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Bhimsen Joshi

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Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi (Kannada : ಪಂಡಿತ ಭೀಮಸೇನ ಗುರುರಾಜ ಜೋಷಿ. Marathi: पंडित भीमसेन जोशी) was a Hindustani classical singer of the Kirana gharana. Apart from being an expert in khayal singing , he was also adept in the presentation of thumris, songs from plays, or devotional compositions. He also sang for several films.

Joshi was born in 1922 into a Brahmin family in Gadag, Karnataka. At the age of 11, against his father’s wishes, Bhimsen Joshi ran away from home to learn music. A few years of his youth were thus spent in the company of well known musicians at Gwalior, Lucknow and Rampur, serving them and learning as much as he could from them. He was soon placed under the tutelage of Rambhau Kundgolkar, popularly known as Sawai Gandharva, a pupil of Abdul Karim Khan. He made his debut in 1946.

Joshi contributed immensely to the field of Indian music. He created a number of ragas and raginis and also composed music for musical plays. In honour of his guru, he started the annual Sawai Gandharva music festival in 1953.

Bhimsen Joshi is the most recent recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, awarded in 2008. He passed away on January 24, 2011.

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