It may seem obvious to us that many musicians and composers stem from musical families. Mozart’s father Leopold was himself a composer, Beethoven was the grandson of a Flemish bass singer and son of a tenor, Bach’s musical links are even broader, with a plethora of musicians and composers scattered throughout his family.
But even these great composers could not trace their musical roots back through an unbroken line of musicians that goes back 400 years.
Is this the world’s most musical family?
In India, the name Khan needs no introduction in musical circles. Not only does the Khan family contain a number of current musicians who are respected as some of the most renowned and accomplished in their individual instruments, its musical heritage goes back to the time of the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century.
Not only have the family been at the forefront of musicianship over the past centuries, theirs is a history that has shaped the landscape of Indian classical music through their creation or evolution of instruments including the sitar and surgahar, and their development of musical forms that have since become the norm in modern musical performance.
Wajahat Khan belongs to the eighth generation of the Khan family of musicians and is something of a trailblazer even within such an illustrious dynasty.
Instead of concentrating on the traditional ‘family’ instruments, the surbahar and the sitar, Wajahat Khan chose to play the sarod, becoming the first musician in his family to take up the instrument. He also has a history as a prodigious singing sensation, beginning his musical career with performances as a vocalist that were showcased on the BBC, among other stages.
More than 30 years later, Wajahat Khan has gained a world-wide reputation for excellence, bringing the experience of a 400 year old tradition, the musicality of an exceptional vocalist and a legendary insrumental virtuosity that only the most gifted, consummate musicians can display.
Wajahat Khan’s debut concert in Switzerland
While Khan has played in some of the most incredible venues and festivals in the world (including the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Kremlin Palace in Russia, the Lincoln Centre in New York and the Philharmonic Hall in Koln), on the 22nd of September he will be giving his first ever concert in Switzerland.
Along with his fourteen year old Hussaim Azaam Khan (the tradition continues!) at the tanpura and sitar, and Hanif Khan at the tabla, he will perform Evening Raags of Indian Classical Music at Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano.
For any of you with the opportunity to attend the event, you are sure to be treated to an unforgettable evening of music. If you are in the general vicinity and can travel there – don’t hesitate to do it!
If you’d like to find out more information on the concert or to buy tickets, pop over to the website of the concert organizers, The International Academy of Euphony http://www.academyofeuphony.com/concerto_india/home_en.htm or directly from Ticketcorner.
The concert is taking place within the ‘Month of Culture’ in the city of Lugano, under the patronage of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Italy.
And, to whet your appetite, here is a video of Wajahat Khan with Pt Anindo Chatterjee playing Raga Tilak Kamod.