Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, 14 April 1922, Shivpur, East Bengal (Bangladesh since 1971). Ali Akbar Khan is acknowledged throughout the continent of his birth as the master of the sarod, an elongated steel lute. He follows in the tradition established by his father and teacher, Allauddin Khan, who himself did much to popularise the instrument. His sister, Annapurna Devi, also studied music with his father, and later married another of his students, Ravi Shankar. Together with Shankar, Ali Akbar performed celebrated duets (or jugalbandis in the classical Hindustan tradition), which established their reputation. Both survived the days when Hindustani music was subject to court patronage to a modern age where each was free to perform in their own right. Ali Akbar worked at the court of Maharajah Hanumantha Singh, before finding his first radio commissions at a station in Rajasthan. However, it took the intervention of Yehudi Menuhin to bring him to foreign shores. Enraptured...
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