Ustad Wajahat Khan | Sound of the Sarod

Key information

6:30 pm
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)
Event type

About this event

We welcome one of India’s great sarod maestro/composer of world-renown Ustad Wajahat Khan, to perform with the internationally acclaimed tabla virtuoso Pandit Sanju Sahai. Also accompanying on the tanpura will be two of Ustadji’s disciples Dr Richard Williams and Dr Samia Khatoon, Head of Music and Senior Lecturer at SOAS respectively. This concert is in memory of Ustadji’s late father, India’s legendary sitar & surbahar maestro Ustad Imrat Khan. Raags to be performed will be announced on the evening of concert, depending upon the artist’s mood along with the mood of the evening.

This will be followed by a post-concert Q&A session with Ustad Wajahat Khan and the audience.

Based in London and Kolkata, India’s renowned sarod maestro Ustad Wajahat Khan has performed to great acclaim in over 30 countries worldwide with a growing reputation as one of the most accomplished Indian classical musicians of his generation. Prestigious venues have included the Smithsonian (Washington), Symphony Hall (Berlin), Suntori Hall (Tokyo) and Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms, London). Son of the legendary sitar/surbahar maestro Ustad Imrat Khan, he belongs to the 8th generation of one of India's most distinguished musical families which goes back through a line of celebrated musicians to courts of the 16th century India. Wajahat Khan is also a distinguished composer & educationalist. He has accomplished award-winning collaborations with Western classical, jazz, flamenco & opera - including 3 sarod concertos and quintets with string quartets, having performed with world leading orchestras and ensembles, such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Opera. He teaches and lectures extensively, has given concerts and workshop courses at eminent institutions, including the Universities of Florida, Washington-St Louis, Johannesburg, Malaysia, Cambridge, Middlesex, and has been a resident artist at the SOAS. He performs at various educational institutions of Spicmacay throughout India, and has presented illustrated talks on BBC World Service. With revolutionary contributions to the art of sarod playing and the instrument itself, Ustad Wajahat Khan has energised its performance repertoire with his distinctive style & virtuoso technique, which interweaves a wide spectrum of dhrupad, khayal and thumri vocal forms with authentic sarod baaj (repertoire), acquiring a worldwide following & appraisal.

Accompanying Ustad Wajahat Khan on the tabla is Pandit Sanju Sahai (also known as Vishnu Sahai), who is currently one of the most sought after tabla players belonging to the 6th generation of the renowned Benaras tabla tradition. Son of the legendary tabla maestro Pandit Sharda Sahai, he has performed in numerous international festivals both as a soloist and as an accompanist with many of India’s legendary musicians.

Accompaniment on the tanpura is provided by two of Ustad Wajahat Khan’s disciples Dr Richard Williams (Head of Music/Senior Lecturer) and Dr Samia Khatoon (Senior Lecturer) of SOAS. They are studying the sitar and vocal music respectively, but will be playing tanpura with their guru tonight.

For questions or further details, please email SOAS Concert Series coordinator Georgie Pope on