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Allauddin Khan

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Allauddin Khan (Bangla: ওস্তাদ আলাউদ্দীন খান, also known as Baba Allauddin Khan) (1862–1972), was a Bengali Indian classical sarodiya and multi-instrumentalist and one of the greatest music teachers of the 20th Century, father of Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi and guru to Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh and other influential musicians. He himself was a disciple of many great musicians, most importantly the legendary Wazir Khan.

Allauddin Khan was born in Shibpur village in Brahmanbaria, in present-day Bangladesh, the son of Sabdar Hossain Khan, also known as Sadhu Khan. Alluddin’s elder brother, Fakir Aftabuddin, first taught him some music in the home.

At the age of ten, Allauddin ran away from home to join a jatra band, a traditional Bengali form of theater. This experience exposed him to the rich folk tradition of Bengal. After some time, he went to Kolkata, and was accepted as a student by singer Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya, alias Nulo Gopal. Allauddin committed to a 12-year practice program; However, Nulo Gopal died of plague after the seventh year. Khan then became a disciple of Amritalal Dutt, a close relative of Swami Vivekananda and music director at Kolkata’s Star Theatre, with the goal of becoming an instrumentalist. At this time, he also took lessons in European classical violin from a Mr Lobo, a bandmaster from Goa.

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