Ustad Alla Rakha

Ustad Alla Rakha (1919-2000) was one of the most celebrated tabla players in the world. He was hailed not only for his performing finesse but also for the incomparable accompaniment he provided to other musicians. Alla Rakha got his initial training from Lal Ahmed and later from the renowned Mian Kader Baksh of the Punjab Gharana and Ashiq Ali Khan of the Patiala Gharana. In 1936 he entered the Bombay film world as a music director under his real name, A.R. Qureshi and scored music for a number of Hindi and Punjabi films, including superhits like Sabak, Khandan, Maa Baap, Madari and Bewafa. He founded the Institute of Music in Mumbai in 1986. He earned great recognition abroad as a soloist and accompanist, with a string of awards in San Francisco and California. He was the recipient of Padma Shri (1977), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1982), the Indo-American Achievement Award and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar. He died of heart attack on 4 February 2000 in Mumbai.