Irfan Khan, sarod and sitar (Emeritus Professor)

Ustad Irfan Muhammad Khan is the EmeritusĀ Sarod and Sitar teacher at ANIM. A master performer of the sarod, one of the most celebrated stringed instruments of North India, Mr. Khan represents the Lucknow-Shahjahanpur Gharana which has produced eminent Sarod players like Ustad Enayet Khan (1790-1883), Ustad Asadullah Khan Kaukab (1852-1919), Ustad Karamatuilah Khan (1848-1933), and Prof. Sakhawat Hussain Khan (1875-1955) of the Marris College at Lucknow. The last is Irfan Md. Khan’s grandfather.

Irfan was tutored by his father, the famous Sarod player, Ustad Umar Khan (1916-1982) and his uncle Ustad Ilyas Khan (1924-1989) the famous Sitar player of Lucknow. His playing style is to present the alap in the style of Rabab and Sur-Singar. When he plays the “Gat-Toda,” he has the advantage of a stock of old compositions by luminaries like Rahim Sen (18th Century), Basat Khan, Pyar Khan, Jaffar Khan and Haider Khan all from the 19th century.

Besides belonging to a traditional family of musicians – his predecessor Basat Khan was a direct descendent of Mia Tansen from the male line – Irfan holds a Sangeet Visharad (B Music) and Sangeet Praveen (M. Mus.). In his M. Music from the Prayag Sangit Samiti, the University of music, Allahabad, he topped the list and was awarded the gold medal. He also holds a B.A. Degree (History) from Kanpur University. Irfan was chosen by ICCR and External Affairs Ministry of India and sent on a deputation to Kabul, where he served as a sarod and sitar teacher for three years in the 1980s.

Awarded the title of “Sur-Mani” by the prestigious Sur Singar Samsad of Bombay, India, Irfan has performed widely in India, Germany, and also in neighbouring countries. He was invited to perform at the Festival of Sarod under the auspices of the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Society at Delhi in 1988. Irfan was attached to Assam Valley School, Tezpur, as a senior teacher of Music as the Head of the Department, and at Delhi Public School, Numaligarh.