Published On: Aug 20, 2019

Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan was born on March 21, 1913, in Dumraon, Bihar. He belonged from Shia Muslim family and was named Qamruddin Khan at birth. But his grandfather uttered ‘Bismillah’ thus he was named Bismillah Khan. Looking at his interest in music, his uncle Ali Baksh 'Vilayatu' Khan a shehnai player gave him a six-inch-long Shehnai called ‘Nafiri’. In 1947, the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru invited him to perform live from Red Fort on the eve of Independence Day. He played beautiful symphonies in the film 'Goonj Uthi Shehnai' in 1959, 'Swades' in 2004. He led a simple life and never owned a car and liked to travel in a bicycle rickshaw. He became the third classical musician who was honoured by Bharat Ratna in 2001 and many national and international awards. On August 21, 2006, Shehnai Maestro passed away due to a cardiac arrest.  

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