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Famous instrumentalists  
 
Bismillah Khan
  Ustad Bismillah Khan Sahib

Bismillah Khan was born at Bhirung Raut Ki Gali, in Dumraon, Bihar as the second son of Paigambar Khan and Mitthan. He was named as Qamaruddin to rhyme with Shamsuddin, their first son. His grandfather, Rasool Baksh Khan uttered "Bismillah" (the basmala) after looking at the newborn, thus he was named Bismillah Khan.

His ancestors were court musicians and used to play in Naqqar khana in the princely states of Bhojpur, now in Bihar. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate, Bihar. At the age of six, he moved to his maternal house, located close to
 
the Ganges at Varanasi. He received his training under his uncle, the late Ali Baksh 'Vilayatu', a shehnai player attached to Varanasi's Vishwanath Temple.

Bismillah Khan was perhaps single handedly responsible for making the shehnai a famous classical instrument. He brought the shehnai to the center stage of Indian music with his concert in the Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. He was credited with having almost monopoly over the instrument as he and the shehnai are almost synonyms.

Khan is one of the finest musicians in post-independent Indian Classical music and one of the best examples of Hindu-Muslim unity in India and had played shenai to audience across the world. He was known to be devoted to his art form that he referred to shehnai as his begum, wife in Urdu, after his wife died. On his death, as an honour, his shehnai was also buried along with him.He was known for his vision of spreading peace and love through music.


 
Bijapure Maha Meru
  Pandit R K Bijapure Maha Meru

Born in 1917 at Kagwad (Belgaum district, Karnataka state) Pt. Bijapure developed inclination towards music due to his father late Shri. Kallopant Bijapure, a dramatist and a composer. His compositions were played on harmonium / organ and presented on the stage by another famous harmonium player late Shri. Annigeri Mallayya. As a child Shri.Rambhau was fascinated by the melodies of harmonium and showed a lot of interest in learning the art of harmonium playing. Shri.Annigeri Mallayya took the young Rambhau under his wings and taught him the basics of harmonium playing. Keen to learn further, Pt. Bijapure took advanced training in harmonium from Pt. Rajwade, Shri.Govindrao Gaikwad and Pt. Hanmantrao Walwekar of Dharwad. But for some voice problem Pt. Bijapure would have
 
become a great vocalist as his wish was to become the one. However, this did not deter him from taking lessons in vocal music from stalwarts like Pt. Ramkrishnabua Vaze, Pt. Shivrambua Vaze, Pt. Kagalkarbua, and Pt. Utturkarbua. In fact, systematic training in vocal music helped him in developing his own style of ‘gayaki ang’ in playing harmonium solo.

Pt. Bijapure is a Sangeet Visharad (Vocal) and Sangeet Alankar (Harmonium) both, conferred upon him by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. He has also to his credit a shikshak sanad. In his long music career he has worked as a music teacher in Belgaum, as music director and Harmonium accompanist in Shri.Venkobrao Shirahatti’s drama company, as a harmonium accompanist in HMV, as an examiner for Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya- Mumbai, and the examinations conducted by the Government of Karnataka.
 
 
     
 
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Famous instrumentalists
Zakir Hussain
G. Ramakrishnan
Ali Akbar Khan
Hariprasad Churasiaya
Kadri Gopalnath
Ustad Allarakha
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Pandit Ravi Shankar
Ustad Bismillah Khan Sahib
Pandit R K Bijapure Maha Meru
N. Muralikrishnan
L. Subramaniam
 
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