with tabla and harmonium accompaniment

A child prodigy, Begum Parveen Sultana received her early training from her father, Ikramul Majid, then from Acharya Chinmoy Lahiri in Calcutta. She then moved to Bombay and came under the guidance of her Guru and Mentor, Ustad Mohammed Dilshad Khan. With him, she has acquired a new dimension to her singing, giving it the required mastery of ragas and voice culture. Many awards and honours have come her way: the youngest artist to receive the 'Padmashri', a coveted award from the Government of India. The press has been unanimous in proclaiming her the 'Queen of Hindustani Music', the 'Poetess of Music' and 'the Ultimate Soprano', applauding her for both her outstanding musicality and breathtaking virtuosity.


"She has risen to be the Queen of Hindustani Music" (Kerala Kaumudi)

"Her voice rings out uninhibited, clear, strong and firm. The audience thunders its applause… the ultimate soprano" (Eve's Weekly, India)

"Her matchless voice ….. held the audience spellbound" (The Times of India)

"Now there is nothing her voice cannot do - the timbre, the sweep, the range soaring higher than even the third octave but remaining as clear and pleasant… her rendering of ragas has acquired a greater depth and variation especially under the guidance of Dilshad Khan" (Indian Express, India)

"Not since Ravi Shankar's music took America by storm has the audience been treated to such a musical feast as Parveen's music… the audience stood up applauding thunderously" (News and Cine India Review, New York, USA)

"Parveen Sultana is among the cognoscenti, the household word… it is the voice that seduces the listener into approval…" (Indian Express, India)

"Breathtaking virtuosity over a range of four to five octaves… European music does not know anything comparable" (Hamburg Abendblatt, Germany)

"Deux grandes voix de l'Inde du Nord" (Festival de Lille, France)

"Begum Parveen Sultana est l'une des plus grandes vocalistes de musique hindoustani". (Paris, France)

"When people communicate by means of genuine art, they hardly need any interpreters. The old truth has been brilliantly confirmed by the triumphal tour of the Soviet Union of Indian popular performers Ustad Dilshad Khan and Begum Parveen Sultana". (USSR Youth Times)

"We forget ourselves in the extraordinary and spiritual and blessed voice of Parveen Sultana. We do not need to think twice about her unrivalled position as one of the greats in terms of purity of voice". (Kerala Kaumudi, India)

"Her voice flowed like a light, soothing breeze and the crowd was swayed by it" (Mathru Bhoomi, India)

"As for her music credentials, they have been compared to that of Enrico Caruso. She makes the difficult art of classical music comprehensive, melodious and delightful" (Tribune, London, UK)

'With a paradoxical mixture of abandon and control, she masterfully expressed those subtleties of human emotion which could only ever find their expression in music". (DJ, London, UK)

"And what an exquisite tunefulness attended her every note charged with feeling… at such superspeed and with such hairline accuracy that one felt (one) had not heard better". (Times of India)

Photo: Krishnan Kamal