Alam Khan, The Sonic Prayer

Single Bill

The Maihar gharana unwrapped and why raga music not for entertainment. 

Alam Khan talks about the Maihar gharana as taught by Baba Allauddin Khan (1862-1972), who taught Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (1922-2009) and Pandit Ravi Shankar (1920-2012), both of whom took Indian raga music to every part of the world. Yehudi Menuhin once described the late sarod maestro, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Alam’s father as ‘the greatest instrumentalist of the 20th century.’ 

Being born into a family where your father is regarded as the finest Indian classical musician can be a curse. However, Khan after his father’s passing, navigated his path through his father’s musical archives to become one of the most authentic sarod players. In this special lecture demonstration, Khan talks about the ethos of his father, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and how he would approach raga playing as a form of spiritual inner work - with his head bowed, praying to the cosmos. whilst audiences would experience the same music making journey. He believes his music isn’t about creating fireworks but rather for the audiences to feel the energy of the musician.  

Khan describes his father’s music as honest music where his father would say:  

Here it is. I am going to take a jump off the cliff and take the audience with me, even if it is messy but it is always exciting. Let’s see where this lands.’ 

The hour talk follows a 30-minute Q&A with the audience.  

Booking info

29 October 2023 | 12:00

Barbican Centre, Froshiber Rooms

from £10

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About the Festival


Darbar Festival 2023

An unparalleled celebration of Indian classical music 26-29 October at the Barbican...

New to indian Classical Music?

The beginner's guide to Indian classical music. Whether you’re completely new to raga music or just need a refresher, we’ve put together this brief overview of all things raga music to help you feel at ease when visiting one of our concerts or watch our videos on our YouTube or our Darbar Concert Hall.


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