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 Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is a musical genius noted for his extraordinarily rich and sonorous voice. He is one of the most popular and respected names in contemporary Khayal singers. Born in Gadag (Karnataka) on February 14, 1922, as a child Joshi was deeply moved by a recording of Abdul Karim Khan, the founder father of the Kirana Gharana. He received his initial training under Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan in Gwalior and later under the eminent Khayal singer Sawai Gandharva (Pandit Rambhan Kundgolkar).

He gave his first public concert in Pune in January 1946 to mark the 60th birth anniversary of his guru Sawai Gandharva. Some of the famous numbers sung by Bhimsen Joshi are 'Piya milan ki aas', 'Jo bhaje hari ko sada', and 'Mile sur mera tumhara'.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi enriched the Kirana Gharana by adding his own distinctive style and adapting characteristics from other gharanas to create a unique vocal idiom. He has improvised and combined ragas to create new ragas like the Kalashri and LalitBhatiyar. His singing has mass appeal and invariably provides listeners with a divine musical experience. Pandit Joshi is also renowned for his presentation of lilting thumris, bhajans, Abhangs and songs from plays. He also sang for several films, including Basant Bahar (1956) with Manna Dey, Birbal My Brother (1973) with Pt. Jasraj and Nodi Swami Naavu Irodhu Heege.

He was honoured with the Padma Shri (1972), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1975), Padma Bhushan (1985), Padma Vibhushan (1999) and India�s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, in 2008. He is the second vocalist to get the highest civilian award after M.S.Subbulakshmi in 1998.


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