Ustad Rajab Ali Khan
In the last centuries the court of Jaipur was the musical center
of Rajastans. The generous patronage of Maharaja Ram Singh II assembled in his
ruling times (1835 - 1880) numerous instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers in
Jaipur. Among them was the Binkar Ustad Rajab Ali Khan, who was teaching also
the Maharaja himself on the Bin.
Since Ustad Rajab Ali Khan did not have a son, he passed on his
art to his nephew Ustad Musharaf Ali Khan, who became later court musician
in Alwar. Ustad Musharaf Ali Khan performed as one of the firth Indian musicians
in Europe - 1886 in London. Around the beginning of the 20th century he and
Ustad Jamaluddin Khan where two of the most famous Veena players of the country.
His golden painted Veena can still be found today in the Alwar Palace
Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan (1883 - 1964), one of the five sons of
Ustad Musharaf Ali Khan, took over the position of his father in Alwar after his
death. Later he shifted to Rampur, another famous musical center. Here he lived
until the end of his life as court musician of Nawab Raza Ali Khan.
At the court environment of Rampur also his 1937 born son Ustad
Asad Ali Khan was growing up. At the age of ten he began his lesson on sitar.
Four years later his father started to teach him on the Rudra Veena. It followed
another thirteen years of intensive schooling and practice (riyaz) in which he
also accompanied his fathers concerts.
Ustad Asad Ali Khan is today the last famous musician who
combines the mastery of the traditional Been techniques with profound knowledge
of the raga. His family tradition makes him also to be one of the last
representatives of the Khandarbani, one of the main styles of the Dhrupad.
This mainly on the Been played style is known for the precise
control of the microtonal fineness and the simultaneous ornament rich
development of the melody. With worldwide concerts and classes to Indian and
Foreign students he works for the continuation of the Rudra Veena tradition. His
nephew Zaki Haider lives and learns with him since his childhood. Beside that
Ustad Asad Ali Khan teaches also some other disciples on the Rudra Veena.