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Ustad Imrat Khan is one of the world's greatest players of the surbahar, a deep-toned, sitar-like stringed instrument that was developed by his great-grandfather, Ustad Sahabdad Khan, and Ustad Imdad Khan. With its four-octave range, the instrument is used to play the ultra-strict dhrupad style of Indian classical music. Still young when his father died, Imrat Khan was taught to play the surbahar and to sing in the highly ornamental classical vocal style of khyal by his mother, Bashiran Begum, and his maternal grandfather, Ustad Bandeh Hassan. Forming one of the first sitar-and-surbahad duos with his older brother, Vilayat Khan, Imrat helped to pioneer the unique gayaki ang ("vocal manner") approach to Indian instrumental music. In 1956, the two brothers were invited to accompany the first Indian cultural delegation to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Although they elected to go their separate ways, Imrat and Vilayat have both continued to play major roles in the evolution of Indian classical music. Teaching at Dartington College of the Arts in England from 1968 to 1970, Imrat became the first Indian classical musician to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, in 1971. He received a prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from the president of India in 1988. During the '90s, Imrat performed many shows and recorded with his four sons: Nishat (sitar), Irshad (sitar), Wajahat (sarod), and Shafaatullah (tabla). Imrat composed and/or performed on Satyajit Ray's Jalsaghar (Le Salon de Musique), and the soundtracks of such films as James Ivory's The Guru and the Michael Caine/Sidney Poitier-starring movie The Wilby Conspiracy.
Imrat Khan (born 17 November 1935) is a leading sitar and surbahar player. He is the younger brother of sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan.
Training and early career 
Imrat was born in Calcutta into a family of musicians tracing its pedigree back for several generations, to the court musicians of the Mughal rulers. His father was Enayat Khan (1895–1938), recognised as a leading sitar and surbahar player of his time, as had been his grandfather, Imdad Khan (1848–1920), before him. His father died when Imrat was a child, so he was raised by his mother, Bashiran Begum and her father, singer Bande Hassan Khan. In 1944, the family moved with rising star Vilayat Khan, Imrat's elder brother, to Bombay where both the brothers learned extensively from uncle Wahid Khan, Enayat Khan's brother. Wahid Khan was one of the greatest surbahar players of his generation and a top-level sitar player, and taught Imrat on the instruments in the family style, known as the Imdadkhani gharana (school), or Etawah Gharana, after a village outside Agra where Imdad Khan lived.
In 1952 Vilayat and Imrat moved in together in Calcutta. They performed together for many years. From the 1960s onwards, Imrat has performed and recorded solo, playing both sitar and surbahar.
Solo career and legacy 
For decades, Imrat has recorded extensively on both his instruments. His full performance practice starts with a surbahar alap in dhrupad ang (embellished with more romantic touches), followed by a shorter alap on the sitar leading into gat in traditional Imdadkhani style. (Sitar players such as Ravi Shankar and Nikhil Banerjee added bass strings to their sitars to achieve at least some of the surbahar's lower range on a single instrument).
He has toured in Europe, the Americas, and East and Southeast Asia. Surbahar players are rare today, and Imrat is the main living exponent.
Imrat has five sons, Nishat, Irshad, Wajahat and Shafaatullah,and Azmat Khan , now only eight; the first four sons are all classical musicians: Nishat plays the sitar, Wajahat concentrates on the sarod and Shafaatullah is accomplished on sitar, tabla, and surbahar. The surbahar tradition is largely upheld by Irshad (also a sitar player), who has made some very traditional solo recordings.
Imrat Khan currently spends a portion of each year teaching classical Indian music and instructing sitar students at Washington University in Saint Louis. In addition to his sons, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and George Harrison of The Beatles (who also studied under Ravi Shankar) have been some of his famous students.