Surmani Krishna Ballesh
Surmani Krishna Ballesh, a son and disciple of Shehnai Chakravarthy Pandit S. Ballesh, is a Hindustani Classical Shehnai player and Patiala gharana vocalist of India who also received training in Kirana, Gwalior and Rampur Sahaswana gharana. He is one of the disciples of world-renowned Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan. He was under the tutelage of Ustad ji for 7 years and has learnt to play Shehnai in the Benarasi Bismillah Khan gharana under Guru-Sishya parampara. He is a ghazal singer and an “A” Grade Shehnai artiste in Akashwani. Krishna has played Shehnai for many Indian composers including Maestro Ilayaraja and Oscar awardee A. R. Rahman in several Indian movies. He has rendered a Shehnai duet in the Hollywood movie “The Hundred Foot Journey – 2014” for the track titled “India Calling” along with his father and guru, Shehnai Chakravarthy. He learnt Patiala gharana from Pt. Kodanda Singh Salunke Maharaj and Pt. Prakash Singh Salunke, Gwalior – Kirana gharana from Padma Shree awardee Pt. M. Venkatesh Kumar. He is currently learning Rampur – Sahaswana gharana from Padma Shree Ustad Rashid Khan and also accompanying him in all his concerts. Krishna plays for upcoming film composers of India and lends his voice to many background scores, devotional and private albums. He has performed at various live shows along with noted composers and singers such as M. S. Viswanathan, Illayaraja, A. R. Rahman, M. M. Keeravani, Shyam Joseph, Anu Malik, Hamsalekha, K. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Jugalbandhi with P Susheela.