Living more than a century, he became a living legend of Indian instrumental music. Running away from home, a back of the beyond village in the then East Bengal, he came to Calcutta with dream in his eyes. There are many such arrivals but not everyone becomes Ustad Alauddin Khan. If his performance was of the stuff of which dreams are made, it was a hard grind for him to reach the top. Training under the foremost musician of the day, Nulo Gopal , the rustic youth joined Star Theatre as a table player in a production of Girish Ghosh. Alauddin also participated in the frequent orchestral parties held by a prominent composer, Habu Dutta, who was the brother of Swami Vivekananda. Dutta had studied both Eastern and Western music and maintained an orchestra for which he composed in raga and tala framework using all the Western instruments as well as a few Indian ones.
Perhaps this later inspired Alauddin to create his own ensemble, the Maihar Band, which was quite famous for many years. Training under Ustad Ahmed Ali and Ustad Wazir Khan, expanded his musical horizons. Settling down in the princely state of Maihar, saw him flowering as a great instrumentalist and a teacher with schooling learners who were later to enter the hall of fame like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee to name a few. The maestro’s contribution to the world of instrumental music is immense as he crossed the confines narrow specialization that prevailed through the first quarter of this century. Ustad Alauddin Khan, as a young man, was taught by so many masters, he learned a variety of styles of singing and playing and acquired a good many instrumental techniques – wind and bowed and plucked-string instruments, and even drums. On his death anniversary Suranandan Bharati, a music school will bring out a book on the legendary music personality tomorrow at Bangla Academy Shabhaghar. The book titled Madan Manjari was edited by Ritesh Chakraborty. Alokeranjan Dasgupta and many others have written in it.