Early Life was born into a Madhwa family in the town of Rona, now in the of northern . Bhimsen was the eldest in a family of 16 siblings. Bhimsen lost his mother when he was young, and his step mother then raised him. His parents lived initially with his grandfather as tenants of a Kulkarni household, but then moved to Gadag District. His father, Gururaj Joshi, was a school teacher and wanted his son to attain sound education and qualify as a doctor or an engineer. As a child, 's craving for music was evident to his family as he managed to lay his hands on a '' used by his 'Kirtankar' grandfather, which had been kept away from his gaze at home. Music had such a magnetic pull over him that a ' singing' procession or just 'azaan' from a nearby mosque was said to draw him out of house.

Search For Guru A conservative schoolmaster's son, Bhimsen Joshi had a passion for music even from his early childhood. The little boy deeply moved by a recording of , the founder father of the 'kirana ', was later destined to become an accomplished jewel of the gharana. He left home in 1932 and was on the move for the next two years in search of a guru. He travelled to , , where he tutored under , the well-known sarodiya and father of Ustad ,then to Calcutta, Punjab and it was when he was in Gwalior his father traced him and bought him back to home sending him to for training.

SAWAI GANDHARVA He found the apt teacher for him very close to his house. Under the tutelage of Savai Gandharva 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 was the founder of the school of Hindustani music. he learnt many and perfected his tone, pitch and the best of Kirana gharana. Bhimsen began to live at his guru's house and was taught nothing for the first 18 months, primarily because his student's voice was breaking and to test his sincerity. Bhimsen stayed with his teacher till 1940 and learnt Todi, and Pooriya. Bhimsen was put into rigorous training under Sawai Gandharva and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi enriched the Kirana gharana by adding his own distinctive style and adapting characteristics from other to create a unique vocal idiom. He has improvised and combined ragas to create new ragas like the Kalashri and LalitBhatiyar.

Career Bhimsen Joshi first performed live at the age 19. His debut album, containing a few devotional songs in Kannada and , was released when he was 20. His meeting with vocalist fetched him a job as a staff artiste at radio station where he became friends with player Ustad . Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was an exponent of khayal style and rendered majestic and . He gave his first public concert in Pune in January 1946 to mark the shashtyabdipoorti (60th birthday) of his guru Sawai Gandharva. Some of the famous numbers sung by Bhimsen Joshi include 'Piya milan ki aas', 'Jo bhaje hari ko sada', and ''.His guru and the audience appreciated the performance. Bhimsen started as a recording artiste in 1944 with HMV when the company released two Hindi and two devotional songs in Kannada and also as a playback singer. He recorded prolifically for the company and in 1984 became the first Hindustani vocalist to win a platinum disc. Bhimsen Joshi has the ability to make his voice do almost anything he wants, be it a small murki, a delicate gamaka, a rapid tan, a fast flight across octaves, a controlled modulation of the voice, or simply holding a note steady for a song. His command and control over his voice seems to be complete and the dazzling display of vocal technique is unprecedented. Very characteristic to Bhimsen Joshi are his animated gestures and facial contortions which provide imagery to the abstraction of the raga in the mind of the listener. He believes that the poetic content of the lyrics are as important as the notes comprising the raga.

Bhimsen Joshi has contributed immensely to the field of Indian music. His national and international status has made classical music popular with the uninitiated. He is one of the few Hindustani classical singers listened to and appreciated by aficionados as well. He has created a number of ragas and raginis and also composed music for musical plays. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi has come a long way, and was honoured with the by the Government of and received the Academy Award in 1975.

Repertoire Bhimsen was singled out -- rather unjustly -- for his limited repertoire of raga-s, and their repeated rendition at concerts and on commercial recordings. He built up a formidable edifice of musicianship with his renditions of about 20 ragas, mainly -- Darbari, Puriya Kalyan, Miya-ki- Todi, , Shuddha Kalyan, Miya-ki-Malhar, Puriya, Multani, Marwa, , Maru , Abhogi, Gaur Sarang, Brindabani Sarang, and Jaijaiwanti.This pattern is not unique to Bhimsen Joshi, and is also understandable. There are, of course, a few gharana-s which pride themselves in performing a wide range of raga-s. A majority of them, however, have a marked preference for a select few ragas which enable them to express their stylistic inclinations most effectively. Further, each musician has learnt some raga-s most intensively, practiced most rigorously, and found most suited to his temperament. He excels in these ragas, and audiences never tire of his renderings of them because he is able to present them with freshness and impact each time. But, because the finest amongst musicians have internalized the concept of raga-ness, they are able to easily master new raga-s, and also create new melodic entities of their own.Bhimsen was candid about the limitations of his repertoire, without being apologetic. But, like many others, he responded to public demand and the goading of recording companies, by recording an entire series of "Unsung Ragas", many of which are rare, and even created new ragas like Kalashri ( a blend of Kalavati and Rageshri) and Lalit-Bhatiyar (combining Lalit with Bhatiyar).


No other 20th century vocalist, with the exception of Ustad Faiyyaz Khan and Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan, has held his audiences in abject surrender like Bhimsen Joshi did.

Panditji’s unique bonding with audiences was attributed to several factors. The most significant facet of his musical personality was his voice with all its qualities – precision, richness, power, range, malleability and agility – and the emotional involvement he invested in every rendition. Veteran connoisseurs have also noted that, over the years, there was no change in the youthfulness and freshness of his voice, and delivery. Another important aspect was his wide repertoire of genres, and his equal command over all departments of musicianship in each of them. The third substantial facet was his amazing consistency as a performer.

Amongst vocalists, his consistency rating has been matched, in the last 60 years, only by Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan. Enhancing the influence of these qualities was his ability to astutely judge profiles of audiences, select the repertoire most suited to them, and to deliver it with gripping impact.

Bhimsen Joshi’s star started rising while the titans of the pre-independence era – , , and Krishnarao Pandit -- were still active. He built his career sharing the stage with formidable contemporaries -- , , and Roshanara Begum of his own gharana, Ustad Ameer Khan of Indore/Bhindi Bazaar, Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan of Patiala, and D V Paluskar of Gwalior.The stature and popularity of Joshi, a classicist, remained unaffected by the later rise of the hugely influential romanticists – , and .His musicianship shone brightly amidst such a galaxy because his vocalism could outgrow the shadows of orthodox Kairana without sacrificing its essentials, and evolve into an original modern style with a broad-spectrum appeal.

During his long career, Bhimsen Joshi trained a few competent students. If they do not feature in the "Who’s Who" of the next generation, his is not an isolated case. With the demise of aristocratic patronage after independence, music became an extremely stressful and nomadic profession, which left thriving musicians with neither the time, nor the temperament, for being effective Gurus. However, thanks to the ample availability of his recordings, Bhimsen Joshi’s influence pervades all of male vocalism. In fact, today, it is difficult to find a male singer below 50, who has not been visibly influenced by him.

Hindustani Classical Singer

Bhimsen is a versatile singer; he is an expert in khayal singing but he is also adept in the presentation of thumris, songs from plays, or devotional compositions. His lilting thumris (Jadu bhareli, Piya ke milan ki aas or Babul mora) and his innumerable popular composed by the saints of are instances in point. Bhimsen Joshi's music was hailed by both the critics and the masses. Joshi occasionally employed the use of sargam and tihaais, and often sang traditional compositions of the Kirana gharana. His music often injected surprising and sudden turns of phrase, for example through the unexpected use of boltaans. Over the years, his repertoire tended to favor a relatively small number of complex and serious ragas; however, he remained one of the most prolific exponents of Hindustani classical music. Some of Joshi's more popular ragas include Shuddha Kalyan, Miyan Ki Todi, Puriya Dhanashri, Multani, , Darbari, andRamkali. He was considered a purist and has not dabbled in experimental forms of music, except for a well-known series of Jugalbandi recordings with the Carnatic signer M. Balamuralikrishna. Apart from stalwarts of the Kirana Gharana, Bhimsen Joshi's singing was thought to have been influenced by many musicians, including Smt. Kesarbai Kerkar, Begum Akhtar and Ustad Amir Khan. Joshi assimilated into his own singing various elements that he liked in different musical styles and Gharanas.

Rise to fame His meeting with vocalist Begum Akhtar fetched him a job as a staff artiste at Lucknow radio station where he became friends with shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan. In 1943, he moved to , but his real break came in 1946 at a concert to mark the 60th birthday of Sawai Gandharva. His guru and the audience appreciated the performance. Bhimsen started as a recording artiste in 1944 with HMV when the company released two Hindi and two devotional songs in Kannada. He recorded prolifically for the company and in 1984 became the first Hindustani vocalist to win a platinum disc.

Devotional Songs

Bhimsen Joshi has perfected not just the Khayal interpretations but has also sung Bhajans in Hindi and Marathi. His bhajans are widely heard by not just ardent music lovers but people all over. This versatile singer has also recorded Kannada Dasa Krithis in Dasavani, which are usually sung by Carnatic musicians. Bhimsen started as a recording artiste in 1944 with HMV when the company released two Hindi and two devotional songs in Kannada. He recorded prolifically for the company and in 1984 became the first Hindustani vocalist to win a platinum disc. His commercially successful CDs Daaswani and Enna Paliso included Kannada Bhajans, and Santawani included Marathi Abhangs.

Patriotic Songs Bhimsen Joshi was widely recognized in India due to his performance in the Mile Sur Mera Tumhara music video (1985), which begins with him. His golden voice appealing to Indians to come together and stand as one nation is an evergreen number that is hummed by one and all even today. He has collaborated with many other renowned musicians like Hariprasad Chaurasiya, Pandit Shankar and Dr. Balamuralikrishna and has come out with many albums. The video was created for the purpose of national integration in India, and highlights the diversity of Indian culture. Louis Banks and late P Vaidyanathan, a classically trained musician, got the right fusion of music for the song that was beamed on Doordarshan to countless homes. Bhimsen Joshi was also a part of produced by A. R. Rahman on the occasion of 50th year of Indian Republic.

Playback Singer Joshi sang for several films, including "Basant Bahar" (1956) with , Birbal My Brother (1973) with Pandit Jasraj, and Kannada films like Sandhya Raaga and Nodi Swami Naavu Irodhu Heege. He also sang for the films (1958) and Ankahee (1985).

Savai Gandharva Music Festival Joshi organized the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival as an homage to his guru, Sawai Gandharva, along with the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal in 1953, marking Gandharva's first death anniversary. The festival has been held ever since, typically on the second weekend of December in Pune, Maharashtra and has become not only a cultural event for the city, but an annual pilgrimage for Hindustani Classical Music lovers all over the world. Joshi conducted the festival annually since 1953, until his retirement in 2002. Joshi has added his own distinctive style excelling in gamakar, meend and tanakriya and adapting characteristics from other gharanas to create a unique vocal idiom.

Students Joshi taught many students, several of whom have gone onto commercial success.  Madhava Gudi,  Shripati Padegar,  Shrikant Deshpande,  Shrinivas Joshi,  Ashutosh Bharadwaj,  ,  Pandit Upendra Bhat, and  Pandit Harish Tiwari.

Legacy Bhimsen Joshi was known for his powerful voice, amazing breath control, musical sensibility and grasp of the fundamentals, representing a subtle fusion of intelligence and passion that imparted life and excitement to his music. A classicist by training and temperament, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was renowned for having evolved an approach that sought to achieve a balance between what may be termed as "traditional values and mass-culture tastes" and as such he went on to have supposedly the largest commercially recorded repertoire in Hindustani vocal music. His greatest endeavour in perpetuating his legacy could be the Sawai Gandharva Festival held at Pune annually since the year 1953 which seeks to promote a certain music culture.

Illness and Death Joshi was admitted to Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital on December 31, 2010 with gastrointestinal bleeding and bilateral pneumonia. Due to difficulty in breathing, he was put on ventilator support. He suffered convulsions and was put on dialysis too during his stay in hospital. Though he recovered briefly for three days when he was taken off the ventilator, his condition deteriorated thereafter. He died on 24 January 2011, 11 days before his 89th birthday. He was cremated at Vaikunth Crematorium in Pune with full state honors.

Awards and Recognition Bhimsen Joshi was an exponent of khayal style and rendered majestic thumris and bhajans. Bhimsen Joshi was the recipient of several prestigious awards. There have been many awards the nation's highest civilian award was conferred on him in 2008, Padma Shri in 1972, in 1985 and in 1999. The Maharashtra government honoured him with the in 2002. In between, he also received the award in 1975 and was made a fellow in 1998. The government awarded him the Tansen Sanman award in 1992. The Karnataka Rathna presented to him in September 2005. His voice opened the short film on national integration Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' and the second film on Des raga also became equally popular.

. 1972 - Padma . 1976 - Sangeet Natak Akademi Award . 1985 - Padma Bhushan . 1985 - National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer . 1986 - First platinum disc . 1999 - Padma Vibhushan . 2000 - Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar . 2001 - Nadoja Award from Kannada University . 2002 - Maharashtra Bhushan . 2003 - Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram by Government of . 2005 - . 2008 - Bharat Ratna . 2008 - Swami Haridas Award . 2009 - Lifetime achievement award by government . 2010 - S V Narayanaswamy Rao National Award by Rama Seva Mandali,

Three docus There are three documentaries on him. The first was in 1965 by M Louis, a Dutch film producer who was deeply intrigued by Panditji after hearing him. He came to India and made a film that was shown all over in the West. The second documentary, called Raga Miyan Malhar', was made by Canadian businessman James Beveridge. It portrays the maestro singing just raga Miyan Malhar. The third is a conventional 45-minute documentary shot in 1993 by noted poet which bagged the national award.

Some Management Lessons  Devotion : Pandit Bhimsen Joshi had a great love for music in which he was soo passionate about. His devotion towards the music could be seen in the hard work he used to put for. Whenever there was an concert prior to the day he would practice the same not less than 16 hours a day. In toto he was a devoted person. Similarly, a manager must be devoted in whatever work is to him, he must work in such a way that his output must be backed by the devotion.  First Love : Music was his first love. This means that there was a sense of preparedness on his part. Infine, managers in their operation may have to face problem relating to family in such a case they must realize that their first love is the organization in which they are paid for their contribution.  Experience : He had a chunk of experience with him to share. This comes only due to regular practice. For a manager the experience is a must because he has to take many decisions in his day to day activities where experience itself is a pillar.  Sing a Song : Communication is like singing a song. As in the case of the music there is taaraka, madhyama, mandra (fluctuations in the voices). For a manager communication is must in todays’ emerging world.  Patience : When Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was young , he was a under tutoralship of Savai Gandharva. There he was taught nothing for 18 months. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was very patient daily he used to work in his home. Atlast, his guru taught him the music. So, for a manager he must have the time to smell the roses rather than a hurry burry state.  Creative : Pandit Bhimsen Joshi under the guidance of Savai gandharva learned the kirana art of music therein he took the other form of music group and submerged it and created some new ragas namely Kalashri and LalitBhatiyar..Here the managers can learn from this music marvel to be creative.  Consistency : Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was eminently known for his consistency. Whenever and wherever he performed there was a consistency in his performance. In todays business world only the consistasnt survives.  Work round the clock : Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was one singer where time was not a constraint in terms of work. Often when he enter the recording session it would start at 9.30 but no men were assure about the disperses time. Even there were some days till midnight the recxording used to go. This is the most prominent lesson from Pandit Bhimsen Joshi for a manager especially a upcoming manager to work round the clock.


Musically, he is an inspiration for five generations of musicians. His voice that leaves the audience enthralled; his love for music as a whole and thirdly, his passion for his work that was evident every time he sang. He ensured that the audience was with him when he performed. He extended the experience to all the listeners. This is possible when an artiste is ashtavardhan — someone who can skilfully perform eight tasks simultaneously. He was a maestro who mesmerised everyone with his music and humility.Panditji motivated many artistes and ensured they put in their best. He was a man of few words; he let his deeds speak for him. I have grown as a musician by just observing him. Panditji has inspired many generations of musicians and artistes, not only in India but also all over the world. He has a far-reaching popularity, which cannot be confined to a country or generation. He carved his own niche with his work. Panditji is an idol for many and his work will keep lighting our lives. He was an artiste who could enthrall everyone with his captivating voice. He was popular because of the way he could instantly connect with his audience. His bhajans, thumris and natyasangeet left listeners spellbound. Panditji’s alaaps and taans particularly, transferred people to a world of bliss.We have been fortunate to have got a chance to accompany Panditji at many of his concerts. So, I have experienced his magic as a master performer. His music knew no boundaries. All over the world, people love and respect Panditji and his work. He influenced a range of musicians. I feel truly privileged to have played with him. He will remain in my heart as one of the greatest artistes ever.

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