Sabri Khan
Sabri Khan on a 2018 stamp of India
Sabri Khan on a 2018 stamp of India
Background information
Born21 May 1927
Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died1 December 2015(2015-12-01) (aged 88)
New Delhi, Delhi, India
GenresIndian classical music, Hindustani classical music

Ustad Sabri Khan (21 May 1927 – 1 December 2015) was an Indian sarangi player, who was descended on both sides of his family from a line of distinguished musicians.

Early life

Sabri Khan was born on 21 May 1927 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, British India.[1][2] He belonged to the Sainia Gharana. This Gharana traces the tradition of its music back to Mian Tansen, the great vocalist in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He had been initiated into sarangi-playing by his grandfather, Ustad Haji Mohammed Khan and later continued his training under his father Ustad Chajju Khan, both accomplished sarangi exponents of their time. Khan also learned some important and rare techniques of playing from his uncle Ustad Laddan Khan of Rampur.[1]

Music career

Sabri Khan played sarangi with vocalist musicians on All India Radio and also served as a staff artiste there.[1] He accompanied the noted sitar player Ravi Shankar and tabla player Alla Rakha on their tour of the United States in the early 1960s.[1]

Sabri Khan toured extensively and performed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Japan, USSR, United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Mexico. The credit of introducing the Sarangi to American and European audiences goes to Sabri Khan. He also played a duet with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and was invited as a visiting professor by the University of Washington, Seattle, United States in 1981.[1]

In appreciation of his contribution to the Classical Music of India, Ustad Sabri Khan received the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, UP, Sangeet Natak Academy Award, National Sangeet Natak Academy Award (1986), the Padma Shree Award (1992) and Padma Bhushan Award (2006) by the President of India – Government of India.[3][4]


Ustad Sabri Khan Sahib has four sons (1) Sarwar Sabri (2) Jamal Sabri (3) Kamal Sabri (4) Gulfam Sabri, and five daughters. He has many grandsons playing musical instruments: Suhail Yusuf Khan (Sarangi), Faisal Yusuf Khan (Tabla), Shariq Khan (Tabla), Junaid (Guitar) and Nabeel Khan (Sarangi).

Death and legacy

In the early morning on 1 December 2015, Ustad Sabri Khan died surrounded by his family at his home in New Delhi at age 88.[3][5]

Awards and honours

Sabri Khan receiving Padma Bhushan from the President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.


  1. ^ a b c d e A tribute to the sarangi mastery of Sabri Khan (link to his old interview on Rajya Sabha TV also included) website, Published 5 December 2015, Retrieved 14 December 2021
  2. ^ Hunt, Ken. "Sabri Khan – Biography". Allmusic website. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sarangi maestro Ustad Sabri Khan dead Hindustan Times (newspaper), Published 2 December 2015, Retrieved 14 December 2021
  4. ^ a b "Padma Awards Directory (1954-2013)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website. 1 September 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ustad Sabri Khan Dies at 88 NDTV website, Published 1 December 2015, Retrieved 14 December 2021
  6. ^ "Award Winners List – Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (scroll down to read under Instrumental - Sarangi)". Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards website. 17 April 2010. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2021.