The Telegraph: Nishat Khan

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Friday June 16, 2017

From The Telegraph

Nishat Khan: ‘Indian music has been spoiled by mediocre people’
By: Ivan Hewett

Nishat Khan has the air of a man who knows he is the heir to something lofty, precious and ancient. Acknowledged round the world as one of the great performers on the sitar, the pre-eminent instrument of Indian classical music, he belongs to an illustrious line of musicians that stretches back seven generations. He bears the honorific title Ustad, which means so much more than the Western word maestro. It points to a quality of seasoned wisdom. “We have a saying ‘Power without control is nothing’”, he says, “and control only comes when you submit to a discipline. That is what I learned from my father.”

That sounds forbiddingly ascetic, but the person I actually encounter in the Covent Garden café we’ve arranged to meet in is a man of smiling and swaggering command, who savours the coffee, chain-smokes fat cigars and wears an immaculately tailored jacket of a contemporary Indian cut. He looks…

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