Shehnai Maestro Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh performing Shehnai in Ras Barse Utsav
Pandit Dr. S. BALLESH BHAJANTRI
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.
Pandit Ballesh was conferred with India’s Fourth-Highest civilian award “‘PADMASHRI” on 73rd Republic Day in 2022, in the field of Art, by President of India, Shri. Ramnath Kovind, and by this great honour the Govt of India has brought back the SHEHNAI to centre stage with this recognition, Pandit Ballesh becoming the second classical musician of India after Ustad Bismillah Khan to receive the award.
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 Kalashri in 2019 (State Akademi Award),
Andhra Pradesh Government honored him with the Aasthana Vidwan of SriKalahasti 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.
Pandit Ballesh had breaked many records in India by receiving “PADMA AWARDS”:
Ballesh is the 2nd Shehnai player in India to receive the Padma awards after Ustad Bismillah Khan,
Ballesh is the 1st Hindustani Musician to receive Padma awards in Tamilnadu ,
Ballesh is the 1st Shehnai player to receive Padma awards in Dakshina Bharat ,
Ballesh is the 1st Shehnai playing Playback Musician to receive Padma awards from All India film music industry ,
Ballesh is the only Shehnai player to receive Padma Awards in Ustad Bismillah Khan Sishya Parampara ,
Ballesh is the 1st person in (Korama) Bhajantri community to receive Padma awards in past 73yrs Republic India,
Ballesh is the 2nd Musician to receive Padma Awards from Veerashwar Punyashram (Gadag).
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 sung and played shehnai for more than 9,000 movies background-score's and 45,000 film songs in all languages and more than 50,000 devotional songs in all religions, and he has also sung Hindustani music Alaaps for films and had also collaborated Shehnai with International musicians and composers in recordings. He has worked with Lakkavajhala Venkata Gangadhara Sastry, a singer and composer for Bhagavadgita project. On several occasions, he has been invited or sponsored by government music festivals. He had collaborated Shehnai with Hungarian musicians in several recordings. 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.