Kalaimamani Dr. KRISHNA BALLESH
"Kalaimamani" Dr. Krishna Ballesh Bhajantri (born 5 November 1982) is an Indian Shehnai player, Hindustani vocalist of the Patiala Gharana, Playback singer-musician, Ghazal and Sufi - Qawaali singer. He is Akashwani All India Radio and Doordarshan “B. High" Grade Hindustani Classical Shehnai/Vocalist Artist. He played the shehnai duet in 2014, for the Hollywood film, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" for the “India Calling” track along with his father. In 2023, He has collaborated with a music composer, singer, and director T.Rajendhar for the song "Vande Vande Maataram" in Tamil, Hindi, and Indian languages .
Krishna is honored with the Kalaimamani Award 2020, The Highest Civilian State Award given by the Government of Tamilnadu by Honorable Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Andhra Pradesh Government honored SriKalahasti Asthana Vidwan Title 2006, in Srikalahasti Temple, Chittoor, AP.
A native of Bailur, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
A resident of Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Hindustani classical music
Instrumentalist - Shehnai
Vocalist - Classical, Ghazal, and Light Music
Akashwani All India Radio and Doordarshan “B. High" Grade Hindustani Classical Shehnai/Vocalist Artist.
B.E (Computer Science ) from Anna University, Dr.M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute
Sangeet Alankar from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya,
Bachelor's and Master’s Degree from Indira Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Khairagarh, MP, India.
Sangeet Praveen and Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, India.
Honorary Doctorate , D.Litt., (Honoris Cause) by The International Tamil University USA
Krishna’s first gurus were his grandfather Shri. Sanna Bharamanna Gawai, and Uncle Basappa Bhajantri . His father, Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh, senior disciple of Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan sahib, then opened doors for him to train under the Shehnai virtuoso at Benares.
His father Pt. Ballesh was his first guru, and subsequently, he honed his art under Guru Kothand Salunkhe Maharaj and Pt. Puttaraja Gawai, Patiala Gharana , at Veereshwar Punyashrama. Subsequently , he received training in Kirana, Gwalior, Beneras and presently learning and performing Rampur - Sahaswan gharana under Padmashri Ustad Rashid Khan saab & different gurus.
Notable concerts - Vocal & Shehnai
Shri Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan , Jalandhar, Punjab
Delhi Classical Music Festival, Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi
Ganga Mahotsav, UP Govt., Benaras
Kasi- Vishwanath Festival - Benares
Tansen Sangeet Samaroha , Bhopal
Shehnai Mahotsav , Bharat Bhavan , Bhopal
Sawai Gandharav Bhimsen Mahostav , Pune
Sur Singar Sansad Sangit Sammellan, Mumbai
Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur Sangeet Utsav , Dharwad
Smt.Gangubhai Hanagal Sangeet Sammellan,Hubli
Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan , Gadag
Pandit Kumar Gandharv SangeetSammellan, Belgaum
Spirit of Unity Concert, Tirupati
Pt. Motiram -Pt. Maniram Music festival - Ernakulam
Gaanayogi Swar Utsav - 2020, Dharwad
Notable Jugalbandi performances
He has played Shehnai alongside many senior artistes like Shri. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ustad Shaid Parvez Khan, Shri. Ronu Majumdar, Shri. Atul Kumar Upadhyay, Rafique & Shafique Khan along with Pt.S. Ballesh and was blessed to have the accompaniment of seniors like Yogesh Samsi, Ravindra Yavagal, and Subhankar Banerjee.
Accompanied Hindustani Vocals with his Guruji Ustad Rashid Khan Sahab in many concerts, notably :
Bombay Barkha Ritu , Ustad Rashid Khan , Banyan Tree
Chennai ‘Aadi Anant' Music Fest , Organised by Citi and NCPA
Jalsa - Music for the Soul’, Art and Artistes , Kozhikode , Kerala
Splendor of Master's, Ustad Rashid Khan in Chennai
The Hindu Nov Fest, Chennai, Hyderabad - Naad Ninaad , Jugalbandi of Ustad Rashid Khan and Sitar Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan
Bengaluru ‘Aadi Anant' Music Fest , Organised by NCPA.
Fusion, Folk & Popular Music
Krishna has performed with playback singer and music composer A. R. Reihana for "Indian Fusion Music Festival", held in Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, Maryland, United States of America &
In 2019 he performed in Malayasia with music composer A. R. Reihana for Sufi and Film music festival held in Malacca.
Krishna has played Shehnai for many Indian composers including maestro Ilaiyaraaja and Oscar winner A. R. Rahman in several Indian movies. He has played shehnai duet in the 2014 Hollywood movie, The Hundred-Foot Journey for the track titled “India Calling” along with his father.
Contribution to Hindustani Sangeet
Co Founder : Tansen Academy of Music
To propagate the legacy of his Gurus’ Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai & Pt. Puttaraja Gawai, he co founded Tansen Academy of Music in Chennai along with his father for promoting Hindustani music and shehnai.The institute has over 1000 students who learn classical music - Vocal, Tabla, Sitar, Flute and Shehnai
Ras Barse Utsav- in commemoration of Guru Ustad Bismillah Khan , is his brainchild . An annual music festival, it's a vibrant platform to promote Hindustani classical music in Chennai and South. The Ustad Bismillah Khan Kala Puraskar and Yuva Kala Puraskar is conferred on this occasion.
Sur Mani Award By Sur Singar Sansad (Bombay)
Sangit Yuva Kala Ratna (Kalarasana Academy) (Chennai)
Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Yuva Puraskar, (Gadag)
Pt Sidram Jadhav and Pt Chidanand Jadhav Yuva Puraskar, (Solapur)
Sangeet Yuva Kala Ratna Award By Sur Sagar Academy
Bhajan Samarat By Kashi Math (Chennai)
Kala Bharathi Award By Kashi Viswanatha Organisation
Shehnai Kala Ratna, Kittur Rani Chennamma Ustav Samiti
Sitar Nawaz Ustad Ahmed Hussain Khan Yuva Kala Puraskar (Chennai)
Contact: +91 98842 95357