Ustad Zakir Hussain conferred 2nd Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Award

Ustad Zakir Hussain with the late Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. Photo: Nandini Vishwanathan

The legacy of Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan lives on as his family and students announce the second edition of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Award. This event, marking the legendary musician’s third death anniversary, is scheduled to take place over two days on January 16 and 17.

This year, the award will be conferred upon the legendary musician, Padma Vibhushan Ustad Zakir Hussain, at a ceremony on January 17 at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall. The award will be presented by Amina Ghulam Mustafa Khan, the late maestro’s wife. Following the award ceremony, Sonu Nigam, Khan-saab’s disciple, will pay homage to the late maestro in a concert titled Haazri. Additionally, January 16 will also feature Hindustani Classical performances—a flute recital by Rakesh Chaurasia, a sitar recital by Purbayan Chatterjee and vocals by Pandit Venkatesh Kumar at the Kashinath Ghanekar Natyagruha in Thane.

Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, an unmatched doyen of Hindustani Classical Music, left an indelible mark on the world of music and his legacy continues to be celebrated. The award stands as a testament to the legacy of this musical giant, honoring those who, like him, have made exceptional contributions to the world of Indian Classical Music.

In its debut edition last year, the Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Award was presented to the flute maestro Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to Indian Classical Music.

Ustad Zakir Hussain, the table whiz, said, “This award holds a very special place in my heart. I feel Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan is one of the great unsung heroes of Indian Classical Music. Over the many decades that he has sung, I would say, he has not gained the recognition and accolades that he truly deserved. His passing away has made a void in the transmission of the tradition of Indian Classical Music—The Khayal Gayaki. Nevertheless, I am happy that his legacy lives on through his sons and grandson who are teaching, singing and promoting classical music. I hope the tradition of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana continues to live on. Aur hum sab par Khan-saab ki jo chaap hamesha se lagi hui hai woh lagi rahe (May the stamp of Khan-saab remain upon all of us).”

Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, a torchbearer of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana, was a luminary in the world of classical music. He not only received numerous awards and accolades but also played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of several renowned musicians such as Asha Bhosle, A.R. Rahman, Hariharan, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Shilpa Rao and his sons and grandsons among others. Additionally, Lata Mangeshkar had mentioned that she took guidance from Khan-saab whenever she needed it.

Speaking about Haazri, Sonu said, “I will do what I am known for. Every artiste should do what his or her core strength is. Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Sahab was an authority in Classical Music but he never ever told his students to quit their music and move to classical music. I have in the past performed in front of him and I remember how memorable it was! It is going to be a tribute from a son to his father. What he has taught me, and is still teaching me vicariously through his sons, is something very personal. It’s like I would want the audience to have the feast and not the ingredients.”

Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan’s son Rabbani Mustafa Khan added, “We take immense pride in presenting the award to Zakir-bhai this year. In addition to my brother Sonu Nigam’s performance, we have incorporated classical renditions by ace Hindustani Classical artistes this year. It is our steadfast duty to champion Hindustani Classical Music and this is a steady step in that direction. We aim to include more cities in our endeavor next year.”

Ahead of his classical tribute, flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, also flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s nephew, said, “When I think of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan-saheb, what strikes me most is the number of celebrity singers he has mentored. What can I say about such a colossal personality? I feel blessed to have experienced his music, and to have received his blessings each time our paths crossed.”

Purbayan Chatterjee will be choosing an evening raag because it is an evening concert. However, as is customary with Indian Classical exponents, he will choose the raag on the spot, depending on his mood. He said, “Rabbani-ji (Rabbani Mustafa Khan) has been kind enough to send me some of Ustad-ji’s precious recordings. I am very inspired by those, especially Raag Bageshree. I’ll try to learn and play one of these compositions to pay a fitting tribute to this great legend.”

“I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to pay a musical tribute to Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan on his death anniversary. I look forward to people joining us in order to foster Hindustani Classical Music in this contemporary era,” concludes Pandit Venkatesh Kumar.

The event is presented by NR Talent and Event Management.



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