The man who gave Doordarshan’s signature tune, shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan, died in Kolkata on Wednesday, family sources said. He was 77. Suffering from kidney-related problems, he was hospitalised since the last few days and passed away in the morning.
He leaves behind five sons, five daughters and grandchildren. Born in 1939, Khan represented the Benaras gharana (school) in shehnai music.
Trained by family members who are legends in propagating classical music on the shehnai, he was known for bringing in a soft and sweet tone to shehnai performances and maintaining purity of ragas.
Watch Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan perform here:
The Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee played at the inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan television channel in 1973 and rendered its signature tune.
Listen to Doordarshan’s signature tune here:
Khan had performed globally and was felicitated with the Bangabhushan award by the West Bengal government in 2012.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled his death.
“His death is an irreparable loss in classical music. I pray for peace to the departed soul. I convey my deep condolences to the family,” she said in a statement.