Born on March 21, 1916, in Buxar, Bihar, Ustad Bismillah Khan was an incredible Indian shehnai (the classical musical instrument) virtuoso of Benares. He was from traditional Shia Muslim family. He was the second child of the Mitthan and Paigambar Khan, so as to rhyme with his sibling Shamsuddin, his birth name was Qamaruddin. Rasool Baksh Khan, his grandfather exclaimed word "Bismillah" in the wake of caring him as an infant. The ancestors of the Bismillah Khan were court artists, and they acclimated to perform in the Naqqar Khana at the princely province of Bhojpur (presently in Bihar). His father executed shehnai, the musical instrument at the Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh court of the Dumraon mansion, Bihar.

He shifted to Varanasi, at six years old. He got training from his uncle, the shehnai player late Ali Baksh 'Vilayatu', who is connected to Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi. The Government of Bihar has offered to build a historical center, library cum a town hall and establishment of a huge statue in Dumraon, his birthplace. Bismillah Khan was the devotee of the Saraswathi (the Hindu Goddess of insight and expressions) even though being from Muslim family. He was likewise fanatic of the numerous Indian artists and played shehnai at the Hindu sanctuaries including the famous Vishwanath Temple at the banks of the Ganges river in Varanasi. He had performed for perfect maven the Prem Rawat.

He was the only one who played shehnai perhaps single-handedly. In 1937, he gave shehnai the center platform of Indian music in his shows of In the All India Music Conference of Calcutta. He was one of the best performers in the classical music of India, and he is eminent for his monopoly over the shehnai and Hindu-Muslim solidarity. In his entire life, he had played shehnai to his gatherings of people all over the world and spread the idea of love and peace through his music. He was entirely devoted to his art, and he alluded his shehnai, after the passing of his better half, as his begum. On his death, shehnai has been additionally buried with his dead body.

Bismillah Khan had won the rarest uncommon respect of performing in Delhi on the night of the India's Independence Day at the Red Fort in 1947. At the first Republic Day custom, he likewise performed out the Raga Kafi from the Red Fort on 26 January in 1950. This execution of him is considered as an exceptional piece of the Independence Day festivities of India, and his show is broadcast each year on Doordarshan channel on the fifteenth of August. Doordarshan channel telecasts the live execution of shehnai soon after the speech of Prime Minister in Old Delhi at Lal Qila. This ritual is pursued from the time of Pandit Nehru. He had a short history in the Indian films.

In the Kannada motion picture Sanaadi Appanna, he played his shehnai for the part of Rajkumar. He acted in film Jalsaghar by Satyajit Ray. In 1959, he played Shania in movie Goonj Uthi Shehnai. Goutam Ghose, the film director, made a biopic on the Bismillah Khan's life the motion picture Sange Meel Se Mulaqat. Bismillah Khan rare acknowledged students. He met the present master of Namdhari Sikhs, Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji and saw the skillful youth, Baljit Singh Namdhari, playing the Tarshenai. He invited Baljit Singh Namdhari as a pupil. In 1999, he took two more tutees, Gurbaksh Singh and Kirpal Singh Namdhari playing Tarshenai.

He also had Usthad Hassan Bhai, who is at present in Kasaragod, as a student. On 17 August 2006, he got sick and admitted to the Heritage Hospital for his treatment in Lanka Varanasi. He kicked the bucket soon after the fourth day of his entrance into the clinic on 21 August 2006 because of the constant heart attacks. He abandoned a huge family of three girls, five sons and many of grandchildren. The Government of India has proclaimed his passing day, a day of national grieving. At the Fate main graveyard, his body was covered together with Shehnai, his begum in the Varanasi underneath the neem tree.

His burial ceremony finished with the 21-weapon salute from the Indian Army. Ustad Bismillah Khan received the Yuva Puraskar, for being young artists in the area of music, dance and theater, in his honor in 2007. He was granted India's most astounding civilian respect, the Bharat Ratna, turning into the third classical artist after Ravi Shankar and M. S. Subbalakshmi in 2001. Many recognitions and awards are to his credits.