From the state of Nawabs to the state of Nizams, Ustad Rashid Khan has mesmerised everyone effortlessly. For the same, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi once called him the “assurance for the future of Indian vocal music.” He will be in the city for a jugalbandhi with Ustad Shahid Parvez. His hair-raising performances from when he was barely 11-years-old fetched him a Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. Ask him about what he has in store for Hyderabadis who are equally inclined to Hindustani, Sufi and Carnatic music, the maestro chooses to remain tight-lipped, “it is a suspense.” This 50-year-old legend in a tête-â-tête shares about what accelerated his passion for music.
Tell us about Rampur Sahaswan gharana of which you are an exponent?
The Royal Courts of the princely rulers, Nawabs and Maharajas of the pre-independence era played a vital role in nurturing and promoting music. The durbars enabled great musicians to devote complete attention to their art through munificent grants of salaries, land tenures and other valuable gifts. The historic contribution of the Rampur rulers developed the gharana during the 19th and the early 20th Centuries.
What kind of equation do you share with Ustad Shahid Parvez?
It is indeed a pleasure to know and perform with a maestro like him. We share a wonderful rapport on stage as well as off it. And if you notice, that reflects in our performances also.
Has traditional Indian music lost its charm in the recent years?
It is hard to say, I have always experienced a good footfall in my shows, with quite a share of youngsters there as well. However, yes, any musician should ensure that their stage presence and presentation should be at par with today’s generation.
What should be done to encourage the youth to learn Hindustani and Carnatic music?
The whole process of learning should begin in the school syllabus so that, as they grow up they are attuned to these genres of music and can develop a taste between the two kinds.
Do you think the current generation has somewhere missed out on learning facilities like your early days with Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan?
Yes, of course. These days the current generation does not have the time to practice and improve their handwriting, where will they find the time to do rewaz the way we were taught.
What are you expecting from the audience here in Hyderabad?
The city is well-versed with all genres of music and I have always had a packed auditorium concerts. I am looking forward for an even better experience this time.
The Hindustani duo will be in the city today for a performance at Ravindra Bharathi from 7.30 pm onwards. Tickets: `750 per person.
— Nishad Neelambaran