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Legendary Sitarist Rais Khan passes away

The Sitarist’s maternal grandfather Inayat Ali Khan was also considered one of the finest sitar players in the subcontinent.

May 9, 2017 14:58 IST
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Sitarist Rais KhanRenowned Sitar maestro Ustad Rais Khan passed away on 6 May 2017 in Karachi, Pakistan. He was 77.

Ustad Rais Khan was born in Indian city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on 25 November 1939.

The Sitarist’s maternal grandfather Inayat Ali Khan was also considered one of the finest sitar players in the subcontinent.

About Ustad Rais Khan

Ustad Rais Khan was regarded as one of the greatest sitar players of all times.

He grew up in Mumbai.

In 1986, he moved to Pakistan, seven years after marrying his fourth wife - a Pakistani singer named Bilqees Khanum.

He belonged to the Mewati gharana, which is connected to Indore gharana.

As Rais Khan's mother was a singer and his father was a beenkar, a unique combination of khayal, dhrupad and thumri – 'angs' (approaches) developed in his playing.

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He gave his first public concert at Sunderbai Hall in the presence of the then Governor of Bombay Sir Maharaja Singh.

In 1955, he was chosen to represent India in the International Youth Festival in Warsaw.

He was also a vocalist and was the first sitar player to record the super-hit song Ghungroo toot gaye for BBC London in 1978 as an instrumental song with the sitar.

In 2017, he was awarded Pakistan's third highest civilian honour, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz.

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