Thiruvananthapuram: Renowned Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was today conferred the Kerala government’s prestigious music award, ‘Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram’ for his outstanding contribution to Indian music.
The award, instituted in memory of legendary music composer Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, citation and a medal, and was presented to the maestro by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, at a function at the Durbar hall of the Secretariat here.
Chandy said the state government had identified a two- acre land at nearby Veli for setting up the proposed music academy of the maestro.
“The government has launched some proceedings. We have identified two acre land at Veli and are planning to give this land for the academy.”
“Conferring the award on Amjad Ali Khan is a proud moment for the State,” he said.
Khan responded by stating that “it is a great honour and privilege to receive the award”.
Remembering great musicians like Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Tyagaraja and Swathi Thirunal, he said their contributions helped Indian music flourish. “It is due to their commitment, our Indian music exists.”
Referring to music, he said the sound of sitar, sarod and tabla connects to God. But language does create ‘barriers’.
“Because we do not deal with language, we communicate with sound. Other kind of music is based on texts and kritis. Language does create barriers and can be manipulated. But I thank god, I belong to sound (community),” he said.
He said it would a take year for the academy to become a reality. “We have identified a place,” he said, adding that the plan was to take “only committed” students. “It is not for entertainment.”
The citation described Amjad Ali Khan as the “most distinguished sarod maestro who has rendered meritorious services to preserve and promote the tradition of Indian classical music in general and Senia Bangash Gharana in particular”.