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Shehnai Maestro Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh performing Shehnai in Ras Barse Utsav, Chennai accompanied by Ustad Nazim Hussain Bismillah Khan

" Kalaimamani " " Karnataka Kalashri "
Pandit Dr. S. BALLESH 

International Shehnai Player , Vocalist , Ghazal Singer

     An Internationally celebrated Shehnai Artist and (Patiala Gharana) Vocalist, Ghazal singer, “ Shehnai Chakravarthy ” Pandit Dr. S.Ballesh, He hails from MK Hubli town Belgaum district) Karnataka. 

State Awards - Ballesh is honored by four states, 

  • Tamilnadu Government honored him and his son Dr. Krishna Ballesh with Tamilnadu State’s Highest Civilian Award, Kalaimamani (Joint Award) in 2020,

  • Karnataka State Government honored him with the Karnataka Kalashree in 2019 (State Akademi Award), 

  • Andhra Pradesh Government honored him with the SriKalahasti Aasthana Vidwan Award (Joint Award along with his son) in 2006 

  • Uttar Pradesh, India Tourism Varanasi, Government of India conferred Ustad Bismillah Khan KalaRatna Samman 2021 Award (Joint Award along with his son) and by Ustad Bismillah Khan family members in association with Deepika Cultural Society of India, Varanasi,  

  • He was conferred with "The Honorary Doctorate" D.Litt., award (Honoris Causa) by The International Tamil University. 


                 The Government of India, Ministry of Cultures,invited Pandit Ballesh and his son Dr. Krishna Ballesh for Sangeet Sangam International Music Festival in 2021 (Senior Musicians) organised  Kendra Sangeet Nataka Akademi, Delhi. 

Pandit Ballesh and Krishna Ballesh duo played Shehnai in the Hollywood movies (International English Movies) “ The Hundred Foot Journey - 2014 ” for the track “ India Calling ”

A performing career of 45 years. Played Shehnai since the age of 11 , accompanying his Uncle and grandfather, and later  Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb. Has played in recordings for many Music Composers of India, across 16 languages  from 1978 to 2020 .

He is  disciple of world renowned Shennai Maestro Bharatratna Ustad Bismilah Khan. Initiated into music by his father Pandit Sanna Bharamanna he continued to learn under the guidance of his uncle Pandit Dodda Bharamanna. He further trained under Guru Dr.DP Hiremath, Kirana Gharana and Patiala Gharana from Pandit Kodanda Singh Salunke Maharaj. 


     Panditji was blessed to train under the guidance of Padmabushan Pandit Dr.Puttaraja Gawai (gadag) Gwalior Gharana- Kirana Gharana. His training was complete with his induction into the Banaras Gharana under Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb. As his foremost disciple, he also accompanied him for several years.  

     Panditji is  also renowned Hindustani classical vocalist and Ghazal singer and has been the preferred musician for  many music Directors in Bollywood, Tollywood, Mollywood, Kollywood and all languages across India (such as Maestro Naushad  Ali, Maestro M.S. Viswanathan, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, Oscar winner A.R Rahman and M.M.Keeravani).

Panditji has also played for Hollywood  music directors and has also collaborated with International Musicians in recordings. He has also sung many Hindustani Alaaps and played shehnai for more than 7,000 background-score's for films and 45,000  film songs and around 50,000 devotional songs. He had also sang several songs along with noted singers like K.J.Yesudas, S.Janaki,   S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ilaiyaraaja, M.M. Keeravani and A.R. Rahman.


As a performing musicians - he has  played  in many prestigious Music Festivals and collaborated with senior musicians for  Jugalbandis - both Carnatic and Hindustani Notably,  Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan (sitar), Pt  Atul Kumar Upadhaya (violin), Ustad Shafique Khan (sitar), Vidwan G J R Krishnan (violin).  He has also performed in India as well as many other countries.

He has received many awards like Radio Mirchi Jury award, Sangit Samrat, Shehnai Samrat, Shehnai Ratna, Sangeet Ratna, KIMA Film Awards, Sanaadi Apanna Kala puraskar. He is the only Shehnai player who represents Shehnai from South India.

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