" Kalaimamani " Dr. KRISHNA BALLESH
Shehnai Player & Hindustani Vocalist
Surmani - Kalaimamani Awardee
(Dr.) KRISHNA BALLESH BHAJANTRI
Hindustani Classical Shehnai & Vocalist - Mentor,
Voice Trainer, Qawwali Sufi, Playback Singer - Musician
"Kalaimamani awardee" Dr. KRISHNA BALLESH BHAJANTRI is an Indian Shehnai player, a Hindustani vocalist of the Patiala Gharana, a Thumri, a Sufi Qawwali, a Ghazal, and a Playback singer-musician. Son and Disciple of Padmashri Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh Bhajantri. Co-Founder of Tansen Academy of Music, Chennai & Bangalore. He is Akashwani All India Radio and Doordarshan “B. High" Grade Hindustani Classical Shehnai/Vocalist Artist. He played the shehnai duet in 2014, for the Hollywood film, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" for the “India Calling” track along with his father. In 2023, He has collaborated with a music composer, singer, and director T.Rajendhar for the song "Vande Vande Mataram" in Tamil, Hindi, and Indian languages.
Born: Bailur, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
Settled & Living in - Chennai, Tamilnadu
Native of MK.Hubli, Belgaum District, Karnataka State
A resident of Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Hindustani classical music
Instrumentalist - Shehnai
Vocalist - Classical, Ghazal, and Light Music
Akashwani All India Radio and Doordarshan “B. High" Grade Hindustani Classical Shehnai/Vocalist Artist.
www.tansenacademy.com, Contact: +91 98842 95357
Kalaimamani Award 2020, The Tamilnadu State's Highest Civilian Award Given by the Government of Tamilnadu by Honorable Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami,
Andhra Pradesh Government honored him with Srikalahasti Aasthana Vidwan Award in 2006,
India Tourism Varanasi, Government of India conferred Ustad Bismillah Khan KalaRatna Samman 2021 Award in Benaras by Ustad Bismillah Khan's family members, along with the Deepika Cultural Society, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Government Invites to perform Shehnai:
The Government of India, Ministry of Culture, invited Pandit Ballesh and his son Dr. Krishna Ballesh for Sangeet Sangam International Music Festival in 2021 (Senior Musicians) organized by Kendra Sangeet Nataka Akademi, Delhi.
India Tourism Varanasi, Government of India and Ustad Bismillah Khan's family members invited Krishna Ballesh to perform for the 105th Ustad Bismillah Khan Birth Anniversary in Banaras for Sabrang Utsav, along with Deepika Cultural
B.E (Computer Science) from Anna University Dr.M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute
Sangeet Alankar from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya,
Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees from Indira Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Khairagarh, MP, India.
Sangeet Praveen and Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, India.
Honorary Doctorate, D.Litt., (Honoris Causa) by The International Tamil University USA, Maryland.
Karnataka State Government Junior, Senior and Vidwat Poorva and Vidwat Final (Anthim)
Krishna’s first gurus were his grandfather Shri. Sanna Bharamanna Gawai, and Uncle Basappa Bhajantri. His father, Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh, a senior disciple of Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan sahib, then opened doors for him to train under the Shehnai virtuoso at Benares.
His father Pt. Ballesh was his first guru, continued Dr. D.P. Hiremath, and subsequently, he honed his art under Guru Kodand Salunke Maharaj and Padma Bhushan Pt. Puttaraja Gawai, Patiala Gharana, at Veereshwara Punyashrama. Subsequently, he received training in Kirana, Gwalior, and Beneras and presently learning and performing Rampur - Sahaswan gharana under Padmashri Ustad Rashid Khan sahab & different guru
Fusion, Folk & Popular Music
Krishna has performed with playback singer and music composer A. R. Reihana for the "Indian Fusion Music Festival", held in Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, Maryland, United States of America &
In 2019 he performed in Malaysia with music composer A. R. Reihana for Sufi and Film music festivals held in Malacca.
Krishna has played Shehnai for many Indian composers including Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and Oscar winner A. R. Rahman in several Indian movies. He played a shehnai duet in the 2014 Hollywood movie The Hundred-Foot Journey for the track titled “India Calling” along with his father.
Contribution to Hindustani Sangeet
Founder : Tansen Academy of Music
To propagate the legacy of his Gurus’ Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai & Pt. Puttaraja Gawai, he co-founded Tansen Academy of Music in Chennai along with his father for promoting Hindustani music and shehnai. The institute has over 1000 students who learn classical music - Vocal, Tabla, Sitar, Flute, and Shehnai.
Krishna is the founder of Tansen Academy of Music, which organizes “Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai Mahostav and Ras Barse Utsav'' Music festivals in memory of Ustad Bismillah Khan saab. He teaches Shehnai and classical Hindustani vocals and also screens music songs for Autism Children with Disabilities, and for Special need, children's and also for Visually Impaired Students, and all of them are given the opportunity to perform at the annual Ganayogi Sangeet Utsav and Taan Utsav music festivals.
Ras Barse Utsav- in commemoration of Guru Ustad Bismillah Khan, is his brainchild. An annual music festival, it's a vibrant platform to promote Hindustani classical music in Chennai and South. The Ustad Bismillah Khan Kala Puraskar and Yuva Kala Puraskar and Gaurav Puraskar are conferred on this occasion.
Because of his accomplished performances, dedication and commitment towards music, he has received numerous awards and to mention few,
Classical Music Awards :
Ustad Bismillah Khan KalaRatna Samman 2021 Award (Joint Award along with his son) in Benaras by India Tourism Varanasi, Government of India in Benaras by Ustad Bismillah Khan's family members, along with Deepika Cultural Society, Varanasi,
Kalaimamani Award 2020, The Highest Civilian Award Given by Government of Tamilnadu by Honorable Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, in presence of Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Minister for Tamil Culture and Language MaFoi K. Pandiarajan, Chairman Shri. Deva Tamilnadu Iyal Isai Nataka Manram
YuvaKala Sangeet Samrat Award 2020, INDO-NEPAL Music Meditation Series organized by Anu Dhwani Art and Cultural Society, Delhi
Kala Aparanji Award 2020, Given by Pandit Bhimsen Music Foundation Gadag, Karnataka
Smt. Leena Gupta Memorial Award 2019, Leena Gupta Memorial Music Foundation, Silchar, Assam
Mahatma Gandhi Award 2019, Gandhi 150th International Peace Festival, Gandhi World Foundation Chennai Award given in presence of Governor of Taminadu Thiru. Banwarilal Purohit
Sangeet Ratna Award 2019, Sumadhur Hamsadhwani Trust, Preerna Dham, Faridabad , Haryana
Jaipur Ratna Award 2019, Jaipur Ratna Samman Samaroh, received from Legendary Hindustani Classical Vocalist Padma Bhushan Begum Parveena Sultana , Nirmala Auditorium, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Excellence in Vocational and Instrumental Music Award 2018, Given by Rotary Club of Seven Hills, Dharwad, Karnataka
Sri Channabasaveshwar Award 2018, Given by Ulavi Padayatre Channa Basaweshwar Samiti, Karnataka
Sangeetha Sahodar Award 2018, Given by Pandit Raghunath Talegaonkar Foundation Trust and Sangeet Kala Kendra, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Sri Yogeshwari Sangeet Ratna Puraskar 2017, Sri Yogeshwari Prathisthan, Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra
Sangeetha NadaBrahma Award 2017, Given by Gadag Ganayogi Veereshwara Punyashrama in Association with Kannada Culture Depart, Karnataka Government
Bharat Kala Ratna Puraskar 2017, International Center for Cultural Integration, Odisha
Nudisiri Award 2016, 13th Kannada Nadu-Nudi-Culture Conference, The Annual Kannada Literary and Cultural Meet of Alva's Education Foundation, Mangalore, Karnataka
Bhimsen Samman International Award, 2017 (Joint Award) along his Pandit Ballesh, in Bhimsen Utsav (95th birth anniversary), Kala Vikas Parishat, Gadag
Kala Vikas Puraskar 2016, 100th Birthday of Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Anniversary, KalaVikas Parishad.
Shree BabaHarivallabh Sangeet Puraskar 2015, Receives a honor from Satguru Uday Singhji in Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan 2015 in Jalandhar at Shri Devi Talab Mandir, Punjab
Navaraspur Utsav Sangeet Sanskriti Award 2015, organized by Kannada and Culture Department Govt.given by District Commissioner of Vijapura
Sundri Samrat Pt Sidaram Jadhav & Pt Chidanand Jadhav Yuva Puraskar 2015, Solapur,Maharashtra
Kala Saadhak Samman 2014, Given by Kala Mandali, Delhi, Vividha 2014, A National Festival of Diverse Cultural Expressions of India, Delhi
Aasthana Vidwan Award 2013, Given by Sri Gnana Advaitha Peetam, from Sri Sathguru Swami Gnanananda Sarasvathi Ammaji, Chennai
Yuva Kala Ratna Award 2010, Given by Sripuram Narayani Peedam, Vellore, Tamilnadu
Sangeeta Kala Nakshatra Award 2010, Given Chinmaya Music Foundation, Chinmaya Mission Madurai, Tamilnadu
Kala Bharathi Puraskar 2008, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh
SriKalahasti Aasthana Vidwan Title 2006, SriKalahasti Temple, Chittoor Andhra Pradesh Government
Smt. Krishna Hanagal Yuvakala Puraskar 2006, Dr.Gangubai Hangal Music Foundation, Hubli, Karnataka
Sangeetha Vikas Ratna Award 2004, from Pandit Puttaraj Gawai Music Foundation, Gadag, Karnataka
Sitar Ratna Ustad Ahmed Hussain Khan Yuva Kala Puraskar 2001, Given by Ustad Ahmed Hussain Music Circle, Chennai, Tamilnadu
SurMani Award 1999, by Sur Singar Sansad, Kal Ke Kalakar Sangeet Sammellan, Bombay, Maharashtra
Krishna Ballesh conferred Honorary Doctorates - 2019, (D.Litt, Honoris Cause)along with Legendary Playback Singer's Dr. SP. Balasubrahmanyam, Dr. KS. Chitra, Drummer Dr. Sivamani, Dr. Nagoor Babu (Mano) and after his father Pandit Dr. S.Ballesh in 2017.
Notable concerts - Vocal & Shehnai
Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahostav , Pune
Shri Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan , Jalandhar, Punjab
Delhi Classical Music Festival, Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi
Ganga Mahotsav, UP Govt., Benaras
Kashi- Vishwanath Festival - Benares
Tansen Sangeet Samaroh , Bhopal
Shehnai Mahotsav , Bharat Bhavan , Bhopal
Sur Singar Sansad Sangit Sammellan , Mumbai
Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur Sangeet Utsav , Dharwad
Smt. Gangubhai Hangal Sangeet Sammellan , Hubli
Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan , Gadag
Pandit Kumar Gandharv Sangeet Sammellan , Belgaum
Spirit of Unity Concert , Tirupati
Pt. Motiram - Pt. Maniram Music festival , Ernakulam , Hyderabad
Gaanayogi Swar Utsav , Dharwad
Notable Jugalbandi performances
He has played Shehnai alongside many senior artistes like Shri. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ustad Shaid Parvez Khan, Shri. Ronu Majumdar, Shri. Atul Kumar Upadhyay, Rafique & Shafique Khan along with Pt.S. Ballesh and was blessed to have the accompaniment of seniors like Yogesh Samsi, Ravindra Yavagal, and Subhankar Banerjee.
Accompanied Hindustani Vocals with his Guruji Ustad Rashid Khan Sahab in many concerts, notably :
Bombay Barkha Ritu , Ustad Rashid Khan , Banyan Tree
Chennai ‘Aadi Anant' Music Fest , Organised by Citi and NCPA
Jalsa - Music for the Soul’, Art and Artistes , Kozhikode , Kerala
Splendor of Master's, Ustad Rashid Khan in Chennai
The Hindu Nov Fest, Chennai, Hyderabad - Naad Ninaad , Jugalbandi of Ustad Rashid Khan and Sitar Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan
Bengaluru ‘Aadi Anant' Music Fest , Organised by NCPA.