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Sitar virtuoso Nishat Khan plans BYU performance Sept. 21

Nishat Khan, described as the world’s foremost virtuoso of the sitar, will be performing at Brigham Young University’s de Jong Concert Hall Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets, costing $6-$10, are available through or by visiting the Fine Arts Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

Khan is the son and disciple of Ustad Imrat Khan and the torchbearer of seven generations and the 400-year-old tradition of India’s most renowned musical family. He has been compared to J.S. Bach and Jimi Hendrix because of the creative and personal interpretation of his rich musical heritage.

“Indian music is improvised partly, on a fixed melody,” Khan said. “It’s impromptu and almost like jazz music. These melodies are known as Ragas.” There will be a number of ragas throughout the evening with an intermission.

Born in the courts of the Mogul rulers of India, Hindustani classical music is one of the great classical traditions in world music. This highly complex and exquisitely beautiful tradition is improvised (without any reference to musical notation) and orally transmitted from teacher to disciple over a period of many years before the disciple is ready to perform.  

Khan has also performed in major venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and Royal Albert Hall in London. In 2004, he was invited to perform alongside Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin and others at the Crossroads Festival in Dallas, Texas.

In 2005 he was honored with a U.S. Congressional Award for Contribution to Culture and Community. He has taught at UCLA and many other universities and routinely conducts master classes throughout the world. 

For more information, contact Ken Crossley at (801) 422-9348 or by e-mailing

Writer: Brandon Garrett


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