At a very early age, Alif Laila entered the study of Indian Classical music. She was trained in Dhaka, Bangladesh by the late Ustad Mir Qasem Khan, nephew of legendary maestro, Ustad Allauddin Khan, in the Nazrul Music Academy. After some time, she was taken under the wings of her Ustad, to be taught in great depths on a ‘one to one’ basis for eight years.. In this method, Alif Laila was taught the intricate techniques and compositions that embody the school of music called the ‘Senia Maihar Gharana’ started by Ustad Allauddin Khan. Alif has a passion for the arts beyond music alone. During her final years of training , she attended the College of Fine Arts in Dhaka, where she graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree and received several awards for her water color painting. Alif’s mind opened to the world of true art as she painted the moods of life with both color and melody.
In 1988 she moved to the United States, far away from the origins of her music, yet finding the fortune of many eminent musicians and teachers who guided and influenced her music. Her intense study of music continued with teachers, Partha Chatterjee and Krishna Bhatt, both of whose music are influenced by Pandit Nikhil Banerjee,one the greatest sitarists of all times. She has also received the blessings and guidance from Sur Samrat, “the king of melody” and living legend, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Alif Laila has performed in concert at places such as The Smithsonian in Washington DC, Rubin Museum in New York, The Detroit Museum of Arts,The Kerala Arts Society, Kerala, South India, the National Museum of Bangladesh accompanied by tabla virtuoso, Anindo Chatterjee, and other venues throughout the world from Hawaii to Switzerland to India and elsewhere.She has recorded with world renowned tabla artists (Indian percussions) Like Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Ustad Taari Khan. Her latest creative project is her audio visual production, Hridayaragam(Melodies of The Heart) which was recorded in Kerala, South India in January 2007.
She is one of the most impressive female Sitarist who brings out the emotion of the ragas with great depth in feeling, expressed in her flowing melody in strings.
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