The Musician

Based in Mississauga., Ontario, Canada, Irshad Khan is one of the foremost representatives of a musical heritage unprecedented in India. He is the torchbearer of the younger generation of the leading school of Sitar, known as the Imdadkhani Etawa Gharana. Irshad Khan is internationally recognized as one of the greatest living sitar players, and as the leading surbahar (bass sitar) exponent of his generation. Irshad’s individual stamp in both these instruments ascends from the distinctiveness of his technique and mental prowess. His style is followed and inspires many formative and professional sitar players of his generation. His dedication to the subtleties of the raga is in bringing out its essence in rendering its pure form of feelings and expressions. His phenomenal control of the intricate "gayaki-ang"(vocal) and "tantra-ang"(instrumental) styles makes Irshad Khan one of today’s most dynamic musicians of the world. Whether performing familiar works from the traditional ragas, or exploring cultures and musical forms outside of the Indian classical tradition, Irshad strives to play music that stimulates the imagination. His multi-faceted musical interests have taken him in exciting new directions. He is constantly searching for new ways to communicate with his audiences. This remarkable versatility allows Irshad Khan to transcend cultural barriers, and turn each performance into a spellbinding and unforgettable experience for audiences everywhere. Having emerged as a child prodigy, Irshad Khan gave his first public performance at the age of seven. His international debut was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England when he was only 13. At 18, he made history by becoming the youngest soloist to perform at one of the most prestigious international music festivals held in London, known as the Indian All Night Concert at the Proms. Since then he has played in over 40 nations that include music festivals and conferences throughout North America, the EU, Russia, the Middle East, the Far East, and of course, India. Irshad Khan is the founder/president of Universal Academy for Musicians, based in Mississauga and Mumbai, India. Apart from actively performing internationally, he also conducts workshops, lectures and master classes in various educational institutions.