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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Google doodles shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan's 102nd birthday

Google doodles shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan's 102nd birthday

March 21, 2018 10:20 IST

Today's Google doodle is celebrating Ustad Bismillah Khan's 102nd birth anniversary.

Search giant Google is celebrating Indian shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan's birthday with a doodle.

Bismillah Khan who belonged to a family of musicians was born March 21, 1916 in Dumraon, Bihar.

Khan's father played the shehnai in the Dumraon Palace for Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh while his ancestors were court musicians.

Born as Qamruddin, the name Bismillah was added by his grandfather Rasool Baksh Khan.

At age six, he moved to Varanasi from where he trained under his uncle, late Ali Baksh, also a shehnai player.

The Bharat Ratna recipient is credited to have popularised the shehnai as a musical instrument in India.

Some of Bismillah Khan's notable performances include his concert at Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937, at Delhi's Red Fort for India's first Independence Day in 1947 and first Republic Day ceremony in 1950.

He also played music in commercial Hindi films like Goonj Uthi Shehnai in 1959 and the more recent Rockstar in 2011.

Google doodles Indian shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan's 102nd birthday

On March 21, 2018, Google doodled Indian shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan's 102nd birthday.

One of his unfulfilled dreams was to perform at India Gate for the martyrs.

Bismillah Khan died of cardiac arrest on August 21, 2006 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

In honor of his music, the Sangeet Natak Akademi awards promising young musicians, theatre artists and dancers the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar since 2007.

Lead image:  Jewella C Miranda/Rediff Archives