Imtiyaz Ali Khan

Imtiyaz Ali Khan

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Category: Art , History

Imtiyaz Ali Khan Profile

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  • Imtiyaz Ali Khan

Imtiyaz Ali Khan Biography

Imtiyaz Ali Khan is a painter, Marxist thinker, and art historian from Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. He belongs to a family with more than 500-years of musical traditions in Rudra Veena, and many of them have served in the courts of Mughal emperors like Akbar and Jehangir. Legendary Veena player Wazir Khan was his uncle. He is a member of a royal family of Jodhpur, and belongs to the family of I. Samokhan Singh, Maharaja of Kishangarh who died in a battle with Akbar. After the defeat the remaining members of the royal family accepted Islam, and Akbar gave them ‘Khan’ title. Imtiyaz Ali Khan is one among the latest links of this illustrious musical family of Rudra Veena players, though Khan is associated with colours and not music.


Imtiyaz Ali Khan was born in 1926 in Rampur, UP into a culturally rich family. The family has a rich tradition of music, which has given immense contribution to the field of Rudra Veena also known as Been. Lal Khan Gunsamundra, Khushal Khan Gunsamundra, Naimat Khan (Sadarang), Omrao Khan, Ameer Khan Khandara, Imtiyaz ali khan etc – the list of veena players and vocalists from his family is immensely huge, right from the 16th century and still following the legacy in the 21th century. His family was also known to develop their own cuisine influenced by Awadhi cuisine. His family is fond of desserts.


He is a descendant of Naubat Khan and Saraswati Devi, Tansen's daughter, and Naubat Khan used to perform Veena at Akbar’s court aside Mia Tansen. Musical heritage of the family is recorded from the time period of I. Samokhan Singh, Maharaja of Kishangarh onwards. He belongs to the royal house of Kishangarh.


Published: May 23, 2019

Updated: May 23, 2019


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