Ustad Iqbal Ahmad Khan
Born and brought up in the musical environs of Delhi Gharana of music, '''Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan''' is an active promoter of Hazrat Amir Khusro’s tradition of Indian music. A real custodian (Khalifa) of Delhi Gharana, he is not only well known for his versatile style of singing but is also regarded as a noble soul for his social activities which he is taking up in upbringing of the Indian Music. Whereas,through his singing, on one hand he is spreading the knowledge among the masses, on the other hand he through his social activities is busy promoting the scholars of Indian Music.
Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the successor of centuries old music tradition of Delhi Gharana, is well known for his versatile style of singing. He sings a whole range of Classical and Semi Classical music. His rich voice makes him versatile. His style of classical singing and his renderings of Thumri, Dadra, Tappa, Bhajans and Ghazals have won him great acclaims. He started learning music from teenage. He was lovingly adopted and groomed by his maternal grand father Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Sahib who had recognized child’s talent at an early age and took him under his wings. He and Iqbal’s paternal grandfather Ustad Jahan Khan and grand uncle Ustad Usman Khan gave him intensive training in Classical Vocal music. With this grounding he also had the privilege of learning from his uncles Ustad Hilal Ahmed Khan, Ustad Naseer Ahmed Khan, Ustad Zafar Ahmed Khan & his father Ustad Zahoor Ahmed Khan and eventually emerged as Top Grade Vocalist of Akashwani.
As a young boy he won many prizes in music competitions at school and University including Ameer Khusro Gold Medal.. A hot favourite of his grandfather Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Sahib, he received his blessing to be chosen as the Custodian of Delhi Gharana (Khalifa) and today he is keeping up the family traditions as an active promoter of Hazrat Amir Khusro’s musical works.
--Iqbal Ahmed Khan was awarded International Amir Khusro Gold medal in 1966.
--As outstanding “Youngest Vocalist of the Country”, Andhra Pradesh Govt. honoured him in 1970.
--In 1974 Shobana Arts of Delhi gave him the title “Best Classical Singer of the Stage”.
--While doing his Bachelor of Arts from Delhi University, he repeatedly got numerous trophies, gold medals, shields and certificates and was declared as the “Outstanding Vocalist” of Delhi University. He has to his credit “Amir Khan Trophy” & Mirza Ghalib Trophy, which he got during 1976-77 in the university Youth Festival.
--He was awarded as the “Best Music Director Composer” for his play “Roop Bengal” staged at Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, and popular T.V. Serial “Amir Khusro”.
--Participated in the international symposium of “The life and works of “Amir Khusro” and gave appealing lecture-cum-demonstration in 1982.
--Participated in International Persian Conference held in Delhi & Bombay and rendered Persian Ghazals of Hafiz, Sadi, Jami and Amir Khusro.
--Composed Music for various popular serials e.g. Indra Sabha, Chader ka Tukra, Basant Bahar, Kala Vasana, Police File Se, Safar ek Ishq ka, etc. In National Network and a documentary “Qutab Minar & its Monuments & Sculptures.” Was also awarded the Best Music Director in the year 1988 and composed Music for Tele Films Aik Pal Aur, Yaad-e-Ghalib. The LittleToy, Jung Abhi Jaari Hai, Talash and Rudra-avatar, etc. for National hook up.
--Also composed Music for the well-known plays “Tamasha Aur Tamashai” based on Mirza Ghalib’s life & “Darashikoh” & also “JAHAN – E – KHUSRO” .
--He has been recorded for the “Archives of Sangeet Natak Academy’. Delhi as a leading vocalist of the country representing the Delhi Gharana of Mausiqui (Music).
--Two of his CDs have been released in Paris.
--He has recorded more than 200 rare traditional Classical Music Compositions (Bandishes) based on various ragas & talas at Sangeet Research Academy, I.T.C. Calcutta for Ford Foundations.
--He was given the title of “Gaayan Acharya” by Sangeet Saiwalaya Bodhgaya (Bihar) in 1993, “Sangeet Rattan” by Sur Sangeet Samity, Narela, Delhi & “Sangeet Saurabh” by Sangeetaayan, Delhi on 1998.
--He has received “Priyadarshini Award” 2001 and “Rajiv Rattan Sadbhavna Samman” 2003.Received Sr. Fellowship from Ministry of HRD, Tourism and Culture, Govt. of India, for the year 2002-2002.
He is a well known Classical Singer of International repute and has been serving Music for more than 40 years. He has given many successful recitals in India and abroad. He is a regular feature in all the major Music Festivals organized by different prestigious institutions of India. He has already performed in the following concerts:
Sangeet Samarat “Miya Tansain” Sangeet Samaroh & Ustad Hafiz Ali Festival (Gwalior).ITC Sangeet Sammelan Banglore,India. & Swami Haridas Sammelan Vrindavan.
-All India Music Conferences at Calcutta, Ranchi, Kota, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bodh Gayam Bharatpur etc.
-All India Sangeet Sammelan, organized by Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwa Vidhyalaya, Khairagarh, (M.P.) Muzaffar Pur, Rawat Pura Sarkar, (Jhansi).
-All India Music Conference Jabalpur M.P.
-Chandni Chowk Ustav (Delhi Govt.)
-Haleem Academy of Sitar, Mumbai.
-Ankur Festival, Guni Das Sammelan (Mumbai).
-Durga Pooja Mahotsva, in all major cities of Bihar State.
-Raag Rang Festival, Delhi.
-Hari Vallabh Festival, Jallandhar.
-Saraswati & Lakshmi Pooja Festivals at Patna, Barauni etc.,
-Swachh Ganga Utsav Festival, Varanasi.
-Akhil Bhartiya Sangeet Sammelans at Lucknow, Muradabad, Ram Pur, Shahjahan Pur,Chandigarh & Ambala.
-Nehru Centre, Mumbai.
-Onam Festival, Trivandrum.
-All India Music Conference Organized by Natwari at Mumbai, Allahabad, & Jodhpur.
-Sharda Sangeet Vidhalaya, Mumbai.
-All India Music Festivals at Shimla, Nainitaal, Sundar Nagar (Mandi).
-U.P. Sangeet Natak Academy, Lucknow.
-Saptsur Festival, Delhi. & Sur Rang Festival, Delhi.
-Vishnu Digambar Jayanthi Samaroh, Delhi, Patna, etc.
-Spic Macay Society for lecture - cum -demonstration in all the major cities of India.
-Since 1966 he broadcasts regularly from All India Radio & T.V. and also sings for Akashwani Sangeet Sammelans. He was also invited by the Govt. of Great Britain, in 1988 for a lecture demonstration tour of that country. He also visited Germany and Pakistan for his performances. In 1997-98 he visited U.S.A., Canada and Malaysia and continuously visiting USA for promoting & teaching Indian classical music.
- Represented India in International Seminar on Amir Khusro held at Dusumbe, Tajikistan in 2003.
-Raag Darshan” by Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi and Calcutta in 2002.
-Raag Parikarma” by Sangeet Research Academy, Calcutta in 2003.
-Lecture demonstration at International Seminar on Indian, Persian and Arabic music held in Mumbai, 2004.
--This programme opened with rendering of Raga Yaman by seven year old Iqbal Ahmed Khan. The Child Artists succeeded in expressing the complexities of the composition. The ''Indian Express'' [[February 23]], [].
--A promising child artist. The child artist sang Bihagada – holds out much promise. He displays a sensibility for Laya & Sur.
The ''Times of India'' [[September 12]], [].
--Iqbal Ahmed, already known as child prodigy & now with his voice at the Cracking Stage, sings with usual caress, confidence & control.
The ''Times of India'' [[June 27]], [].
--“Taans” were intelligent & well planned. There was accuracy of notes & general comprehensibility,
''The Statesman'' [[February 9]], [].
--Iqbal Ahmed renders masterly and with versatility the glimpses of Persian, Arabic, Hindi and Urdu compositions of Khusro.
''The Statesman'' [[April 12]], [].
--He is not associated with any Music Colleges who concentrate more on theory. Since Amir Khusro’s name is associated with Delhi Gharana. Iqbal has done commendable work in highlighting Khusro’s compositions.
''The Evening News'' [[August 21]], [].
--Ghazals too are weaved deep into the intricacies of classical nominations.
''Financial Express'' Dec.13th 1981.
--Sang compositions of Amir Khusro with great confidence, tunefulness, and flexibility of voice covering three octaves. Variety in tans & sargams were chief features of his recital.
''The Hindustan Times'' [[December 10]], [].
--Iqbal’s rendering of “Maru Bihag” in vilambit and drut Khayal set to ektal was unique and outstanding
''The pioneer'' [[February 13]], [].
--Iqbal Ahmed is promising young vocalist of Delhi Gharana (Chand Khan), specializing in Khayals. He presented good Khayals in Yaman Kalyan and Rageshri in AIR’s National Tuesday night concerts.
''The Hindustan Times'' [[August 23]], [].
--Sang Puriya in the highly sophisticated style of his gharana particularly in the alaap in akaar. His tans keeping with his gharana’s traditions were intricate and intended to show his virtuosity. “Basant Bahar” and Surdas Bhajan in raga “Sohni” were all sung with skill and created good impression on the audience.
--"The Evening News'' Jan. 29th 1990.
Iqbal has matured into a very fine vocalist with a repertoire of ragas and compositions, which few artists of his age can boast of.
''The Hindu'' [[February 23]], [].
--Iqbal Ahmed Khan has expanded its range to cover more than three octaves and he has acquired much “tayyari” in the speed and variety of his taans.
''The Hindu'' [[October 10]], [].
--Representing the tradition of the great Ustad Chand Khan, one of Delhi Gharana’s most remembered voices, the young Iqbal Ahmed Khan was both confident and secure. His taans had fight and freedom and its striking clarity showed that the young Ustad kept his riyaz in a high state of readiness.
''The Times of India'' [[March 14]], [].
--Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan who performed under the aegis of Kala Bharti is an exponent of the almost extinct Delhi Gharana, Iqbal Ahmed gave a fairly absorbing recital of this venue. ''The Afternoon Despatch & Courier'', Bombay [[June 10]], [].
--Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, ‘Khalifa of Delhi Gharana’ gave an unforgettable recital. His musicianship was as sound as it was deep rooted, reminiscent of Ustad of a bygone era. His performance made one sit up and realize that what passes as classical music today is a mere skimming of the surface. A superficiality which should be commanded if one wants to preserve the classicism of classical music.
''The Hindustan Times'' Mar. 30th 1995.
--A brief reading of a Khayal in raga Puriya saw the Delhi Gharana’s khalifa, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan in the best of his elements. The raga’s serene format was well adhered to. The brief rendering however impressed for his able handling for the raga and the composition. ''The Pioneer'' [[July 5]], [].
--In a programme “Sham-e-Ghazal” held at India International Centre sometime back, Iqbal Ahmed Khan projected his brand of Ghazal gayaki. In the introductory remarks he mentioned that Ghazal singing should be reposeful and text given due prominence while interlacing it with melody. ''Sunday Herald'' [[November 17]], [].
--Iqbal Khan is most articulate when he talks of the past. He belongs to what he claims to be the oldest Gharana in North India, founded by the composer-poet Amir Khusro, the father of Hindustan Music. The Hindu [[February 12]], [].
--Iqbal Ahmed Khan’s scintillating recital breathed life into the Ragini Devi Desh Videsh Utsav held recently in Delhi. ''The Hindu'' Jan. 16th 1998.
--Luckily, the principle I have just adverted to, was not quite ignored by Iqbal Ahmed Khan. His opening number, a khayal in raga Anandsree, was in fact noticeably true not only to the vilambit idiom but to the emotive import of the text of the composition: “Raakho moree laaj”. Sruti October 1998.
--Impressive performance – Another concept in Patna by Sur Mandit at Kalidas Rangalaya presented Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, better known as the ‘Khalifa’ of Delhi gharana of khayal singing. The organization is credited to have, for the first time, presented him in Patna and it is this very platform which again arranged for his recital here after a substantial gap. ''The Hindu'' [[December 31]], [].
--The Programme opened with the vocal recital of Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the grandson and disciple of Chand Khan Sahib, who now heads the Gharana. He presented Raga Puriya, a favourite of Ustad Chand Khan; the Vilambit Khayal in ektaal with bols ‘Aey Parvardigar….’ Followed by the drut in teentaalwith bols (Mori arj suno dastgir, Peer). His rendering was technically impeccable and showed the ustad in his best. The end piece of a beautiful thumri in Pahadi ‘Sajanva nahin aye…’ was sung with great feeling and effect. ''Sunday Herald'' Jan. 23 2000.
--The “Malhars” were a Prairie on fire.
''Hindustan Times'' [[September 6]], [].
--Preliminaries over, the audience geared itself to hear some music. The opening recital was by Iqbal Ahmed Khan who at the demise of the Ustad was appointed the ‘Khalifa’ or the custodian of the Delhi Gharana. Presumably Iqbal must have gone through hectic days making arrangements for the centenary function. One almost felt that all this perhaps had inhibiting influence on his performance. On top of that opted for one of the more demanding ragas – “Puriya”.
''The Hindu'' Jan 28th 2000
--In yet another evening of the soiree, Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the Khalifa of the Delhi Gharana of Khayal singing, opened up the deeply - vented and gorgeous spectrum of his school and style, executing rare compositions of Ustad Mamman Khan, Ustad Chand Khan and other veterians of his lineage. And it was also here that he treated cognoscenti with immitable compositions of Amir Khusro and Ghalib.
''The Hindu'' [[19 May]] [].
--Iqbal Ahmed Khan is a solid, substantial and out and out expressive musician, one who can rub shoulders with the great. ''The Hindu'' [[February 2]], [].
--Delhi Gharana’s Iqbal Ahmed Khan sang “Lankeshwari”, “Shiv Kalyan” and variations of “Shahana”. The vocal recital was marked by melodious and faithfull. Iqbal is an accomplished vocalist whose expression has grace and suppleness.
''The Hindu'' Jan. 17, 2003.
OCCUPATION: PERFORMER, SINGER, MUSIC DIRECTOR,TEACHER & COMPOSER
LANGUAGES KNOWN: Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit, and English
SOCIAL ACTIVITIES: Italic text
CHAIRMAN: CHAND SANGEET SAMITI, RANCHI
DIRECTOR: AMIR KHUSRO INSTITUTE OF MUSIC.
PATRON: ALL INDIA MUSICIAN ASSOCIATION.
PRESIDENT: NEHRU KALA KUNJ SANGEET KAAR SAMITI
VICE PRESIDENT: USTAD JAHAN KHAN MEMORIAL SOCIETY
GEN. SECRETARY: SURSAGAR SOCIETY OF DELHI GHARANA,
USTAD CHAND KHAN MEMORIAL SOCIETY,
FANKARAN –E - MOUSIQI.
ADVISOR: HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN MUSIC ACADEMY
CULTURAL ADVISOR: MEER-TAQI-MEER CULTURAL SOCIETY &
AMBEDKAR FOUNDATION FOR ART & CULTURE
SECY. CULTURE: VIGILANT CITIZEN AND MULAQAAT
MEMBER: NATIONAL AMIR KHUSRO SOCIETY, ALL INDIA
URDU WRITERS & JOURNALISTS FORUM FOR
SAARTHI (NEHRU KALA KUNJ)
SAAHITYA KALA PARISHAD, DELHI