Doyen of Hindustani classical music, Padma Vibhushan awardee Ustaad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away earlier today at the age of 90. Khan comes from the illustrious Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, which traces its roots from the Seniya tradition. Trained under his father initially, Khan later on continued his taalim under Ustaad Fida Hussain Khan & Ustaad Nisaar Hussain Khan.
Khan has performed at almost all prominent music festivals held across globe and was announced as the ‘Junior Tansen’ at the 1969 session of Haridas Sangeet Sabha, Mangalore. Though, awarded with numerous awards, Khan received the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akadmei award, the highest Indian recognition given to an artist, in the year 2003 by the then President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam.
The news of Khan’s passing away was broken by his daughter-in-law Namrata Gupta Khan on Instagram where alongside the picture of Ustad she wrote, “With a very heavy heart, I inform you all that my father,-in law the pillar of our family and a legend of our nation, Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan sahab has left for his heavenly abode few mins ago (sic).”
Khan’s music was not only popular amongst the audience of Indian Classical Music but films were also not left untouched from his voice. The first film where he gave his voice was a Marathi movie called Chand Pretticha. Later on he gave his voice for Mrinal Sen’s ‘Bhuvan Shome’ and also sang Sajanaa kahe nahi aaye from Badnaam Basti. Khan’s musical brilliance was also witnessed in the song Jhoola kinne dala from the movie Umrao Jaan. In a German documentary shot in Rajasthan Khan has played the role of Baiju Bawra, where he sang for himself.
Khan’s contribution to the field of music is immense. Apart from being guru to the famed classical vocalist, Ustaad Rashid Khan, he has also trained musicians like—Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Geeta Dutt Roy, A.R. Rahman, Hariharan, Waheeda Rahman, Shaan, Sonu Nigam, Sagarika, Kamal Barot, Ranu Mukherjee, Alisha Chinoy, and his sons-Murtuza Mustafa, Qadir Mustafa, Rabbani Mustafa and Hasan Mustafa, under him.
On hearing the news of Khan’s passing away Lata Mangeshkar from her twitter account wrote that with the passing away of the Ustaad the Indian Music has suffered tremendously and further she wrote, “Main unko vinamra shraddhanjali arpan karti hun. (I pay my humble tributes to him, (sic).”
Mujhe abhi abhi ye dukhad khabar mili hai ki mahan shastriya gayak Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Saheb is duniya mein nahi rahe. Ye sunke mujhe bahut dukh hua. Wo gayak to acche the hee par insaaan bhi bahut acche the. pic.twitter.com/l6NImKQ4J9— Lata Mangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) January 17, 2021
Academy award winning musician AR Rahman wrote, “The sweetest teacher of all ..May the Ghafoor-ur-Rahim give you a special place in the next world (sic).”
Rahman had in the year 2013 shared the stage with Khan for a Coke studio production of the bandish Aao Balma in Raga Yaman. The production saw coming together of three generations of the musicians where Khan’s son & grandson also shared the stage with the maestro.