surguan - Promoting Indian Classical Music

Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan


Ghulam Hassan Shaggan (born 1928, Amritsar) is a Pakistani classical singer of the Gwalior Gharana. His father’s name was Bhai Lal Mohammad (died 1962), who belonged to the Gwalior-Kapurthala Gharana.

Ghulam Hassan Shaggan, along with his father and family, moved to Pakistan in 1947 and settled in Lahore. His father Bhai Lal was appointed music supervisor at Radio Pakistan where the son started performing. This was a time of intense emotional and financial troubles which abated over a period of 12 years, as Shaggan gained recognition and started performing more frequently at Radio Pakistan, The All Pakistan Music Conference, and other events in Pakistan and abroad.

Among several titles and awards, Shaggan received the Sangeet Samrat at the music conference in Calcutta in 1962, the Pride of Performance in 1988 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2000 from the Government of Pakistan. He received countless awards and titles during his 1962 tour of India. He was conferred with the titles of Sangeet Rattan, Sangeet Alankar, Sangeet Samrat, Sindh Sangeet Mandalam and King of Music from the Sindh Sangeet Mandal in Mumbai. On the same tour, he was presented with a certificate of recognition by sarod maestro Hafiz Ali Khan.

In recent years, Ghulam Hassan Shaggan has received recognition in Europe as an outstanding representative of the North Indian classical music tradition. His talent was first recognized and expounded by French musicologists Gerard Kurgijian and Martina Catella which led to performances in France, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. Ghulam Hassan Shaggan also collaborated with the alternative/trance band Fun-Da-Mental, contributing an arrangement of his original bandish in Raag Bhopali to the band’s 2001 album, There Shall be Love!

Shaggan Sahib currently lives in Iqbal Town, Lahore with his sons Qadir Shaggan (vocalist and music director) and Mazhar Shaggan (rabab and mandolin player). He continues to perform in public with youthful enthusiasm and the characteristic vigor of the Gwalior gayiki.

He died in Lahore on Tuesday [February 3] 2015.