LAHORE: Another chapter in the glorious history of signature subcontinent classical music was shut with the demise of “Sangeet Samraat” Ghulam Hassan Shaggan at 86.
A proud son of the Gwalior Gharana, Ghulam Hussain was a star performer from his boyhood at Radio Pakistan where his father, Bhai Lal Mohammad, was a music supervisor. Born in 1928, he was brought up in a family marred by financial incapacities. In his teens, Shaggan gained recognition and started performing more frequently at Radio Pakistan, the All Pakistan Music Conference, and other events in Pakistan and abroad.
Among several titles and awards, Shaggan received the Sangeet Samrat at the music conference in Calcutta in 1962, the Pride of Performance in 1988 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2000 from the government of Pakistan. He received countless awards and titles during his 1962 tour of India. He was conferred with the titles of Sangeet Rattan, Sangeet Alankar, Sangeet Samrat, Sindh Sangeet Mandalam and King of Music from the Sindh Sangeet Mandal in Mumbai. On the same tour, he was presented with a certificate of recognition by sarod maestro Hafiz Ali Khan. Earning accolades not only in the subcontinent but all across the globe, Ghulam Hassan Shaggan received recognition in Europe as an outstanding representative of north Indian classical music tradition. Working with French musicologists Gerard Kurgijian and Martina Catella led to amazing performances in France, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. Ghulam Hassan Shaggan also collaborated with the alternative/trance band Fun-Da-Mental, contributing an arrangement of his original bandish in Raag Bhopali to the band’s 2001 album, There Shall be Love!Meanwhile, the president and the prime minister have offered condolences on his death.