Dilli Gharana’s musical tradition is the oldest among all the gharana traditions. One can easily trace the beginnings of the Dilli Gharana to the 13th century to the court of Shamsuddin Altamash who ruled from 1211 to 1236. His court was home to two brothers Mir Hasan Sawant and Mir Bula kalawant. Mir Hasan Sawant later became the disciple of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri and known as the first sufi gayak of India. His grandson Miyan Samti and his contemporary Hazrat Ameer Khusro were both the spiritual disciples of Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia in Delhi. Hazrat Ameer Khusro along with Miyan Samti conceived and developed a different style of music, later came to be known as Dilli Gharana.
The Dilli Gharana is in the present times, a one-of-its kind institution that works solely towards promoting Indian Classical Music amongst the youth. From organising festivals and creating music-based Dastangoi productions to recording & archiving and providing Guru-Shishya parampara based high quality education the gharana continually involves itself in finding ways of showcasing the rich repertoire of Shastriya Sangeet; a repertoire which includes not only classical compositions, but also various semi-classical, sufi and folk genres of thumri, dadra, ghazal, naqsh-gul, qalbana, qaul, qawwali, sehre-suhaag, banhda-geet, jhoola-geet, barahmaasa, hawa-baseet etc.
To begin with, Sursagar Society was nomenclature not indeed after the name of any stalwart musician but after a magnificent musical instrument ‘Sursagar’,
Located in Old Delhi, just about 800 metres from Mousiqui Manzil, the Ameer Khusro Institute of Dilli Gharana offers various educational services to music aspirants.Read More
Dilli Gharana Productions is the production house for all kinds of music-related programmes that are curated for various live as well as digital events.Read More
To begin with, Sursagar Society was nomenclature not indeed after the name of any stalwart musician but after a magnificent musical instrument ‘Sursagar’, devised by Shams-e-mosiqui Ustad Mamman Khan Sahib. ‘Sursagar’ is a unique instrument combining in itself techniques of the plucked instrument ‘Sitar’ as well as the bowed instrument ‘Sarangi’. The Society was however, founded by Ustad Mamman Khan’s illustrious son Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan in the year 1941.
With the passing away of Ustad Mamman Khan in 1940, a pall of gloom descended on Mosiqui Manzil at Suiwalan. The shock of losing the great maestro was so intense that Mosiqui Manzil- the abode of music-turned into abode of mourning. One morning, after offering prayers and paying obeisance to his guru- father, it occurred to Ustad Chand Khan Sahib that instead of shedding tears, why not do something to placate Khan Sahib’s soul and perpetuate his memory; why not make Sursagar immortal? This leads to the birth of Sursagar Society of Delhi Gharana. Regular baithaks began taking place in the courtyard of the Ustad’s haveli along with the three day annual anniversary (Urs) of Ustad Mamman Khan Sahib. The artistes participating used to be such greats as Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan, Ustad Rahimuddin Khan Dagar, Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan, Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan, Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Ameer Khan (remove), Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan etc whom we study in the history of music today. Ustad Chand Khan Sahib had a dynamic personality. Besides being a seasoned musician and sincere guru, he made propagation of music his mission.
With a view to introducing classical music to a wider audience, the Sursagar Society began organizing soirees at distant places in Delhi. One such two day concert in 1964 at the auditorium of Indraprastha College, Delhi University was a grand success. All leading dailies appreciated the event. Gradually the society spread its wings all over Delhi. Several festivals featuring quality artistes were organised in various auditoria. In due course of time, the society got firmly rooted in Delhi’s cultural life. With the demise of Ustad Chand Khan Sahib in 1980 and other senior members (rather in quick succession) the responsibility fell on Khalifa Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, who has been running the society with full dedication ever since.
Located in Old Delhi, just about 800 metres from Mousiqui Manzil, the Ameer Khusro Institute of Dilli Gharana offers various educational services to music aspirants. Running under the management of Sursagar Society of Delhi Gharana (Regd.), Ameer Khusro Institute intends to achieve new heights in promoting Indian music. Several new future artists are being trained under the guidance of Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan. This Trust is named after Hazrat Ameer Khusro (RA), a renowned and respected poet and musicologist from the 13th century, the founder of our unique tradition of Dilli Gharana. Here, we foster the ancient system of guru-shishya parampara, wherein the pupils spends their maximum time with the teacher so as to adapt the style of the Gharana, and develop its skills in accordance with those of the Guru, for after all, to learn is an art of observation, inference, and devotion. The Institute offers courses, both long-term and short-term for students of all age-groups, provided they are dedicated and talented enough to represent the Gharana in the future.
Dilli Gharana Productions is the production house for all kinds of music-related programmes that are curated for various live as well as digital events. The DG Productions is accredited to having brought a new concept to the organization, which envisioned fusing the artistic treasury of Delhi Gharana with an ancient Urdu art-form called Dastangoi, an oral art of story-telling. Currently we have the following productions on plate, which are as grand as Broadway in its look and feel, and are successfully being performed all over India, by the students and senior members of the Delhi Conservatoire – Rudaad-e-Shireen: A Celebration of Womanhood, Ghalib- Begum Umrao ki Nazar Se.., Dastan-e-Ishq, Dastan-e-Qutub and Dastan-e-Ameer Khusro.RUDAAD-E-SHIREEN
A tale of a woman’s struggle to achieve her identity in a patriarchal setup, Rudaad-e- Shireen is a Musical Dastangoi based on the folk musical outputs of Hazrat Ameer Khusro like Jhoola Geet, Sawela, Keh Mukarni, Qaul, Qawwali, Bidai, Banhda Geet and Baarahmaasa Geet.GHALIB- BEGUM UMRAO KI NAZAR SE
A Musical Dastangoi conceptualized and directed by Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, Ghalib- Begum Umrao ki Nazar Se.. is an innovative production that blends the raga based Ghazal singing within the traditional art-form of Dastangoi. The plot, revolving around the life of Mirza Asad Ullah Khan Ghalib, and the story highlighting the plight, struggle and tribulations of his personal life, the piece has been narrated from her wife’s perspective, for hers was a life filled with uninterrupted affliction, suffering and grief, this angle rather unknown to the masses.DASTAN-E-ISHQ
Dastan-e-Ishq is a romantic folklore adapted from the epic of Shirni Farhad. Borrowed from the Sufi repertoire of Hazrat Ameer Khusro, the music has been contemporized by Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan to suit the tastes of the youth. Right from the time of its inception, Dastan-e-Ishq has received much love and appreciation from its viewers and critics.