Indian Classical Music Centre is a Music Academy located in Singapore and New Delhi-India. It was founded on 5th January 1998, with the purpose of promoting Indian culture in Singapore and other parts of the world.One of the main aims of this academy is to provide tuition in music to students of all ages and cultural backgrounds, from school-going children, professional employees to businessmen.
Our Founder Director, Ustad Sharafat Khan is a sitar and surbahar virtuoso who has participated in music events in Singapore and all over the world. His most memorable performances are with his top students studying at his academy. He looks forward to the yearly performances with them and have included few of his top students in his music albums.
In addition to overseeing the running of his academies, Ustad Sharafat Khan is also a notable music lecturer with top universities in Singapore.
Singapore-based sitar virtuoso Ustad Sharafat Khan is a performing and recording artist, music teacher, and author of numerous books on Hindustani (North Indian) classical music. Born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Ustad Sharafat began his musical training in Delhi with legendary sarod maestro Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Sahab in 1970 and his son Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahab. After Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan passed away in 1972, Ustad Sharafat Khan continued his pursuit of music under Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahab, a world-famous Sarod artist in his own right. During the fifteen years of training, he learned the playing techniques and artistic sensibilities of the great heritage of the Senia Gharana (The musical house) or stylistic lineage of his teachers. Ustad Sharafat Khan began his performing career in India in 1973, appearing regularly on Indian Television and All-India Radio. He was awarded the title of Sangeet Prabhakar (Music Degree) in 1971, and in 1975 received the Surmani, or "Gem of Music" award. He toured Pakistan in 1981 and Australia in 1986 with his Guru Amjad Ali Khan, and on both occasions the two players delighted audiences with their jugalbandhi, or musical dialogue.
Being a sitar and surbahar virtuoso and a disciple of legendary sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahab, Sharafat Khan came to Singapore in 1986 to promote Indian music and culture in Singapore. "I have spent more than 7 years in National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. This was a big achievement of my life and a great opportunity for me to live and promote Indian music especially Hindustani music (for example tabla, harmonium, Hindustani vocal and especially sitar). I can never erase or forget the memories I created through my journey into music in Singapore.” "Within 16 years, I received a lot of chances to perform in front of Singapore ministers, played for ballet performances and performed solo sitar recital in prestigious events organized at SLF Auditorium, Drama Centre, World Trade Centre, Suntec City, Television Corporation of Singapore, Singapore Radio Station, Arts Festival organized by Singapore National Arts Council and at the Istana (Singapore Presidential House)."8 years ago, I remembered that Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan asked me how many instruments I know. So, I told him that I can play sitar, surbahar, flute, tabla and veena. Immediately, he quoted a title for me that was “You are a one-man orchestra!” Till today, this sentence spoken by DPM Tony Tan is still etched in my mind." Today, Ustad Sharafat Khan is not only considered a world-class interpreter of Hindustani music in Singapore and in his native India but also recognized as one of Singapore's leading exponents of Hindustani Music. He performs extensively in Singapore, Canada, America and India. His many studio recordings are captured on video compact discs, music compact discs and audio-cassettes. In addition, he is an author of several music books. Ustad Sharafat Khan gives lectures and musical instructions to students at the country's two leading university i.e. The National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. In January 1998, Ustad Sharafat Khan founded the Indian Classical Music Centre, Singapore, of which he is the Founder Director.
As a sitarist who was trained by a distinguished lineage of sarod players, Ustad Sharafat’s performances reflect his command of a great range of musical expression that comes from synthesizing the styles of these two instruments. He has received numerous commendations for his performances and his contributions to teaching North Indian music. Besides performing in the traditional style of North Indian Classical music, Ustad Sharafat Khan have also initiated new multicultural combinations of Indian sitar and tabla drum with Chinese Erhu, Guzheng and Malay Kampung. While maintaining a professional music career, Sharafat Khan never forgets his first commitment to his teachers and his musical tradition. "Indian music is living music," he says. "It is so beautiful, alive, adaptable, yet resilient. Although Indian music has changed much to adapt to the times, it still retains its originality and traditions." These sentiments find their truest expression in his authentic and creative musical artistry. In 1997, Ustad Sharafat Khan completed a very successful tour to Canada performing with South Indian violinist Thanathevy Mitratheva, who is Founder and Artistic Director of the Shruti Laya Fine Arts Academy based in Toronto, Canada. Through his performing, teaching and writing, Ustad Sharafat Khan continues to honour the spirit of the great musical tradition of which he is a part of.