Renowned tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain has been selected for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Award, an official spokesperson said on Sunday, January 14. This is the second award given since its constitution in 2023. The first award was given to flute maestro Padma Vibhushan Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Award was instituted in 2023 by the singer’s family and friends after his death in 2021. The second award shall be conferred on Hussain at a two-day concert festival in Thane and Mumbai to mark the third death anniversary of Ustad Khan, by his widow Amina Ghulam Mustafa Khan, on January 16-17.
The first day (January 16) will see Hindustani Classical music performances by legends Rakesh Chaurasia (Flute), Purbayan Chatterjee (Sitar) and vocals by Pandit Venkatesh Kumar at K Ghanekar Natyagruha in Thane. On the second day (January 17), veteran singer Sonu Nigam – a disciple of the late Ustad Khan - will lead the music concert titled ‘Haazri’ (Presence) at the Shanmukhananda Hall, along with the award ceremony in the presence of luminaries from the world of music.
Ustad Khan, an unmatched doyen of Hindustani Classical music left an indelible mark on the world of music and his musical legacy continues to be celebrated through the award. Last year, the debut award was conferred on the Flute exponent Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia.
Ustad Khan was the torch-bearer of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana and a luminary in the world of Hindustani Classical music, who earned national and international awards and accolades. Born in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, Ustad Khan was awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and passed away on January 17, 2021, aged 90, in Mumbai.
He also played a pivotal role in grooming the music careers of several renowned Bollywood personalities like Asha Bhosale, AR Rahman, Hariharan, Shaan, Shilpa Rao, his own sons and grandchildren, plus many other artists, while the late Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar had acknowledged how she took guidance from Ustad Khan.
Thrilled by the award, Hussain described Ustad Khan as "one of the greatest unsung heroes of Indian Classical music, who did not get the recognition he truly deserved during his long singing career." “His passing away has made a void in the transmission of the tradition of the Indian Classical Music - Khayal Gayaki. Nevertheless, I am happy that his legacy lives on through his sons and grandson who are teaching, singing and promoting Indian Classical Music. I hope the tradition of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana continues to live on,” said Hussain.
Ustad Khan’s son Rabbani Mustafa Khan, Nigam and Rakesh Chaurasia paid rich tributes to their professional guru and music mentor from whom they learnt a lot and excelled in their chosen fields.