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Ali Akbar Khan R.I.P

Gardens of Dreams aak_garden_fr1
Khan was born in what is today Bangladesh in 1922 and held his first performance in the United States in 1955. He opened a music school in Berkeley in 1967, later moving it to San Rafael.

NYtimes obit

Ali Akbar Khan, the foremost virtuoso of the lutelike sarod, whose dazzling technique and gift for melodic invention, often on display in concert with his brother-in-law Ravi Shankar, helped popularize North Indian classical music in the West, died on Thursday at his home in San Anselmo, Calif. He was 87.

Ali Akbar Khan with Ravi Shankar
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Sarod Maetro Ali Akbar Akbar Khan Dies (World music central org)

Learning the ragas and mastering the instrument were both difficult challenges. Ali Akbar sais, “If you practice for 10 years, you may please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist-then you may please even God.”

His film scores, including Chetan Anand’s Aandhiyan, Satyajit Ray’s Devi, Merchant-Ivory’s The Householder, and Tapan Sinha’s Kshudista Pashan (“Hungry stones”), for which he won the “Best Musician of the Year” award. Later in 1993, he would score some of the music for Bernardo Bertolucci Little Buddha.[9]

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