Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan has been called "the J.S. Bach of Indian Music" in the west and this almost without exaggeration. Ustad Khan began his training at the tender age of three with his father the legendary Ustad Allaudin Khan of Maihar. He had early training in voice, drums and the Sarode. Khansahib gave his first public performance at the young age fourteen and was appointed a Court musician at the Raja of Jodhpur shortly before Indian independance. Along with Ravi Shankar, Ustad Khan was among the first Indian musicians to bring their music to the west. He has toured extensively in six continents for music festivals, radio and television. In order to disseminate the knowledge of Indian classical music in the west Ustad Khan founded the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Raphael California in 1968 which still continues the traditions of Khansahib's family. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was awarded the "Padma Vibhusan" by the President of India in 1988. This is one of India's highest awards.