Ustad Amaan Ali Khan
Amaan Ali Khan, is the eldest son and disciple of the Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan and grandson of Haafiz Ali Khan. He belongs to the seventh generation in an unbroken chain of the Senia Bangash School. He was initiated by his father into the fine art of Sarod playing and gave his first public performance at age eight.
Amaan’s musical style is marked by its precision in tunefulness, bold and resonant strokes, along with tradition and continuity of Indian Classical Music. Amaan’s performances have evoked creditable applause. Today, Amaan is considered one of the finest Sarod players in the world and has obtained a very special place for himself among music enthusiasts across continents. He is an inspiration for the younger generation of musicians. He continues to enchant audiences with his virtuosity, sheer brilliance and charismatic stage presence.
Amaan has performed at numerous main stream venues in India and around the world. In 1986, he performed at the Festival of India in Moscow. Thereafter, he made his UK debut in 1990 and his US debut in New York at the Asia Society in 1991. He performed for the Temenos academy at St. James Palace in London for HRH Prince of Wales in 1995, 1997 and 2003. Amaan hosted a music series on Zee TV called ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’, with his brother, Ayaan, from 2001-2012. .In 2001 and 2002 he also took part at the Summer Arts Festival in Seattle and the Edinburgh Festival in the UK, he performed with Cellist Matthew Barley and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain along with a series of workshops and also worked on his album ‘Strings Attached’ with A Matthew Barley, in July 2002. He released his solo album titled ‘Amaan’, in 2002.Upon reviewing this album, Songlines World music magazine said that he was a “worthy heir to his father’s crown.” Amaan did an Australian Tour in 1999 and 2003 where he played at the World Beat Festival in Brisbane, Opera House in Sydney and the WOMAD Festival in New Plymouth and Adelaide. Amaan has also preformed regularly at the Palais beaux-arts in Brussels; the ESPLANADE in Singapore; the Chicago Symphony Center, the Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in the USA; the Womad and Salisbury Festival and the Enescu Festival in Bucharest; and the Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Center in the UK.
In 2005 Amaan composed music for the film ‘American Daylight’ which was directed by Academy Award winner Rodger Christian. In the same year, he also collaborated with the Derek Trucks Band at the Savannah Music Festival in Georgia and featured with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in Real World Record’s album called ‘Moksha’. In 2006 Amaan collaborated with Evelyn Glennie at Queen Elisabeth Hall at the Rhythm Sticks Festival and also appeared at the WOMAD Rivermead Festival in UK. His electronica lounge albums titled Reincarnation (2005) and ‘Truth’ (2006) won him critical acclaim. Amaan performed at the Central Hall of the Indian Parliament on the commemoration of India’s 60th year of Independence and did a concert for Coca Cola at The Fox Theater, Atlanta, in 2007. In 2009, he played at the United Nations in New York in presence of Ban Ki Moon to commemorate the Ode to Peace Concert along with his Father. In April 2011, , Amaan collaborated with American Folk artist Carrie Newcomer at Lotus Arts Festival in Bloomington along with his father and brother and also performed at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. In 2011, Amaan collaborated on a project with folk singer and song writer Carrie Newcomer premiered called ‘Everything Is Everywhere’. This project with Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan release on Light Records the same year with concerts in Indiana. A love for haunting melody lines, an attraction to compelling rhythms and a sense of deep spiritual grounding are the connecting threads in this musical confluence.
In 2011, Amaan also performed for Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper at the Year of India Inauguration at Musee de la Civilisation Theatre in Ottawa. In 2012, Amaan Ali Khan stared in a PETA ad strumming his Sarod against a backdrop of birds flying freely across the sky and next to the words “Bring Harmony to Birds’ Lives – Let Birds Fly Free”. In 2013, he also presented his father’s Sarod Concerto Samaagam with the London Philharmonia Orchestra with conductor David Murphy; same year he performed in the US at Duke University, NC and concluded at Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; the same year he performed with Oudist Rahim Alhaj for Amjad Ali Khan’s Grammy Nominated project, Ancient Sounds at Kirkland Center of Performing Arts and Chicago World Music Festival; and performed at Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Música. Amaan and Ayaan composed two customised special albums New Delhi in 2011 and Raga in 2013 for The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts.
In 2014, Amaan toured India with Britten Sinfonia, one of the world’s most celebrated and pioneering ensembles. He performed at WOMAD Festival at Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England; and performed at The Getty Center in Los Angeles under its annual concert series ‘Sounds of L.A.’ The series explores L.A’s varied musical geography, celebrating the work of masters as well as up-and-coming musicians from around the globe. He also played at a Peace Concert at the United Nations, presented by The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, along with the UN Academic Impact (an initiative of the Department of Public Information of the UN) at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at the United Nations. In 2012 he played at New York’s Metropolitan Museum and The Lensic in Santa Fe. The same year, his performance with his father recorded at Wigmore Hall was released under the ‘live at Wigmore Hall’ series in UK. The latest album Rang – Colors of Sufism released in March features Amaan and Ayaan’s interpretations of traditional Qawwalis on the Sarod in 2012. Amaan recently performed at Stanford University’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium at the end of his father’s Stanford University residency in 2012. In 2013, Ananta Opus 195, a concerto for sarod, symphonic and electronic orchestra written by Pierre Thilloy and performed by Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan with the Avignon Provence Symphonic Orchestra and the Kords Collective, conducted by Samuel Jean premiered in India. His latest release is called Live in Lisbon, produced by Sarod Records, co-founded by Amaan and Ayaan, released on iTunes recorded live at Grande Auditório Gulbenkian.
In October 2002, Amaan received the Provogue Society’s Young Acheivers Award for performing Arts. He was a recipient of the MTV’s Lycra Award for the Most Stylish person in Music in 2006. In 2007, he was honoured by the Mayor of the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma with the Keys to the City along with an Honorary Citizenship and the Bharat Shiromani Award for Instrumental music. He was also felicitated by the Swiss brand Raymond Weil for his achievements over the years at the launch of their new collection of timepieces titled Freelancer, in 2011.
In 2014, Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan performed at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway on as well as the Nobel Peace Prize Concert along with the lineup of Queen Latifa, Steven Tyler, Nuno Bettencourt and Laura Mvula.
In addition to playing the Sarod, Amaan co-authored a book with Ayaan titled ‘Abba-God’s greatest gift to us’ on his father’s life in November 2002. Roli Books, Lustre Publications published the book as a part of their ‘Family Pride’ series. Amaan has also anchored Top Drive, the all new television series on Star World that was aired in January 2003 for five episodes. He also took part in the relay for the 2004 Athens Olympics in New Delhi in June 2004. In early 2010, he co-authored his second book with Ayaan called ‘50 Maestros 50 Recordings’ for Harper Collins and also released an album called “The Music Room” and ‘Sarod Symphony’ with his father and guru. In 2013, their new project Headwaters released. The collaboration is with Malcolm Dalglish, a renowned Hammered Dulcimer player from the US. A project, with its interplay of ancient voices and images.
Image & Content courtesy – amaanalikhan.com