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R.I.P. Sarangi maestro Ustad Sabri Khan (05/21/1927 – 12/01/2015)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 1, 2015

Sarangi Maestro Ustad Sabri Khan (1927-2015)

Sabri Khan (1927-2015)

It’s a big loss in the world of Indian classical music. As I just got the infos from family member Suhail Yusuf Khan himself, the outstanding maestro on the Indian fiddel (Sarangi) is no more. Great Ustad Sabri Khan passed away within the family circly at home early morning in New Delhi on 1st December 2015, at the age of 87. Our condolences go to the family and close friends. – R.I.P.

Ustad Sabri Khan (Hindi: उस्ताद साबरी खान,(Urdu: استاد صابری خان), born 21st May 1927 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh[1], died 1st December 2015 in New Dehli, Dehli) was an Indian sarangi player, who was descended on both sides of his family from a line of distinguished musicians.


  • Early life
  • Music career
  • Family
  • Awards and honour
  • References
  • External links

Early life

Khan belonged to the Sainia Gharana. This Gharana traces the tradition of its music back to Mian Tansen, the great vocalist in the court of Moghul Emperor Akbar. Khan had been initiated into Sarangi – playing by his grandfather, Ustad HajiMohammed Khan and later continued his training under his father Ustad Chajju Khan, both accomplished Sarangi exponents of their time. Khan also learned some important and rare techniques of playing this ancient and difficult instrument from his uncle Ustad Laddan Khan of Rampur.

Khan had a prodigious command over the Sarangi – bowed instrument, which is considered to be a difficult instrument to master in Indian instrumental music. In playing Sarangi he had generated his own style where the purity of raga, variety of tans, layakari, (rhythmic oscillations) alaap-jor are obvious and of course of the traditional form of sarangi-playing in its total originality.

Music career

Khan, had toured extensively across the world and performed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Japan, USSR, Russia, USA, Canada, England, France, Germany, theNetherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Mexico.. The credit of introducing the Sarangi to American and European audiences goes to Khan. He had also played a duet with the renowned Yehudi Menuhin and had been invited as a visiting professor by the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

In appreciation of his contribution to the Classical Music of India Ustad Sabri Khan had received numerous honours and awards, including the Sahitya Kala ParishadAward, UP Sangeet Natak Academy Award, National Sangeet Natak Academy Award and the prestigious Padma Shree Award (1992) and Padma Bhushan Award (2006) by the President of India – Government of India.[2]


Ustad Sabri Khan Sahib had 4 sons- Sarwar Sabri (Musician – Tabla; living in Birmingham), Jamal Sarwar Sabri (Chartered Accountant; living in Dubai), Kamal Sabri (Musician – Sarangi; living in Delhi) and the youngest Gulfam Sabri; musician ; living in Delhi and 5 Daughters. He has many grandsons playing musical instruments:Suhail Yusuf Khan (Sarangi), Faisal (Tabla), Shariq (Tabla), Junaid (Guitar) and Nabeel (Sarangi).

As reported by Shuail Yusuf Khan himself early morning on 1st December 2015 Sabri Khan demised within the family circle at their home in New Delhi.[3]

Awards and honour

  • Sahitya Kala Parishad Award
  • Shobhna Kala Sangam Award – 1985
  • Begum Akhtar Award
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award – 1986
  • Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Luchnow, UP – 1990
  • Padma Shree Award by the President of India, Government of India – 1992
  • Ustad Chand Khan Award – 2002
  • Sangeet Bhushan Award – 2002
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – LEGENDS OF INDIA – DMA – Delhi – 2003
  • National Artist Award – All India Radio Prasar Bharti Award – 2004
  • Padma Bhushan Award by the President of India, Government of India – 2006
  • Tagore Ratna Award by Governor of Bengal-2012

Khan received several national awards, including the Padma Shri in 1992 and the Padma Bhushan in 2006.[4]


  1. Hunt, Ken. “Sabri Khan – Biography”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  2. “Padma Awards” (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  3. “Ustad Sabri Khan Saheb has passed away earlier this morning. 21st May 1927 – 1st Dec 2015”. Suhail Yusuf Khan (New Delhi). 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. “Padma Awards”. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Retrieved 2009-03-08.

External links


The Indian Fiddel played by a real master…

Ustad Sabri Khan plays Early Afternoon Raga Saugandh…


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