Chennai musician duo to pay tribute to the Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb in his own tunes

Krishna Ballesh of Tansen Academy was about 13 years old when I first performed in front of Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb.
Shehnai maestro S Ballesh and his son Krishna. (File | EPS)
Shehnai maestro S Ballesh and his son Krishna. (File | EPS)

CHENNAI: "I was about 13 years old when I first performed in front of Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb. The memories are still fresh — I got his blessings and played the shehnai in Raag Madhuvanti for about 30 minutes. I even have a video recording of the moment. We at Tansen are extremely happy to celebrate his birth anniversary by doing what he loved — playing the shehnai and promoting Hindustani classical music,” says Krishna Ballesh of Tansen Academy,  ahead of Guru Samarpan, a tribute concert to commemorate the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna recipient Ustad Bismillah Khan. The concert is curated by Tansen Academy in association with Lasya — The Culture hub.

It will feature shehnai maestro S Ballesh and his son Krishna Ballesh. “My father was Ustad’s senior disciple. He accompanied him on several occasions and has received worldwide acclaim for his illustrious career. Eventually, I also became his disciple, ” says Krishna who trains about 500 students in his academy in Chennai.

The duo, along with a group of talented musicians will stage a Hindustani classical shehnai recital, laced with some of Khan’s hit Shehnai renditions in film music. They plan to take the celebrations to other cities.

(Guru Samarpan will take place today from 6.30 pm at Lasya’s Janaki Ammal Auditorium, APL Global School Campus, Okkiyam Thoraipakkam. For details, call 9787574158)

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