyoti Goho on the harmonium and Shri Murad Ali on sarangi.