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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was born Masoom Ali Khan in Gwalior, to Hafiz Ali Khan and Rahat Jahan. His father, Hafiz was also an eminent musician in the court of the royal family of Gwalior. Amjad belongs to the Bangash lineage and is the sixth generation of musicians. His great grandfather Ghulam Bandagi Khan Bangash, a soldier of fortune, came from Afghanistan with the instrument rabab and was inducted into the army of the maharaja of Rewa. The king was so impressed by his talent that he took him under his wing and Ghulam Ali was trained under Ustads Pyare Khan and Jafar Khan Saheb, both rabab players and direct descendants of Mian Tansen. Soon Amjad's grandfather Nanhe Khan and father Hafiz Ali Khan, continued the family legacy of the dhrupad and rabibiya tradition and kept improving and altering the rabab, until it became the modern Sarod. Amjad started playing sarod at the age of five but his perception of music developed at the age of three.
Amjad grew up in a joint family in a house that also included his father's disciples who lived with them as was the tradition in those days. He was the youngest child from his fathers second marriage. Amjad's cousins and siblings could not measure up to his father's expectations who then pinned his hopes on Amjad as the one who would carry on the family legacy, as a result of which he could not enjoy his childhood. The look of joy and pride in his mother's eyes as she encouraged and reminded him of his father's hopes and dreams is what kept Amjad going. He became the breadwinner for the family at a young age, and though circumstances would be financially tough at times, Amjad never stopped his mother from her passion of helping the underprivileged. He got his first big break as a child at the age of 11 in Calcutta at the traditional Sadarang Music conference along with his father and other illustrious musicians. In 1957 at the mere age of 12, Amjad Ali Khan gave his first solo recital and was also the first in his family to receive formal education at Modern school, Delhi. He was in his final year when he left to accompany a troupe of musicians to the US and never looked back.
Amjad Ali Khan has had a successful career spanning over 40 years. He is married to Subhalakshmi, a Bharatanatyam dancer and they have two sons, Amaan and Ayaan, both renowned musicians who often give performances with their father. The family resides in New Delhi, while their Gwalior home has been transformed into a musical center.
Sarod Stalwart Ayaan Ali Khan, son of Legendary Sarod Player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is one of the finest Sarod players India has produced. Ayaan Ali Khan has made his mark nationally as well as Internationally in the field of music.