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" International Repute Shehnai Player " 

" Hindustani Classical Vocalist, Playback - Ghazal Singer "

          PADMASHRI awardee, “PANDIT DR. S.BALLESH BHAJANTRI is an International Repute Banaras Gharana Shehnai artiste. He is also a Patiala Gharana Hindustani vocalist and Ghazal singer, Indian Playback singer, an Akashvani All India Radio and Doordarshan “A”Grade Hindustani Classical Shehnai Artist.


In 2022, on the eve of the India’s 73rd Republic Day, Government of India announced India's fourth-highest civilian award Padma Shri for Pandit Ballesh for his exemplary services in the field of Art. The award was conferred by the President of India, Shri.Ramnath Kovind, making Pandit Ballesh the second shehnai player and classical musician of India after Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan to receive this award. This great honour and recognition brought back Shehnai to the centre stage.


Pandit Ballesh is the second shehnai player to have received Padma Shri after his Guru BharatRatna Ustad Bismillah Khan saheb. His “Padma Shri” award is record breaking on several counts. He is the:

  1. 2nd Shehnai player in India to receive the Padma award after Ustad Bismillah Khan

  2. 1st Hindustani Musician to receive Padma awards in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala

  3. 1st Shehnai player to receive Padma award in Dakshina Bharat Southern India

  4. 1st Shehnai playing Playback musician to receive Padma award from All India film music industry

  5. Only Shehnai player to receive Padma award in Ustad Bismillah Khan Sishya Parampara

  6. First person to receive Padma award in Korama Caste, Bhajantri Samaj community.

Padmashri Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh performing in
Ras Barse Utsav 2016 in Music Academy, Chennai

Pandit Ballesh has been playing Shehnai for more than 55 years since the age of 11; He is a senior disciple of BharatRatna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb. He has accompanied Ustad Bismillah Khan on several occasions and received worldwide acclaim for his illustrious career as a Shehnai Vidwan, spanning over five decades. Ustadji had bestowed the title of “Dakshina Bharat Bismillah Khan” on Pandit Ballesh. He is one of the five, and only surviving direct disciple of the maestro,

          Initiated into music by his father, Pandit Sanna Bharamanna Bhajantri, he continued to learn under the guidance of his uncle Pandit Dodda Bharamanna Bhajantri. He received Hindustani vocal training in Kirana Gharana from Dr.D.P Hiremath, in Patiala Gharana from Pandit Kodand Singh Salunke & Pt.Prakash Singh Salunke, and was blessed to be trained in Gwalior Gharana under guidance of Padma Bhushan Pandit Puttaraja Gawai (Gadag).


Pandit Ballesh is a key musician and Shehnai player for Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and Oscar Winner A.R. Rahman, and has worked with Bahubali music composer MM. Keeravani, Hamsalekha and other great composers of India for nearly 45years.


He has performed in India and abroad in many cultural events. He has received innumerous National, State, Sangeet Sabha and other awards by several organizations.  He is a 4 State Awardee and recipient of:

1. Kalaimamani Award by Tamil Nadu Government 

2. Karnataka Kalashree by Karnataka Government 

3. AsthanaVidwan of SriKalahasthi and Ugadi Puraskar by Andhra Pradesh Government

4. BharatRatna UstadBismillahKhan KalaRatna Samman from IndiaTourism,Varanasi, Governmentof India.

5. Bangalore North University, Kolar conferred "The Honorary Doctorate" D.Litt. Award (Honoris Causa)

6. Noble World Records by World's Maximum Film Songs Playing In Shehnai.

7. Noble World Records International Award Forum conferred him with International Reputed Shehnai Player Award


Film Music (Shehnai In Popular Music) Pt. Ballesh has:

  • Played for many recordings for leading Music Composers of India, across 16 languages ,

  • Sung and played shehnai for more than 10,000 movies background-scores and 85,000 film songs in all languages and more than 1,00,000 devotional songs in all religions ,

  • Has played Shehnai and sung Hindustani Raag Alaap for morethan 50,000 Swami Ayyappa devotional songs in All Languages and for All music composers. He has made Guest Appearance as shehnai player in many movies.

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