S. Ballesh

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Shehnai Player Pandit Dr. S.Ballesh

S. Ballesh
Birth nameBallappa Sanna Bharamappa Bhajantri
Also known asS. Ballesh, S. Balesh, Baalesh, Ballappa
Born (1958-04-01) 1 April 1958 (age 61)
OriginM.K.Hubli, Belgaum district, Karnataka, India
GenresHindustani classical music, modern and film music
Occupation(s)Shehnai player, classical vocalist

Pandit S. Ballesh (born Ballappa Sanna Bharamappa Bhajantri on April 1, 1958) is an Indian shehnai player.[1]

He is also a Patiala gharana Hindustani vocalist and expert in Benares gharana shehnai playing and ghazal singer.[2]

Ballesh trained under the shehnai virtuoso Ustad Bismillah Khan. He is a member of the Panchakshara Gavai brotherhood. He has performed in classical concerts, in jugalbandis (duets), and in film music.[1]

Early life[edit]

Ballesh was born to Shehnai Samrat Pandit Sanna Bharamanna and Smt. Yellamma in M.K.Hubli, Belgaum district, Karnataka. His all fore-generation family members were shehnai players in the district and Ballesh has traced his lineage to court musicians for advanced training.[3]

Music Training[edit]

He started learning from his father and strengthened his musical roots, later he continued from his (uncle) father's elder brother Pandit Dodda Bharamanna and with stalwarts such as Dr. D.P. Hiremath (Kirana gharana), Pt. Puttaraj Gawai (Gwalior gharana) and Kodhanda Singh Salunke and Prakash Singh Salunke (Patiala gharana), besides the Ustad Bismillah Khan shehnai in (Benares gharana). He is playing often for AIR Dharwar and Doordarshan.[4]


S. Ballesh and son in concert

In 2006 Ballesh and his son Krishna played a musical tribute to Krishna Hangal, daughter of Gangubai Hangal, at the presentation award ceremony for the first Krishna Hangal Memorial Award of the Hangal Music Foundation at the Sawai Gandharva Hall in Hubli.[5]

In 2013 he was in the touring orchestra of the film music composer Ilaiyaraaja, and performed in Toronto, Canada.[6]

Film music[edit]

Ballesh played shehnai for the Hindi movie Raanjhanaa, with music by Oscar winner A.R. Rahman.[7] He also played shehnai for the song "The Dichotomy of Fame" in Imtiaz Ali's 2011 Hindi film Rockstar, with music by A.R. Rahman.[8]


In 2011 he was honoured by Dr. M.G.R. University, Maduravoyal, during the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore.[9]


  1. ^ a b Lalithaa Krishnan (August 20, 2009). "Clear and sparkling". The Hindu. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "Classical music is for inner peace, says shehnai maestro". The Tribune. December 27, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Savitha Gautam, chennai (April 9, 2015). "Born to Pt. Sanna Bharamanna in M.K.Hubli". The Hindu. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  4. ^ Savitha Gautam, chennai (January 1, 2016). "For Pt. Ballesh, it's been a rather eventful journey". The Hindu. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "Honour for musician". The Hindu. Dec 13, 2006. Retrieved February 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Ravi Natarajan (February 2, 2014). "Engeyum Eppodhum Raja - Ilayaraja Toronto Show review - Feb 16, 2013". Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  7. ^ "Official Tracklist "Album Credits"". arrahman.com. January 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  8. ^ "Album Credits". arrahman.com. February 2014. Retrieved September 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "Annual literary symposium organised". The Hindu. August 21, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2014.