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Allauddin Khan, also known as Baba Allauddin Khan (c. 1862 – 6 September 1972) was a sarod player and multi-instrumentalist, composer and one of the most renowned music teachers of the 20th century in Indian classical music.
In 1935, he toured Europe, along with Uday Shankar’s ballet troupe, and later also worked at his institute, ‘Uday Shankar India Culture Centre’ at Almora for a while.During his lifetime, he composed several ragas and laid the foundation of a modern Maihar gharana. Amongst his recordings which are rare, the most important ones are those he recorded with the All India Radio in 1959–60.
He was the father of sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi, and the uncle of Raja Hossain Khan, as well as the guru of Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh, Bahadur Khan, Rabin Ghosh, Sharan Rani, Jotin Bhattacharya, Rajesh Chandra Moitra, W.D. Amaradeva, and other influential musicians. He himself was a disciple of many great musicians, including Gopal Chandra Banerjee, Lobo, Munne Khan, and most importantly after a lot of struggle managed to become a shagird (disciple) of the legendary Veena player, Wazir Khan.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1958 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1971, India’s third and second highest civilian honours,and prior to that in 1954, the Sangeet Natak Akademi awarded him with its highest honour, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to Indian music.
Anecdotes about Khan range from throwing a tabla tuning hammer at the Maharaja himself to taking care of disabled beggars. Nikhil Banerjee said that the tough image was “deliberately projected in order not to allow any liberty to the disciple. He was always worried that soft treatment on his part would only spoil them”. He could play over 200 instruments.