Renowned surbahar and sitar player Imrat Khan died in the United States on Thursday. He was 83.
His son Nishat Khan said Imrat Khan died in a hospital in Missouri’s Saint Louis after a stroke, reported PTI. Imrat Khan had been ailing for the last few months and had been hospitalised for a week, according to his son. The funeral will be held on Saturday.
Khan belonged to the Etawa gharana or the Imdadkhani Gharana named after his grandfather Imdad Khan. His elder brother was classical sitar player Vilayat Khan. The gharana is one of the oldest in India with a musical legacy of over 400 years. The family is credited with developing the musical instrument surbahar, a stringed instrument that is sometimes called the “bass sitar”.
Khan had turned down the Padma Shri last year, saying the recognition had come too late and diminished his achievement. Refusing the Padma Shri was not a matter of self-aggrandisement but an issue of propriety, he had told PTI in February 2017. “Why should I compromise now when this award presented to me is not parallel to my worldwide reputation and contributions in the name of the pure arts and culture of India?” he had said.
Imrat Khan toured the world with his music and performed at the Cannes Film Festival in 1970 for a Merchant-Ivory partnership.