Kolkata, Feb 19: Veteran Hindustani classical vocalist Abdul Rashid Khan passed away here on Thursday due to old age problems, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. He was 107. Born in a family of musicians of the Gwalior ‘gharana’, Rashid Khan received his initial training from his father Chhote Yusuf Khan and uncle Bade Yusuf Khan as also other elders from the family.
His traditional compositions have been recorded by reputed broadcasters and institutes like BBC, Iraq Radio and Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academi, Lucknow. Equally adept at khayal, thumri, dhrupad and dhamar, he was a regular performer in Akashvani and Doordarshan and reputed national and regional conferences.
Khan created several compositions and was also a prolific writer and poet under the pseudonym “Rasan Piya”. In 2013, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, becoming the oldest person ever to be conferred a Padma award.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee was a resident guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in the city. His last rites will performed in Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. Banerjee condoled Khan’s death saying it has left behind a “void in Hindustani classical music that cannot be filled”.
“I am deeply saddened by his death. India has lost a great gem from the world of music,” Banerjee said in a statement. (IANS)