Ali Akbar Khan Dies

Ali Akbar Khan, who helped introduce North Indian classical music to the United States, has died. He was 87.

His death Thursday at his home in the San Francisco Bay area was posted on the Web site of the Ali Akbar College of Music, the school he ran in San Rafael.

Khan played the sarode, a stringed lute-like instrument with a deep sound that is part of the Hindustani music tradition, a genre made famous in the West by sitarist Ravi Shankar.

Khan was born in what is today Bangladesh in 1922 and held his first performance in the United States in 1955. He opened a music school in Berkeley in 1967, later moving it to San Rafael.

In 1997, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship, considered America’s highest award for traditional folk arts and crafts.