Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan (1906 – 16 July 1993) was an Indian classical vocalist from the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana. He was a disciple and son of Fida Hussain Khan and after a long and illustrious career was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1971.[1]

He was the court musician of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III at Baroda and was featured extensively on All India Radio. He was a specialist in Tarana. His most famous disciples are his cousin Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Rashid Khan.[2]


Nisar Hussain Khan gave his first performance at age 11 which was considered phenominal at that time.[2] Then he went on to receive a scholarship from the Maharaja of Baroda who also appointed his father as a court musician to further help train his young son Nisar Hussain Khan. By the age of 18, he had gained much more confidence as a singer in Maharaja's court and then Nisar, too, was appointed as a court musician. He remained in that position for nearly three decades.[2]

By the 1940s, Nisar Hussain had become a well-known performer on the concert circuit of India and he also was broadcasting for All India Radio.[2]

Vocal style

Khansahib inherited a vast repertoire of well-known and obscure melodies from his forebears. His rich, resonant voice was cultivated through decades of training. He embellishes the modal form of the ragas with flashes of gamaks, bol-taans and sargams. As an exponent of the khyal style, he renders taranas with distinction.[2][3]


Khan's most famous disciple was his grandnephew Rashid Khan. He trained Rashid in the traditional master-apprentice manner, first at his own residence at Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, and subsequently at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta, where he spent the last years of his life.[2]

Khansahib's gharana, the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, owes its existence to the Senia traditions and has a revered lineage of classical vocalists such as Bahadur Hussain Khan, Inayat Hussain Khan, Fida Hussain Khan and Mushtaq Hussain Khan.[2]


Partial discography

78rpm recordings (HMV: c. 1938 onwards)

EP/LP recordings: HMV 1961

HMV 1972

Odeon Records 1990


  1. ^ a b "Padma Awards (see page 39 of 172 for his award in 1971)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Tribute to a Maestro - Nisar Hussain Khan". ITC Sangeet Research Academy website. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  3. ^ All India Radio/Odeon LP, PMLP 3065, 1990.
  4. ^ "Vocal Music Awards List (Nisar Hussain Khan on the LIST for 1970)". Sangeet Natak Akademi website. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Rampur Sahaswan Gharana - Nisar Hussain Khan's Tarana songs listed". ITC Sangeet Research Academy website. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2024.