S. Ballesh

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Pandit S. Ballesh Bhajantri
Pandit Ballesh playing shehnai, in a tribute concert for Ustad Bismillah Khan, Chennai
Pandit Ballesh playing shehnai, in a tribute concert for Ustad Bismillah Khan, Chennai
Background information
Birth nameBallappa Sanna Bharamappa Bhajantri
Also known asS. Ballesh, S. Balesh, Baalesh, Ballappa, Balu
BornM.K.Hubli, Karnataka, India
Occupation(s)Shehnai player, classical vocalist
Musical career
GenresHindustani classical music, modern and film music, gospel
Years active1970–present

S. Ballesh Bhajantri (born Ballappa Sanna Bharamappa Bhajantri) is a popular[1] Indian classical Hindustani shehnai player.[2] He is a disciple of shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan,[2] he is benares gharana shehnai player and a patiala gharana hindustani vocalist, ghazal singer, Indian playback singer and musician,[3][4] Ballesh is credited with popularizing the shehnai, a reeded woodwind instrument.[5][6][7] He is also a Prasar Bharati's All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan artist.[8]

He is awarded India's fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri, in 2022, in the field of Art, He is the second classical musician of India after Ustad Bismillah Khan to receive the award as a shehnai player[9][10] [11][12] He has also worked for Ilaiyaraaja and A. R. Rahman.[13]

Pt Ballesh is conferred with Padmashri award by President of India, Shri. Ramnath Kovind

Early life and education[edit]

Ballesh was born to Shehnai player Sanna Bharamanna and Yellamma in M.K.Hubli, Kittur, Belgaum district, Karnataka.[8] He started learning Shehnai from his father, and later continued from his (uncle) father's elder brother Dodda Bharamanna and with musicians such as D.P. Hiremath, and Pt. Puttaraj Gawai. he was also a Bismillah Khan's disciple, Bismillah Khan once remarked that Ballesh will be the "assurance for the future of Shehnai in Indian classical music".[14][15]

Musical career[edit]


S. Ballesh and son in concert

Ballesh plays various styles on the shehnai: aalaapi and aakaar like khayal singing, jhala like sitar and sarod, tatkar like kathak dancers, meend and harquatts like sarangi and violin, and continuity tones like bansuri.[16] He has also performed jugalbandis,[2] along with sitarist Ustad Shahid Parvez,[17] mohan veena player Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and accompanied by tablist Yogesh Samsi, Subhankar Banerjee.[18][19]

Film music[edit]

Ballesh has been a musician for many music directors in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Rajasthani, Punjabi, Oriya, Sanskrit, English, Tulu, Konkani and Bhojpuri cinema, performing compositions by Naushad Ali, M. S. Viswanathan, Satyam (music director), G.K. Venkatesh, Ravindra Jain, Ravendra master, Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman and M. M. Keeravani.[20][2] He has sung and played shehnai for more than 9,000 movies background scores[21] and 45,000 film songs in several languages,[22][14] more than 50,000 devotional songs for several religions and languages,[21] he has sung Hindustani music Alaaps for films, and had also collaborated on shehnai with international musicians and composers in recordings.[21] He has sung several songs along with the singers K. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ilaiyaraaja, M. M. Keeravani and A. R. Rahman.[14][22] Ballesh appeared playing shehnai for the Hindi film Raanjhanaa, with music by A.R. Rahman.[23] He also played shehnai for the song "The Dichotomy of Fame" in Imtiaz Ali's 2011 Hindi film Rockstar[24] and also played for Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera song for Hindi film Swades, with music and sung by A.R. Rahman, and also in Bigil Tamil film with music by A.R. Rahman. [25][26]

Music Education[edit]

Ballesh founded Tansen Academy of Music,[27] a school of Hindustani Classical Music, with his musical work continued by his three sons by Prakash, Krishna and Shivanand Ballesh.[28][29]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Other awards[edit]



  1. ^ "Pt. Ballesh Bhajantri To Perform At Chikkagadiyara Tomorrow- An Internationally celebrated Shehnai artiste and (Patiala Gharana) vocalist, ghazal singer, Pandit Dr. Ballesh hails from M.K. Hubli town of Belagavi district". Star of Mysore. 28 September 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Lalithaa Krishnan (20 August 2009). "Clear and sparkling". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Classical music is for inner peace, says shehnai maestro". The Tribune. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Pt. Ballesh Bhajantri To Perform At Chikkagadiyara Tomorrow- An Internationally celebrated Shehnai artiste and (Patiala Gharana) vocalist, ghazal singer, Pandit Dr. Ballesh hails from M.K. Hubli town of Belagavi district". Star of Mysore. 28 September 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2023.
  5. ^ ""Kalaimamani" Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh". shehnaiballesh.com. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  6. ^ V.Balasubramanium (17 March 2017). "On a celebratory note - Pandit S.Ballesh disciple of Ustad Bismillah Khan -Ballesh elevated the status of shehnai, played only during festivities and brought it to the concert platform". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  7. ^ URMIMALA MAZUMDER (9 September 2022). "Can shehnai regain its lost glory?-The shehnai saw a rise in popularity when the film, Rockstar, featured a piece of music played by the musician, S. Ballesh". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  8. ^ a b Savitha Gautam (1 January 2016). "Riyaz and raags". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  9. ^ Ramesh Marulkar (25 July 2022). " Musical feast during Dr Vasantrao Deshpande Sangeet Samaroh  by SCZCC from July 28 to 30-Dr Bhajantri is the second artiste after Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan to get Padma Shri in shehnai recital". The Live Nagpur. Retrieved 14 January 2023.
  10. ^ Special Correspondent (29 July 2022). "Dr Bhajantri is the second artiste after Bharat Ratna ustad Bismillah Khan to get Padma Shri in ˜Shehnai Vaadan". He is first recipient of Padma Award in Hindustani Sangeet from South India". Nagpur Today. Retrieved 14 January 2023.
  11. ^ a b "ministry of home affairs press note- Padmaawardees2022- Padma Shri (107)-37-Shri S Ballesh Bhajantri - Art -Tamil Nadu" (PDF). Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Ministry of Home Affairs-Padma Awards 2022 announced- Posted On: 25 JAN 2022 8:28PM by PIB Delhi- Padmaawardees2022-Padma Shri (107)-37-Shri S Ballesh Bhajantri -Art-Tamil Nadu". Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  13. ^ Gokul M Nair (16 November 2016). "Pt Ballesh in turn has strived to take to the shehnai and its unique sound to the silverscreen as well, having performed with doyens like Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  14. ^ a b c "Padma Shri Awardee Pandit S.Ballesh Bhajantri hails from MK Hubli". allaboutbelgaum.com. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Ballesh with Guru Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan- "assurance for the future of Shehnai in Indian classical music"". Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Profile Of Classical Musicians-Pandit S.Ballesh ji can Play Shehnai in various style". profiles.lakshmansruthi.com. 23 May 2019. Archived from the original on 27 January 2023. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  17. ^ Thushara Ann Mathew (21 November 2017). "An evening to honour legends of Hindustani tunes". The Indian Express. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Music season in Chennai gets an early start". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  19. ^ Lavanya Narayanan (15 November 2018). "A free-flowing musical dialogue at Ras Barse Utsav". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  20. ^ V. Balasubramanium (17 March 2017). "On a celebratory note-Film projects-Ballesh has also worked with film music directors Sathyam, M.S. Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja and AR. Rahman are some of the top music directors". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  21. ^ a b c "पद्म- Padma shri - Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh Bhajantri - Shehnai artist and Hindustani vocalist" (PDF). www.padmaawards.gov.in. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Seven chosen for Padma Shri from T.N". The Hindu. 26 January 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  23. ^ "Official Tracklist "Album Credits"". arrahman.com. January 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Album Credits". arrahman.com. February 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  25. ^ Aakanksha N Bhardwaj, Jalandhar (15 December 2015). "Pandit S Ballesh has played for movies such as 'Raanjhana', 'Rockstar', 'Bahubali' and 'Swadesh' and worked with the noted music director AR Rehman". Allevents.in. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  26. ^ "Bigil-Album Credits-Release date-2019- Credits:MUSIC-A R Rahman-Shenai:Balesh". Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  27. ^ V. Balasubramanium (17 March 2017). "On a celebratory note-Ballesh who hails from Hubli, established the Tansen Academy that conducts an annual festival 'Ras Barse' in memory of his revered guru". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  28. ^ "Making Hindustani audible in the Carnatic heartland". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  29. ^ "Tansen Academy of Music Institute-Pandit S. Ballesh during an interview with The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  30. ^ "ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಕಲಾಶ್ರೀ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಪ್ರಕಟ". ವಿಜಯವಾಣಿ - ದಿನಪತ್ರಿಕೆ.
  31. ^ "Kalaimamani awards (List of Winners 2019-2020)". 19 February 2021. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  32. ^ "கலைமாமணி விருதுகள் 2019 மற்றும் 2020". www.dinamani.com. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  33. ^ "चौप तिलक सब छिन मोसे नैन -उस्ताद बिस्मिल्लाह खान कला रत्न सम्मान-चेन्नई के प्रसिद्ध पंडित डॉ। एस। बल्लेश और डॉ। कृष्ण बालेश" (PDF). Aj. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  34. ^ "वाराणसी भारत रत्न उस्ताद बिस्मिल्लाह खान -उस्ताद बिस्मिल्लाह खान कला रत्न सम्मान-चेन्नई के प्रसिद्ध पंडित डॉ। एस बल्लेश और डॉ। कृष्ण बालेश". Sahara India Pariwar. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  35. ^ SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (23 December 2022). "AWARD FUNCTION:Viswa Kala Puraskar 2022-Pandit S.Ballesh Bhajantri "Padma Sri Awardee"". Allevents.in. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  36. ^ "Padmashri Pandit Dr.S.Ballesh Bhajantri was honored in Kittur Utsav 2022 by Karnataka Government". www.youtube.com. Padmashri Awardee Pandit Dr.S.Ballesh - Shehnai. 27 October 2022. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  37. ^ "ವೀರರಾಣಿ ಬೆಳವಡಿ ಮಲ್ಲಮ್ಮನ ಉತ್ಸವ 2022ಕ್ಕೆ ಚಾಲನೆ; ದೇಶದ ಮಹಿಳಾ ಸೈನ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬೆಳವಡಿ ಮಲ್ಲಮ್ಮಜಿ ಹೆಸರಿಡಬೇಕು-ಸಚಿವೆ ಶಶಿಕಲಾ ಜೊಲ್ಲೆ- ಪದ್ಮಶ್ರೀ ಪುರಸ್ಕೃತರಾದ ಬಾಲೇಶ ಎಚ್". AIN Live News. March 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
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External links[edit]