Sitar maestro Shamim Ahmed Khan passes away

Sitar maestro Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan, one of the finest exponent of Hindustani instrumental music, passed away on Tuesday morning in a private hospital here following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 74.

Khan was buried at Marine Lines cemetery in Mumbai this afternoon. His funeral was attended by santoor maestro Pandit Satish Vyas, sitar player Pandit Nayan Ghosh, Agra Gharana vocalist Raja Miya, tabla maestro Yogesh Samsi and Aditya Kalyanpur.

Khan was born in 1938 in Baroda into a musical family of the Agra Gharana, which boasts of luminaries like Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, Ustad Khadim Hussain Khan and Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan.

He was initiated into vocal music at a very young age by his father Ustad Ghulam Rasool Khan but his love for sitar led him to become a disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1955.

Mourning the death of his pupil, Ravi Shankar said, "Shamim was a devoted and sincere disciple of mine. I will miss very much."

Khan was one of the leading exponents of the famous Senia-Maihar Gharana. He lived in Mumbai for almost five decades.

Khan performed in New York's Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Barbican Centre and the Griffith Centre in Los Angeles. He teamed up with Ustad Alla Rakha, Buddy Rich and Paul Horn for the World Pacific recording company.

The musician also recorded for short film "Drop in the Ocean" and stage show "A touch of brightness". His sitar recital featured in "Circarama Film" by German filmmaker Ramon Pelinski which was screened at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

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