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Sitar legend Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan passes away

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 14, 2012

Published: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012, 19:13 IST
By Yogesh Pawar | Agency: DNA

Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan

Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan

Ustad Shamin Ahmed Khan,73, the veteran Sitar player from the Maihar gharana, passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest.

This disciple of the Bharat Ratna sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, went to San Francisco in 1967 with his teacher and taught many Americans how to play the sitar. Ustad Shamim Khan had earlier taught at Shankar’s Kinnar School of Music in Mumbai.

When in the United States, in addition to playing at various concerts, may it be solo performances or with his guru, he also played for Hollywood films such as Clint Eastwood starrers Coogan’s Bluff and Charlie for which Pandit Ravi Shankar had composed the music. “Shamim was a sincere and devoted disciple of mine. I will miss him very much,” the sitar legend told DNA.

“It is a mark of how great a musician he was since Panditji (Ravi Shankar) would unfailingly take him along for any concert as an accompanist no matter where he played throughout the late 60s and 70s,” remembers santoor exponent Satish Vyas. “When I started giving concerts, he would often encourage me and even predicted that I will be a well-known musician.”

Many years later when Vyas invited Khan to perform at the Gunidas Festival in Delhi he reminded Vyas of his prediction. “He was overwhelmed at the turn-out and response to the performance where Ustad Zakir Hussain accompanied him.”Remembering his wit and his humility Vyas lamented, “We have lost both a great artiste and a human being.”

One of biggest compliments Khan received was from Yehudi Menuhin, a world renowned violinist, when he heard Khan at the Tata Theatre in the late 1970s – “Khan displayed an absolutely extraordinary sense of pitch and tone in a highly mathematical, complex time structure and rhythmic patterns,” he had said.

(Source: 02/14/2012 – DNA | India – Report)

Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan with Raga Desh…

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