Ustad Faiyaz Khan

Ustad Faiyaz Khan was one of the most popular vocalists of Hindustani Classical music. He was a descendant of the Rangila gharana of Agra. He was born in February 1881 at Sikandara, near Agra, Uttar Pradesh.


His father, Ustad Hussain Khan, was of the Rangila gharana. His maternal grandfather was Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan and great-grandfather was Ustad Ghagge Khuda Baksh of Agra gharana.


Faiyaz Khan lost his father soon after he was born and was trained by his grandfather Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan and grand-uncle Ustad Kallan Khan. He later learnt from his father-in-law Ustad Mehboob Khan of Atrauli gharana and Ustad Nattan Khan. He was deeply influenced by the famous Thumri singers Bhaiya Ganpatrao and Ustad Moujuddin Khan.


As a young boy, he accompanied Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan on concert tours. He became an expert singer while he was still in his teens. Faiyaz Khan’s fame soon began to spread. At the age of 20, he performed at the court of the Maharaja of Mysore and got outstanding recognition. He then performed extensively in all major music centres and conferences. In 1916, during the All India Music Conference in Baroda, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad of Baroda was so pleased with his music that he appointed Faiyaz Khan as court musician of the Baroda state. Later Ustad Faiyaz Khan was appointed as the Principal of the Baroda Music School. He worked in that capacity from 1926 to 1928.


Faiyaz Khan had a deep and powerful voice with a rich and resonant timbre. This coupled with his robust and commanding personality had a special effect on his audiences. Even the listeners of his radio broadcasts became his great admirers. He was mainly a Khayal singer but his Dhrupads and Dhamaars were  exceptional. He sang Ghazals and Thumris also. He composed Khayals and Thumris under the pen-name of `Prem-Piya’. He died in November 1950, at Baroda, Gujarat.


Awards: In 1920 Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar of Indore presented him with gifts befitting a royal personage. In 1925, the Maharaja of  Mysore  bestowed on him the title of Aftab-e-Mausigi. Even today, he is popularly known by this title. He was the state musician of the Baroda Durbar.


Disciples: Ustads Vilayat Hussain Khan, Asmat Hussain Khan, Khadim Hussain Khan, Latafat Hussain Khan, Sharafat Hussain Khan, Malka Jan ,Zohra Bai Agrawali and  Dr.S.N. Ratanjankar.