September 17, 2019

Bhimsen Joshi

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BHIMSEN JOSHI

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PANDIT BHIMSEN JOSHI

Bhimsen Joshi

Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi (Kannada: ಪಂಡಿತ ಭೀಮಸೇನ ಗುರುರಾಜ ಜೋಷಿ, Marathi: पंडित भीमसेन गुरुराज जोशी, born February 14, 1922) is an Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition. A member of the Kirana Gharana (school), he is renowned for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangs). He is the most recent recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, awarded in 2008. Born in a Kannadiga family in the town of Gadag in northern part of Karnataka state. His father, Guracharya Joshi, was a school teacher. Bhimsen was the eldest in a family of 16 siblings. Some of the siblings still live in their ancestral home in Gadag. Bhimsen lost his mother when he was young, and his step mother raised him.

Until the first half of the 20th century, Khyal was principally taught in the Guru Shishya (master-disciple) tradition. Bhimsen’s guru Sawai Gandharva was the chief disciple of Abdul Karim Khan, who along with his cousin Abdul Waheed Khan was the founder of the Kirana Gharana school of Hindustani music. Joshi heard a recording of Abdul Karim Khan when he was a child, and was inspired to become a musician. In 1933, the 11-year-old Bhimsen left from home to find a master and learn music. With the help of money lent by his co-passengers in the train Bhimsen reached Dharwar first and later went to Pune. Later he moved to Gwalior and got into Madhava Music School, a school run by Maharajas of Gwalior, with the help of famous Sarod player Hafiz Ali Khan. He travelled for 3 years in North India, including in Delhi, Kolkata, Gwalior, Lucknow and Rampur, trying to find a good guru. Eventually, his father succeeded in tracking him down in Jalandar and brought young Bhimsen back home. Bhimsen Joshi is also popularliy known as Anna (elder Brother) or Bhim-Anna.

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