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About Irshad Khan:

Irshad Khan is internationally recognized as one of the greatest sitar players and as the leading surbahar (bass sitar) exponent of his generation. He is one of the foremost representatives of a musical heritage Imdadkhani Etawa Gharana (the leading school of Sitar) unprecedented in India, Irshad’s individual stamp in both these instruments ascends from the distinctiveness of his technique and mental prowess. His style is followed and inspired by 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 the world’s most dynamic musicians of today.

Whether he is performing pure classical, folk, or world beat/new age, audiences are stunned by his supreme virtuosity and musicality. 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 performances in various music festivals and conferences throughout India, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, the Far East, and North America, His multi-faceted musical interests have taken him in exciting new directions.  He is constantly searching for new ways to communicate with his audiences. 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. Being a composer and performer from an early age and composing for his second  LP which was published (HMV) in 1980 at the tender age of 16 in India. Moreover, this has driven Irshad’s passion for composing music for many different genres. Some of his albums have been hailed as “path-breaking”. He has worked in films, TV shows, TV commercials, and with a variety of musicians in several countries.  He has many commercial recordings which are sold worldwide.

Irshad Khan is the founder/president of Universal Academy for Musicians, based in Mississauga and Mumbai. Apart from actively performing internationally, he also conducts workshops, lectures and master classes in various educational institutions.

Irshad Khan


Internationally recognized as one of the greatest sitar players and as the leading surbahar (bass sitar) exponent of his generation, Irshad Khan creates ancient melodies in a new context.


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