Khasru, Mohammad Hossain

Khasru, Mohammad Hossain (1903-1959) classical singer and musician, better known as Ustad Khasru, was born on 2 April 1903 at his maternal uncle's house in comilla town. His father, Zaidul Husain, was a flautist from the village of Moinpur in kasba upazila in brahmanbaria district.

Muhammad Khasru graduated from calcutta university in 1924 and took up a job at the provincial cooperative department. He was, however, more interested in music and musical performances.

He studied classical music under well-known maestros at Kolkata and Lucknow and acquired extraordinary skills in pure ragas, tals, layas, surs and different idioms of Hindustani music. He was often invited to perform at the courts of rajas and maharajas. He became famous as a singer of kheyal, thungri and ghazal. He composed many classical songs in Bangla, Urdu and Hindi. He also acquired considerable proficiency in playing musical instruments, especially the tabla, sitar and esraj.

Shortly before his death, Khasru became principal of the newly established bulbul lalitakala academy. He was posthumously awarded the Pride of Performance by the Pakistan government in 1962 and the Shilpakala Academy Padak in 1978 by the Bangladesh government. He died on 6 August 1959. [Ali Nawaz]