♫ Raga Dhanashree (of Bilawal that)
About Vilayat Hussain Khan
Vilayat Hussain Khan (1895-1962) was born in Agra and ranks among the greatest musicians of the Agra Gharana. He was a composer of merit and through his Khayal compositions (recognized through his nom de plume “Pranpiya”) he breathed new life into several uncommon rAgas. He was an outstanding and devoted teacher. The pre- eminence of vocal music in the Maharashtra and Goa regions derives in no small measure due to Vilayat Hussain. Some of his well-known students were: Mogubai Kurdikar, Jagannathbuwa Purohit ‘Gunidas’, Menaka Shirodkar (mother of Shobha Gurtu), Ratnakant Ramnathkar, Ram Marathe, Gajananrao Joshi, actress Durga Khote, Girija Kelekar (first guru of Jitendra Abhisheki and elder sister of Jyotsna Bhole), Sumati Mutatkar, and so on. Particularly singular was his bond with Jagannathbuwa, characterized by an exchange of bandishes expressing their mutual admiration and the pain of separation from one another.
Vilayat Khan was the son Natthan Khan, one of the pioneers of Agra. In addition to his father, he also learnt from his uncles Kallan Khan and Mohammad Baksh. Vilayat Hussain Khan has documented the names and materials of 42 gurus from whom he took tAleem in the course of his distinguished life (see his “Sangeetagyon ke Samsamaran,” Sangeet Natak Akademi, 1959). Also of note was his close association with the Aftabe-e- Mausiqui Faiyyaz Khan.