Akhtar, Begum [Faizabadi, Akhtari Bai]
- Amelia Maciszewski
[Faizabadi, Akhtari Bai]
(b Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, 1911–14; d Lucknow, 1974/5). North Indian vocalist. She was hailed as a child prodigy by Gauhar Jan, who heard her sing at her school in about 1919. Akhtari's mother then took her to study classical vocal music with Ustad Zamir Khan of Gaya, Bihar. Akhtari made her début as a vocalist at a charity concert in Patna. Subsequently she moved to Calcutta and underwent arduous classical vocal training as a disciple of Ustad Ata Hussein Khan of the Patiala gharānā. She made her first commercial recording in 1933, the ghazal Dīvāna banāna hāi to, in which she sang to the accompaniment of sāraṅgī, tablā and harmonium. She also acted in a few musical films, notably Roṭi, and spent some time at the court of the Nawab of Rampur. Later she settled in Lucknow, regularly performing both publicly and in private soirées and often travelling to Calcutta to perform at music conferences....