Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan, born in Khurja in 1863 was a great vocalist with deep musical knowledge. His father, Ustad Zahoor Khan was a scholar in Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu who wrote under the pen name of Ramdas and Mumkin Khurjvi. Altaf Hussain Khan learnt music from his father and his uncles, sitariya Munshi Ghafoor Baksh `Kamil` and vocalist, Ustad Ghulam Haider Khan from the age of thirteen. A gifted artiste with considerable mastery over a variety of genres like dhrupad, khayal, tarana, tribat, chaturang etc, he was court musician of 17 princely states and also in Nepal. While at the court of the raja of Champanagar, which was his longest stay, he also gave music lessons to the Raja`s eldest son, Rajkumar Shyamanand Sinha.
Altaf Hussain received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1960. His disciples include a long list of successful vocalists including his sons, Ustad Wahid Hussain Khan and Ustad Mumtaz Hussain Khan, his nephew, the famed Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan and also Ustad Aslam Khan, his cousin brother`s son.
Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan spent most of his last years in Delhi