Bismillah Khan Biography In English Life Story 1916-2006

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  • Bismillah Khan, often referred to by the title Ustad, was an Indian musician who is credited with popularizing the shehnai, a reeded woodwind instrument.
  • He played it with such expressive skill that he became a leading Hindustani classical music artist.
  • His name was indelibly associated with the woodwind instrument. While the shehnai had long been valued as a folk instrument, played primarily in traditional ceremonies, Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the concert stage.
  • Khan was a devout Muslim but performed at both Hindu and Muslim festivals and was considered a symbol of religious harmony.
  • Such was his fame that he was selected for the ceremonial display of the Indian flag at the historic Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 1947, at the time of India’s independence.
  • In 2001, Bismillah Khan was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, and the country observed a national day of mourning following his death in 2006.
  • He is M.S. Became the third Indian classical musician after Subbalakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be awarded the Bharat Ratna.

Bismillah Khan Biography In English

Birth Details –

Place – Dumraon, India

Date of Birth – 21 March 1916

Marital Status – Married

Nationality -Indian

Family –

Mother – Mitthanbai

Father-Paigambar Baks Khan

Sons – Nazim Hussain and Nayyar Hussain.

Teacher – Ali Bux ‘Vilayatu’ Khan

Early Life –

  • Bismillah Khan was born on 21 March 1916 in the city of Dumraon, British India, as the second son of Prophet Bux Khan and Mitthanbai in a family of traditional Muslim musicians.
  • His father was a court musician working in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate in Bihar.
  • Two of his grandfathers, Ustad Salar Hussain Khan and Rasool Bux Khan, were also musicians in the Dumraon palace. He was named Qamaruddin at birth, to rhyme with his elder brother’s name, Shamsuddin.
  • Upon seeing the newborn, his grandfather Rasool Baksh Khan, also a shehnai player, is said to have said “Bismillah”, or “In the name of Allah”, and then named him Ustad Bismillah Khan Began to be known from
  • At the age of six, he moved to Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh to apprentice with his maternal uncle, Ali Bux ‘Vilayatu’ Khan, a shehnai player associated with the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. At the age of 14, Bismillah accompanied his uncle to the Allahabad Sangeet Sammelan.


  • Bismillah Khan started his career by playing shehnai in various stage shows. He got his first big break in 1937, when he performed in a concert at the All India Music Conference in Calcutta.
  • This performance brought Shehnai into the limelight and was widely appreciated by music lovers.
  • Thereafter he played Shehnai in many countries including Afghanistan, USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, West Africa, Japan, Hong Kong and various parts of Europe.
  • During his illustrious career, he has participated in many major events across the globe. Some of the events he attended include the World’s Fair in Montreal and the Osaka Trade Fair.


  • Bismillah Khan attributed his skill to the blessings of Nath (Shiva), and believed that there was little he could teach his disciples.
  • Khan rarely accepted students. He thought that if he would be able to share his knowledge it would not be useful as it would only give little knowledge to his students.
  • Some of his disciples and followers include S. Balesh, and Krishna Balesh. as well as Khan’s own sons, Nazim Hussain and Nayyar Hussain.


  • The road in Hyderabad, Telangana named after Bismallah Khan was inaugurated by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and K Vishwanath on 7 April 2013.
  • The Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi instituted the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in his honor in 2007.
  • It is given to young artistes in the field of music, theater and dance. The Bihar government has proposed setting up a museum, a town hall-cum-library and a life-size statue at his birthplace in Dumraon.
  • Bismillah Khan was celebrated on his 102nd birth anniversary by search engine Google, which featured a special doodle for him on its Indian home page on 21 March 2018.


  • 2001 – Bharat Ratna
  • 1998 – Swathi Sangeet Puraskaram
  • 1995 – T Chowdayya National Award
  • 1994 – Sangeet Natak Akademi
  • 1980 – Padma Vibhushan
  • 1968 – Padma Bhushan
  • 1961 – Padma Shri
  • 1956 – Sangeet Natak Akademi
  • 1937 – All India Music Conference

Other Information –

Date of Death – 21 August 2006

Place – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

What is the birth place and date of birth of Bismillah Khan?

Bismillah Khan was born on 21 March 1916 in Dumraon, India.

What was the name of Bismillah Khan’s father and mother?

Bismillah Khan’s father’s name was Paigambar Baks Khan and mother’s name was Mitthanbai.

What was the name of Bismillah Khan’s teacher?

The name of Bismillah Khan’s teacher was Ali Bux ‘Vilayatu’ Khan.

What was the childhood name of Bismillah Khan?

Bismillah Khan’s childhood name was Qamaruddin.

Which award was given to Bismillah Khan?

Bismillah Khan was honored with Bharat Ratna, Swati Sangeet Puraskaram, T Chowdayya National Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi All India Sangeet Sammelan.

When and where did Bismillah Khan die?

Bismillah Khan died 21 August 2006 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Name the students of Bismillah Khan?

Among the students of Bismillah Khan, S. Balesh, Nazim Hussain, Nayyar Hussain and Krishna Balesh.

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