Taimur Khan

Two fettered demons, 15th century, Timurid period, Iran or Central Asia; Freer-Sackler.
Two fettered demons, 15th century, Timurid period, Iran or Central Asia; Freer-Sackler.

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My first musical instrument was the guitar which I picked up in 1990. I played and learned with friends at school, eventually composed songs and instrumentals, and occasionally performed at local concerts in Rawalpindi and Islamabad till 1996.

I also developed interest in all sorts of string instruments, especially ones belonging to the subcontinent. After having experimented with the rabab, sitar and violin, I finally bought a sarangi in April 1996, when I heard it being played by Ustad Nazim Ali in a recording of Roshan Ara Begum’s Jaunpuri. This was the first time that I approached Indian classical music seriously. As I was studying medicine at The Aga Khan University in Karachi, it took me more than a year to find an ustad with whom I commenced sporadic lessons in Rawalpindi, in July 1997.

I returned home after graduation in October 2002 and intended to resume taleem with my guru, but unfortunately, Ustad Mubarik Ali died in December 2002.

In January 2003, I became the student of Ustad Mehfooz Khokhar and continued my pursuit on a daily basis. I also benefited from the study of invaluable recordings, texts, images, and commentaries put together by Rajan Parrikar. In April 2004, I became the student of Ustad Allah Rakha, the last master of the sarangi in Pakistan who passed away on 24 May 2015.

Alongside private formal gatherings, I perform at Radio Pakistan, Islamabad, and at events arranged by Lok Virsa, Pakistan National Council of the Arts, Tehzeeb Foundation, Karachi, and The All Pakistan Music Conference, Lahore. In February 2009, I was invited to Norway by Rikskonsertene (Concerts Norway) for a music workshop to collaborate and perform with two Norwegian musicians.


Taimur Khan