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Krishna Ballesh (born Krishna Ballesh Bhajantri) is an Indian classical Hindustani shehnai player,[1][2][3][4][5] he is also a patiala gharana Hindustani vocalist, sufi - qawwali, ghazal singer and playback singer-musician.[6][7]

Krishna is a child prodigy musician,[8] and a computer science software engineer.[9] He is a graded artist and often plays for Prasar Bharati's All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan kendra.[10][11][12][13] he has received training in kirana, gwalior, benaras, and rampur sahaswana gharanas.[14][15]

He is the second son and disciple of shehnai player S Ballesh Bhajantri,  he is the last direct disciple of shehnai master Bismillah Khan,[16][17] and senior disciple of hindustani vocalist Rashid Khan (musician).[18]

In 2020, he was awarded Kalaimamani, Tamil Nadu state’s highest civilian award, by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the field of Art.[19][20]

Krishna was born to S. Ballesh and Ratna Ballesh along with his two brothers, Prakash and Shivanand Ballesh

He received his initial shehnai and hindustani classical vocal training from his grandparents Pt Sanna Bharamanna Bhajantri and Yellamma and later continued from his guru D.P. Hiremath.[22]

He received high-level professional training from his father Pandit Ballesh, A strict disciplinarian, Ballesh would insist on voice training and practicing just a single note daily for hours, his disciplined training shows in his easy mastery of soft singing, taan and layakaari, and then he continued to learn from Bismillah Khan for 14 years,[23][24][25][26] he has performed with khan's younger son tabla player Nazim Hussain in many concerts,[27][28][29]

and he continued to learn from Bismillah Khan for 14 years, and khan's younger son Nazim Hussain has accompanied him in tabla

Krishna with his guru Ustad Bismillah Khan

He trained in Rampur Sahaswana gharana advanced lessons from his master Rashid Khan, and he regularly gives vocal support for his concerts.[30][31][32]


Krishna receives the Kalaimamani from the Chief Minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Krishna is co-founder of the Tansen Academy of Music, located in chennai and bangalore,[33][34] he trains Hindustani classical music voice training for more than 500 students in the academy[35][36][37][38] and organizes music festivals such as "Ras Barse Utsav",[39][40] "Ganayogi Sangeet Utsav" and "Taan Utsav"

In 2020, Krishna was conferred with Tamil Nadu state's highest civilian award, the Kalaimamani by chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami by Tamil Nadu government’s Iyal isai nataka mandram, for his contribution to Indian classical music and for promoting shehnai instrument in the field of Art.[43][44][45][46][47]

In 2021, Krishna was conferred with Ustad Bismillah Khan Kala Ratna Samman (Joint Award) by India tourism varanasi, Government of India, and by Ustad Bismillah Khan's family members.[48][49]

In 2021, he was conferred with the Vocational excellence award for outstanding service in the field of music by Rotary International club district 3232,[50]

in 2015, he was honored with Sundri samrat Pandit Sidaram Jadhav Yuva Puraskar award in Solapur

In 2022, Krishna was invited to perform in Mysore Palace for Mysore Dasara utsava.[53]


Krishna Ballesh & Party performing Shehnai in Mysore Palace for Mysore Dasara Utsava in 2022

In 2022, SPIC MACAY organization invited him to perform a shehnai and hindustani vocal recital for promoting Indian culture in school children of Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, adyar, chennai.[54] In 2021, he had sung jugalbandi with carnatic vocalist Dr.S. Sunder organized by Rotary International club music.[55] In 2017, he has played jugalbandi with violinist Atul Kumar Upadhayay.[56] In 2016, Shrinivas Joshi son of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi invited Krishna and his father to perform in the 64th, Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival for the 100th birth centenary year tribute concert in pune.[57][58][59][60][61] In 2015, he was invited to perform in Vijayapura Gol Gumbaz for Navaraspur utsava, Karnataka.[62] and also was invited to perform for the 140th Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan in Jalandhar, Punjab.

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