MUMBAI, 27 NOV: Sarangi maestro and classical singer Ustad Sultan Khan, the soulful voice behind hits like 'Piya basanti' and 'Albela sajan aayo re', passed away this afternoon here after prolonged illness.
The Padma Bhushan awardee, 71, who hailed from a family of sarangi players in Jodhpur, was on dialysis for some time, family sources said.
His funeral will take place in Jodhpur tomorrow. Credited for reviving sarangi, Khan is famous for his extraordinary control over the instrument and his husky voice. He started performing at a the age of 11, and later collaborated at the international level with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, on George Harrison's 1974 'Dark Horse World Tour'. Khan's was a family of sarangi masters from Rajasthan. He was initially tutored by his father, Ustad Gulab Khan. Later, he trained under Ustad Amir Khan, a classical vocalist of Indore gharana (school).
After establishing himself as sarangi player, Ustad Sultan Khan also worked with musicians from the Hindi film industry, such as Lata Mangeshkar, Khayyam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali apart from collaborating with musicians in the West. Apart from Padma Bhushan, Khan won numerous musical awards including the Sangeet Natya Academy Award twice, the Gold Medalist Award of Maharashtra and the American Academy of Artists Award in 1998.
Khan was also a members of the Indian fusion group Tabla Beat Science, with Zakir Hussain and American bassist Bill Laswell. His son, Sabir Khan is also a well-known sarangi player.
Ustad Sultan Khan was one of the most beloved musicians of his generation, beloved because of his deeply emotional music and the exquisitely beautiful sound of his instrument. I had once the good fortune to sit - in a concert in the early 80ies or late 70ies in Düsseldorf - in the first row, just about 1 or 2 meters away from him, and remember still very vividly how impressed I was by his being so deeply immersed in his music.
The Call of the Kokila
In his memory a radio broadcast from Deutschlandfunk, Cologne, on November 10, 1994 with Zakir Hussain on Tabla.
Sharafat Hussain Khan (1930 - 1985) was amongst the most brilliant Khayal vocalists of the post-independence era. He represented the Agra Gharana (stylistic lineage), and was unanimously regarded as the most illustrious heir to the legacy of his principal mentor, the legendary Ustad Faiyyaz Khan (1886 - 1950). Sharafat Hussain Khan was born in July, 1930, to Ustad Liaquat Hussain Khan, a court musician in the erstwhile Jaipur State, and Alla Rakhi Beghum. From his father's side, Sharafat was a descendant of Inayet Hussain Khan (1845 - 1936), founder of Atrauli Gharana, and from his mother's side, and of his maternal grandfather Mehboob Khan (Daras Piya), also of the Atrauli Gharana, but whose music was greatly influenced by the Rangile Gharana of his mother's family, founded by Ramzan Khan (1759 - 1806). In early childhood, Sharafat was trained by his father. When Sharafat was only eight years old, his prodigious talent impressed the legendary Faiyyaz Khan during one of his visits to Atrauli. The maestro, without a son despite three marriages, adopted Sharafat, and took him away forthwith to Baroda to groom him as his heir. Sharafat was a child prodigy, who rose meteorically after his adoption by Faiyyaz Khan. At the age of eight, he made a stunning debut at the influential Matunga Music Circle in Mumbai. This triggered off invitations to perform at the All India Music Conference at Allahabad, and the All Bengal Conference in Kolkata. When he was eleven, he was hailed as the "Rising Sun" of vocalism at the Gaya Conference. By the age of twelve, he has made his first disc with HMV/ EMI, and topped the prestigious Baroda State Music Competition. Sharafat was only 20, when Faiyyaz Khan died. Thereafter, he started studying with his maternal uncle, Ustad Ata Hussain Khan of the allied Atrauli - Rangile Lineage. Soon thereafter, he acquired a third guide - his scholarly father-in-law, Vilayat Hussain Khan of the Agra Lineage. Thus, like his foster-father, Sharafat Hussain came to represent a magnificent confluence of three intimately connected lineages - Agra, Atrauli, and Rangile. While still in his 30s, Sharafat became amongst the busiest vocalists in India, and enjoyed a continuous run of sucess for two decades (1965 - 1985). Along with popularity came the honours. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Performing Arts Academy of Uttar Pradesh (Northern Provinces) and decorated with the Padma Shree by the President of India. In 1985, Sangeet Natak Akademi ( The National Performing Arts Academy) held a special ceremony to honour him shortly before he succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 55. He also got a Tansen Award. from: http://www.purnimasen.com/guru.htm