About Bismillah Khan Shehnai
Ustad Bismillah Khan is the all time shehnai maestro who had successfully established Shehnai as magical instrument all across the globe. Bismillah Khan Indian musician who born on March 21, 1916 in Dumraon, Bihar. He is the only one to make the shehnai one of the most popular classical music instrument's across the world. He was the perfect and unbeatable synonym for shehnai.
He played an often-scorned woodwind instrument, the shehnai, an oboelike North Indian horn, with such expressive virtuosity that he became a leading Indian classical music artist. Born into a family of court musicians.
Although Khan was a devout Muslim, he was considered a symbol of religious harmony and accompanied his uncle in playing at ceremonies for Hindu deities, as well as at weddings. His playing at the All-India Music Conference in Calcutta in 1937 won fame for himself and respect for the shehnai as a classical music instrument.
Bismillah Khan was awarded the Padma Shri (1961), Padma Bhushan (1968), Padma Vibhushan (1980) and the Bharat Ratna in 2001.This fiery red, five stringed, electric Shehnai added a truly He was the third musician to receive the highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, after Pandit Ravi Shankar and MS Subbulakshmi.
While keeping the magic of shehnai alive round the world, Bismillah tried his hand at some movies as well. He played the shehnai for Kannada film Sanaadi Appanna and had even acted in the Satyajit Ray movie Jasaghar.His live performance at Delhi's Red Fort became an inseparable part of the celebration of the first Independence Day in 1947, when he was invited by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Later on January 26, 1950, he even performed at, yet again, Red Fort on the eve of India's first Republic Day. Continuing his musical presence, he was invited in the World Exposition in Montreal.
He believed that music has nothing to do with caste and religion. Although he was a dedicated Shi'ite Muslim, he was a staunch devotee of the Hindu goddess of music, Saraswati.
Ustad Bismillah Khan was admitted to Heritage Hospital on August 17, 2006 and four days later, died of a cardiac arrest on August 21 2006. A day of national mourning was announced by the Government of India on his death.He was buried, along with a Shehnai, at Fatermain burial ground, Old Varanasi with a 21-gun salute from the Indian Army. 'Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar' was instituted by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi in 2007 as a tribute to Ustad Bismillah Khan. This award is honored to young artists excelling in the fields of classical music, dance, and theater.
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