Krishna Ballesh Hindustani Classical Vocalist and Shehnai Artist

Krishna Ballesh is an Indian musician who plays the shehnai, and is also a Hindustani classical vocalist, of the Patiala gharana, Kirana gharana and Gwalior gharana, and a Ghazal singer.

Krishna Ballesh Shehnai and Vocal copy

Shri. Krishna Ballesh
Young Shehnai Maestro and Patiala Gharana Hindustani Vocalist Shri. Krishna Ballesh in Shirdi Saibaba Temple concert , He is Son and Disciple of Great Shehnai Maestro Pandit S Ballesh and Disciple of World Renowed Shehnai Nawaz Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan and also disciple of Shehnai Nawaz Pandit Jaggannath Mishra Meerut.

Contents

Gurus

Life and career

Ballesh is from a family of shehnai players which began playing in the 1600s. He was born in Bailoor, near M.K.Hubli (Belgaum district) in Karnataka, and he received initial training from his grandfather Shehnai Vidhwan, late Pandit Sanna Bharamanna, He continued under his father, a player of south Indian film music “Shehnai Chakravathy”, Pandit S. Ballesh, himself a famous shehnai player of southern India and disciple of “Bharat Ratna” Ustad Bismillah Khan and known as Dakshin Bharat Bismillah Khan by his Guru, Khan.

At 7 years old he started his musical training, learning Hindustani vocal Kirana gharana from the Late Pandit Dr. DP. Hiremath of M.K Hubli. When he was 10, he learned Gwalior gharana and bhajans from Gadag Pandit Puttaraja Gawai, and started giving performances in sangit sabhas, inspired by his father’s Patiala gharana singing style from his childhood days. He had further training from Hyderabad Nizam Court Asthan Vidhwan Maharasthra Maha Pandit Sri. Kodhanda Singh Salunke Maharaj and Pandit Sri. Prakash Singh Salunke (Pune). There he was trained in classical Hindustani music, ghazals and thumri.

At first, he performed shehnai recitals in Chennai before Ustad Bismillah Khan, along with his father Pandit S. Ballesh to get his blessings. After this blessing, Bismillah Khan took him to Benaras for training, after which Ballesh sought to be the (Shishya) disciple of the Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan. He was trained by Khan in Varanasi for many years, and in daily shehnai practice Khan’s younger son Ustad Nazim Hussain would accompany them on tabla. He learnt Benarasi Gharana shehnai Khayal Gayaki ang, Thumari ang, Dhun and Kajri. He has accompanied Bismillah Khan in Ganga Mahostav in Varnasi, Ballesh enabled to refine technique and mastery under Khan’s guidance.

Young Shehnai Maestro Krishna Ballesh

Young Shehnai Maestro Krishna Ballesh with his Guruji World Renowed Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Sahab

Krishna Ballesh

Young Shehnai Maestro Krishna Ballesh with his Guruji Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Sahab in Varanasi

Ballesh has accompanied his father for past years, gave several solo performances in Sangit Sabhas India and Abroad, also performed for various culturals events. In Chennai, Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan, performed with his Maternal Uncle Surmani Samrat and Karnataka Rajostav Puraskar Awardee Violinist, Dilruba, Thar-Shehnai Player Pandit Veerashwar Madri for Shehnai and Dilruba Jugalbandi combination, brought the listeners-mind immediately with the Shehnai Gayaki Ang, taankari and tone.

He gave his first public appearance accompanying his father Ballesh, at the age of 12years in Sitar Maestro Late Ustad Ahmed Hussain Khan Music Cicle in Chennai and started his music career, other performance in Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan in Chennai receiving blessings of Dr. Pandit Puttaraja Gawai Gadag.

ballesh and party mumbai

.Shehnai Nawaz Pandit S. Ballesh with Tabla Nawaz Ustad Nazim Hussain in Concert and Shri . Krishna Ballesh on Shehnai

shehnai party

Shehnai Nawaz Pandit S. Ballesh and Party and Shri. Krishna Ballesh on Shehnai

Ballesh is presently working as a professor in the Tansen Academy Of Music School, Chennai as Head Of Dept. He is Co-Founder of Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai Prathisthan Trust.

Awards and recognition

  • Sur Mani Award By Sur Singar Academy (Bombay)
  • Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Yogashram Trust (Chennai)

He has performed before Smt. Dr. Gangubai Hangal, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Kannada Super Star Dr. Rajkumar, Swami Jayendre Saraswathi Swamigal, Dr L.Subramanium, Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasiya, Maestro Illayaraja, S.P.Balasubramanium, Hamsalekha, Violin Maestro M.S.Gopalkrishna, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Singer P.B.Srinivas, M.S.Viswanathan, Music Director G.K.Venkatesh, Singer S.Janaki, Vani jairam, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, Carnatic Vocalist M.Bala Murali Krishna, Violinist Chandrasekaran, Pt M. Venkatesh kumar, Pt Shivanand Patil, Pt Vinayak Torvi, Pandit Puttaraja Gawai, Kunnakudi Vidyanathan, Saxophone Player Kadri Gopalnathan, A.R.Rahman.

Film and television

Ballesh has played for film recordings and performed in various light music live shows with M.S.Viswanathan, Illayaraja, A.R.Rahman, M. M. Keeravani, Shyam Joseph, Anu Malik and Hamsalekha. He has been the judge for several regional music shows on the Sun TV Network Saptha-Swarangal, Jaya TV Ragamalika music show, and Zee TV Hindi show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

He is also playing for upcoming music directors  of south and north India for films recordings, and has been singing for many background scores devotional and album songs as a playback singer.

Ballesh is from a family of shehnai players which began playing in the 1600s. He was born in Bailoor, near M.K.Hubli (Belgaum district) in Karnataka, and he received initial training from his grandfather Shehnai Vidhwan, late Pandit Sanna Bharamanna, He continued under his father, a player of south Indian film music “Shehnai Chakravathy”, Pandit S. Ballesh, himself a famous shehnai player of southern India and disciple of “Bharat Ratna” Ustad Bismillah Khan and known as Dakshin Bharat Bismillah Khan by his Guru, Khan.

At 7 years old he started his musical training, learning Hindustani vocal Kirana gharana from the Late Pandit Dr. DP. Hiremath of M.K Hubli. When he was 10, he learned Gwalior gharana and bhajans from Gadag Pandit Puttaraja Gawai, and started giving performances in sangit sabhas, inspired by his father’s Patiala gharana singing style from his childhood days. He had further training from Hyderabad Nizam Court Asthan Vidhwan Maharasthra Maha Pandit Sri. Kodhanda Singh Salunke Maharaj and Pandit Sri. Prakash Singh Salunke (Pune). There he was trained in classical Hindustani music, ghazals and thumri.

At first, he performed shehnai recitals in Chennai before Ustad Bismillah Khan, along with his father Pandit S. Ballesh to get his blessings. After this blessing, Bismillah Khan took him to Benaras for training, after which Ballesh sought to be the (Shishya) disciple of the Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan. He was trained by Khan in Varanasi for many years, and in daily shehnai practice Khan’s younger son Ustad Nazim Hussain would accompany them on tabla. He learnt Benarasi Gharana shehnai Khayal Gayaki ang, Thumari ang, Dhun and Kajri. He has accompanied Bismillah Khan in Ganga Mahostav in Varnasi, Ballesh enabled to refine technique and mastery under Khan’s guidance.

Ballesh has accompanied his father for past years, gave several solo performances in Sangit Sabhas India and Abroad, also performed for various culturals events. In Chennai, Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan, performed with his Maternal Uncle Surmani Samrat and Karnataka Rajostav Puraskar Awardee Violinist, Dilruba, Thar-Shehnai Player Pandit Veerashwar Madri for Shehnai and Dilruba Jugalbandi combination, brought the listeners-mind immediately with the Shehnai Gayaki Ang, taankari and tone.

He gave his first public appearance accompanying his father Ballesh, at the age of 12years in Sitar Maestro Late Ustad Ahmed Hussain Khan Music Cicle in Chennai and started his music career, other performance in Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan in Chennai receiving blessings of Dr. Pandit Puttaraja Gawai Gadag.

Ballesh is presently working as a professor in the Tansen Academy Of Music School, Chennai as Head Of Dept. He is Co-Founder of Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai Prathisthan Tr

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5 comments

  1. Krishna..Totally dedicated towards music and a very good music teacher.
    Good going Krishna…Good Luck 🙂

  2. HI AM VENKATESH KUMAR, AM LEARNING FROM PANDIT S BALLESH SIR AND KRISHNA BALLESH SIR FOR MORE THAN 2YEARS.. I CAME TO KNOW WAT IS HINDUSTANI MUSIC AND WHAT IS VOICE CULTURE.. HOW TO SING…

  3. hi friends am Shalini Shankar, am learning hindustani classical music from pandit ji and krishna ballesh ji and prakash ballesh ji .. now am in patiala khayal gayaki … thanks to ballesh sir and family for teaching hindustani music in this carnatic field tamil nadu

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