Ustaad Ali Akbar khan often referred to as Khansahib or by the title Ustad (master), was a Hindustani classical musician of the Maihar gharana, known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was son and disciple of the Great Ustad Alladiya Khan of Maihar Gharana, Which has the strong musical lineage from even The Great Taansen in 16th Century. Khan was instrumental in popularising Indian classical music in the West, both as a performer (often in conjunction with Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar), and as a teacher. He established a music school in Calcutta in 1956, and the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967, which is now located in San Rafael, California and has a branch in Basel, Switzerland. Khan also composed several classical ragas and film scores.He was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Khan was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1967 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1989,among other awards. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991.In 1997, Khan received the National Endowment for the Arts' prestigious National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' highest honour in the traditional arts. Khan has received two Grammy nominations