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|Birth name||Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi|
February 4, 1922|
Ron, Gadag, Bombay Presidency, British Raj (now Gadag-Betageri, Karnataka, India)
|Died||January 24, 2011
|Genres||Hindustani classical music|
Signature of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi
Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi ( pronunciation (help·info)); February 4, 1922 – January 24, 2011) He was an Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition. A member of the Kirana Gharana (school), he is known for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangs). He received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 2008.
Early life 
Bhimsen Joshi was born into in a Kannadiga Madhwa Brahmin family in the state of Karnataka (now in Gadag district), which was then in Dharwar District in the Bombay Presidency, now the northern part of Karnataka state in India. His father, Gururaj Joshi, was a school teacher. Bhimsen was the eldest in a family of 16 siblings. Some of the siblings still live in their ancestral home in Gadag. Bhimsen lost his mother when he was young, and his step mother then raised him.
He also sought out households where he heard musicians lived and worked as servants. He returned home to train himself under Pandit Rambhau Kundgolkar a.k.a Sawai Gandharva of the Kirana Gharana school of music at Kundgol, the guru's hometown close to Gadag. His parents lived initially with his grandfather as tenants of a Kulkarni household, but then moved to Gadag (now a district headquarter).
As a child, Joshi's craving for music was evident to his family as he managed to lay his hands on a 'tanpura' used by his 'Kirtankar' grandfather, which had been kept away from his gaze at home. Music had such a magnetic pull over him that a 'bhajan singing' procession or just 'azaan' from a nearby mosque was said to draw him out of house.
Musical training 
Joshi got his first basic foundation in music from Chinnappa, a local musician who was a family washerman in profession. The one and only unique vigorous style of rendering he developed along with advanced trainings by other teachers is attributed to the basic training he received. Until the first half of the 20th century, khyal was principally taught in the Guru Shishya (master-disciple) tradition. Bhimsen's guru Sawai Gandharva was the chief disciple of Abdul Karim Khan, who along with his cousin Abdul Wahid Khan was the founder of the Kirana Gharana school of Hindustani music.
Search for a guru 
Joshi heard a recording of Abdul Karim Khan's Thumri "Piya Bin Nahi Aavat Chain" in Raga Jhinjhoti when he was a child, which inspired him to become a musician. In 1933, the 11-year-old Joshi left Dharwad for Bijapur to find a master and learn music. With the help of money lent by his co-passengers in the train Bhimsen reached Dharwad first and later went to Pune. Later he moved to Gwalior and got into Madhava Music School, a school run by Maharajas of Gwalior, with the help of famous sarod player Hafiz Ali Khan. He traveled for three years around North India, including in Delhi, Kolkata, Gwalior, Lucknow and Rampur, trying to find a good guru. Eventually, his father succeeded in tracking him down in Jalandar and brought young Bhimsen back home.
Sawai Gandharva 
In 1936, Sawai Gandharva, a native of Dharwad, agreed to be his guru. Joshi stayed at his house in the guru-shishya (teacher-student) tradition. Joshi continued his training with Sawai Gandharva till 1940.
Joshi first performed live in 1941 at the age 19. His debut album, containing a few devotional songs in Kannada and Hindi, was released by HMV the next year in 1942. Later Joshi moved to Mumbai in 1943 and worked as a radio artist. His performance at a concert in 1946 to celebrate his guru Sawai Gandharva's 60th birthday won him accolades both from the audience and his guru.
Hindustani classical music 
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Joshi's performances were said[who?] to have been marked by spontaneity, accurate notes, dizzyingly-paced taans which make use of his exceptional voice training, and a mastery over rhythm. The Hindu, in an article written after he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, said: Bhimsen Joshi was ever the wanderer, engendering brilliant phrases and tans more intuitively than through deliberation. Joshi occasionally employed the use of sargam and tihaais, and often sang traditional compositions of the Kirana gharana. His music often injected surprising and sudden turns of phrase, for example through the unexpected use of boltaans. Over the years, his repertoire tended to favor a relatively small number of complex and serious ragas; however, he remained one of the most prolific exponents of Hindustani classical music. Some of Joshi's more popular ragas include Shuddha Kalyan, Miyan Ki Todi, Puriya Dhanashri, Multani, Bhimpalasi, Darbari, and Ramkali. He was considered a purist and has not dabbled in experimental forms of music, except for a series of Jugalbandi recordings with the Carnatic signer M. Balamuralikrishna.
Joshi's singing was thought[who?] to have been influenced by many musicians, including Smt. Kesarbai Kerkar, Begum Akhtar and Ustad Amir Khan. Joshi assimilated into his own singing various elements that he liked in different musical styles and Gharanas.
Devotional music 
In devotional music, Joshi was most acclaimed for his Kannada, Hindi and Marathi Bhajan singing. His commercially successful CDs Daaswani and Enna Paliso included Kannada Bhajans, and Santawani included Marathi Abhangs.
Patriotic music 
Bhimsen Joshi was widely recognized in India due to his performance in the Mile Sur Mera Tumhara music video (1988), which begins with him. The video was created for the purpose of national integration in India, and highlights the diversity of Indian culture. Bhimsen Joshi was also a part of Jana Gana Mana produced by A. R. Rahman on the occasion of 50th year of Indian Republic.
Playback singing 
Joshi sang for several films, including Basant Bahar (1956) with Manna Dey, Birbal My Brother (1973) with Pandit Jasraj, and Kannada films like Sandhya Raaga and Nodi Swami Naavu Irodhu Heege. He also sang for the films Tansen (1958) and Ankahee (1985) where latter fetched him National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer.
Sawai Gandharva Music Festival 
Joshi organized the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival as an homage to his guru, Sawai Gandharva, along with the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal in 1953, marking Gandharva's first death anniversary. The festival has been held ever since, typically on the second weekend of December in Pune, Maharashtra and has become not only a cultural event for the city, but an annual pilgrimage for Hindustani Classical Music lovers all over the world. Joshi conducted the festival annually since 1953, until his retirement in 2002.
Bhimsen Joshi was known for his powerful voice, amazing breath control, fine musical sensibility and unwavering grasp of the fundamentals, representing a subtle fusion of intelligence and passion that imparted life and excitement to his music. A classicist by training, and temperament, Bhimsen Joshi was renowned for having evolved an approach that sought to achieve a balance between what may be termed as "traditional values and mass-culture tastes" and as such he went on to have supposedly the largest commercially recorded repertoire in Hindustani vocal music. Pt. Joshi's iconic status in the music world has earned him a whole generation of suni shagirds who by merely listening to him have picked up his style and not through any formal tutelage. His greatest endeavour in perpetuating his legacy could be the Sawai Gandharva Festival held at Pune. annually since the year 1953 which seeks to promote a certain music culture.
Personal life 
Joshi had a passion for cars. He was a swimmer, an enthusiast of yoga and a football player. He had acknowledged his weakness for alcohol but left it in 1979 after it started affecting his career.
Illness and death 
Joshi was admitted to Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital on December 31, 2010 with gastrointestinal bleeding and bilateral pneumonia. Due to difficulty in breathing, he was put on ventilator support. He suffered convulsions and was put on dialysis too during his stay in hospital. Though he recovered briefly for three days when he was taken off the ventilator, his condition deteriorated thereafter. He died on 24 January 2011 . He was cremated at Vaikunth Crematorium in Pune with full state honors.
Awards and recognitions 
- 1972 - Padma Shree
- 1976 - Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
- 1985 - Padma Bhushan
- 1985 - National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer
- 1986 - "First platinum disc"
- 1999 - Padma Vibhushan
- 2000 - "Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar"
- 2001 - "Nadoja Award" from Kannada University
- 2002 - Maharashtra Bhushan
- 2003 - "Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram" by Government of Kerala
- 2005 - Karnataka Ratna
- 2008 - Bharat Ratna
- 2008 - "Swami Haridas Award"
- 2009 - "Lifetime achievement award" by Delhi government
- 2010 - "S V Narayanaswamy Rao National Award" by Rama Seva Mandali, Bangalore
- "Destructing Bhimsen Joshi Alone". Muzicforums. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Bharat Ratna for Vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi". Rediff. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- "Kannadiga family". The Hindu. 2002-10-31. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- "Relentless riyaz- Bhimsen Joshis recipe for success". Deccan Herald. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- "Naughty lad turned muse is 'Bharat Ratna'". Deccan Herald. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the glory of Indian music". NDTV. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "A class apart". Mumbai Mirror. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- Chatterji, Shoma A. (7 December 2008). "A living legend". The Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "Seeking the stars". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2008-11-07.
- "Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshi passes away in Pune". IBN Live. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- "Pandit Bhimsen Joshi passes away". The Times Of India. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- "Pt Bhimsen Joshi's funeral held with all state honours". One India. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "Pandit Bhimsen Joshi: A Profile". ZEE News. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- Bhimsen Joshi: Living legend in Indian classical music - Entertainment - DNA
- Screen -The Business of Entertainment
- 'Nadoja' for Bhimsen Joshi
- Times Of India Article
- "Award presented to Bhimsen Joshi". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2003-12-02.
- Bhimsen Joshi to be presented Swami Haridas Award
- Bhimsen happy about Delhi govt award
Further reading 
- Nadkarni, Mohan (1983). Bhimsen Joshi: the man and his music. Prism Communications.
- Nadkarni, Mohan (1994). Bhimsen Joshi: a biography. Indus, New Delhi. ISBN 81-7223-126-1.
- Majumdar, Abhik (2004). Bhimsen Joshi: A Passion for Music. Rupa & Co. ISBN 81-291-0354-0.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bhimsen Joshi|
- Bhimsen Joshi
- Bhimsen Joshi Picture Album
- Bhimsen Joshi: List of Classical Vocal Recordings
- A films division documentary on Bhimsen Joshi