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|Major (Retd.) Nazir Hussain VSM.|
(Retired) Nazir Hussain, VSM is a composer and conductor of Military Music
who has made consistent outstanding professional contribution to the field
for more than four decades. During this period, Major Hussain has composed
more than 100 tunes, many of which are regularly played during concerts
across military stations. His hard work, dedication to duty and above
all, his singular commitment to enrich military music elevated him to
the much coveted position leading instructor and unchallenged Guru of
martial music not only for the army but even for Para Military Forces,
Central Police Forces and to State Police bands. As a conductor, he excels
and out performs all. He has wielded the conductor’s baton at innumerable
stages both within the country and outside to the acclaim of thousands
of audience that included the political, bureaucratic and military leadership
of the country as well as a large number of foreign dignitaries. Major
Hussain is a treasure that need not only be preserved and promoted but
also recognized, encouraged and rewarded at the National level.
Major Hussain, on the one hand, is an example of the successful secular, liberal, inclusive polity of the country that allows equal opportunities all sections of society to grow and develop into achievers in their field of choice and on the other, his unique achievements in the field of military music reflect the singular focus , hard work and commitment to the cause of his choice. Born in the district Srinagar of Kashmir (J&K) in the year 1943 Nazir Hussain s/o Md Hussain joined the Boys Company of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles at the tender age of 15yrs as a trainee soldier. The call of music overtook that of soldiering and Nazir was selected as a member of the unit band and thereafter it is a story of stead fast growth and covetable achievements.
The professional competence, determination and tenacity of Major Nazir ensured that he rose in ranks regularly and by the year 1971; he was promoted to the rank of Junior Commissioned Officer when he had only 11years of service. By now he has become a military musician of repute capable of not only playing Flute, his primary instrument to perfection but also mastered many other secondary instruments there by earning him the status of lead musician in the band. He has also matured into an excellent conductor with abilities to perfectly orchestrate the musicians and instruments into a harmonious effect.
His outstanding abilities in music ensured that he was appointed as an
instructor of music at the Military Music School (MMW) of the Army Educational
Corps Training College & Centre, the Alma Mater of all military musicians.
It was here that Nazir perfected his skills as a musician and took to
composing music seriously. He has composed more than hundred tunes many
of which are regularly played in National events like Republic Day parade,
Independence Day parade and in band concerts in India as well as in abroad.
Some of the outstanding compositions of Major Nazir Hussain are as under:
While being an excellent and successful artist, Hussain is also an outstanding leader with sterling personal qualities .He is an extrovert with pleasing positive attitudes and a well chiseled interpersonal relations abilities .In recognition to this , he was selected to the Special List of Commission in the army and he was given the Presidents Commission as a Lieutenant in the year 1984.He was then appointed as the Inspector Of Army Bands (IOAB) at the head quarters army command ,a post he successfully held till 1998.During his tenure as IOAB at different command head quarters, Major Hussain ensured that the military band and pipes and drums in his area of responsibility was trained professionally and their performance was excellent. His creative abilities continued to flourish and in the year 1984 he won the inter- services Band competition for three consecutive years and took over the position which navy was holding on, he was invited as guest Conductor to the US army field Band and holds the title of “ZUBIN MEHTA IN UNIFORM” given to him by one of the leading newspaper of India during 80’s and his composition “VEER SEPAHEE performed at Paris, Japan, Germany and Edinburgh music festival as they are part of some major achievements he made during this time.
His devotion to duty and ability to create the most soothing music and
above all his overall professional competence was recognized by the President
of India when he was awarded the coveted Visishta Seva Medal (VSM).He
took voluntary retirement in the year 1998 to take up assignment as Advisor
Military Music (AMM) at the army head quarters (MOD) New Delhi, the highest
and most important position a military musician can hold. When the post
of AMM fell vacant it was but natural that the UPSC found Major Hussain
the most suitable candidate for the post and on their advice, the Government
of India appointed him as the AMM.
It was in his capacity as AMM that he made the most lasting contribution
to the field of military music. He set benchmarks for training in military
music and ensured through constant monitoring that these standards were
achieved by all. Republic Day Parade at the Raj Path fallowed by the Beating
of the Retreat at the Vijay Chowk is the acid tests for any military music
composer. Major Hussain was responsible for this event more than six times
and every time the performance of the bands and musicians were better
than the previous time .This is a unique achievement by any musician and
a solid testimony for the professional excellence of Major Hussain. The
reputation of Major Hussein is such that the Indian Air Force and the
Indian Navy often consulted him whenever they organized a major musical
event. The most lasting testimony to his competence was the organization
of Army Band Concerts at the Siri Fort auditorium New Delhi and which
was applauded unanimously by the discerning music lovers as well as by
the critiques and connoisseurs of military music. It also goes to the
credit of Major Hussain that his consultancy was sought by the authorities
whenever our musicians visited foreign countries for performance.
Though retired from active service in the year 2004, Major Hussain continues to work with renewed zeal and dedication .His most lasting contribution to the music world as a whole and to the Nation in particular came after his retirement when he was commissioned by the Ceremonial’s and Welfare Directorate of the Adjutant General’s branch of the army to produce an album of military music. The album containing various selected tunes reflects aesthetic abilities and professional standing of Major Hussain and earns for himself a place for himself in the history of military music in India. Not satisfied with himself, he has turned his attention now to the bands of Para Military Forces, Central Police Forces and State Police. The fact that BSF could stage major band concerts in Delhi during the last two years speaks volumes of Hussain’s ability to chisel and polish musicians to perfection in a very short duration.
Major Hussain is undoubtedly the most outstanding military musician of the day. He is the doyen of Martial Music. Major Hussein’s is the saga of success of a person of humble origin .It is a testimony of sincerity, hard work, determination and tenacity. It is an example of continued consistent contribution to the public cause with out seeking reward. For his devotion to duty, outstanding contributions to the field of music, for his stupendous efforts in training thousands of soldiers and policemen and above all for the continuous yeomen service he rendered to the nation for the last more than Thirty years and still at the age of 64 he is putting his best to keep the Military Music alive.
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