Born in 1922 in Gadag, Karnataka, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is among the outstanding personalities of Indian music. He initially studied with eminent musicians including Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan of the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana. Later, he became a disciple of
Savai Gandharva (Rambhau Kundgolkar), the chief disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, founder of the Kirana gharana.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is known for his extraordinarily rich and sonorous voice and the warmth and sensitivity of his renderings. His forte is the Khyal of the Kirana gharana, but he is equally at home with Thumri, Pada, devotional and stage songs. His systematic elaboration of ragas in alap, and his mellifluous Thumris and Bhajans assure him a position as a master of Hindustani vocal music. He has created a number of raginis and composed songs for musical plays, he has also sung for films. He has a large repertoire of devotional compositions of Purandaradasa.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi has been honoured with numerous awards. These include the Padma Sri and the Mysore Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1972), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1975); and the Padma Bhushan (1999). An honorary doctorate in music was conferred on him by Gulbarga University in 1986 and a Chair in his name was instituted by the University of Pune in 1998.
For his contribution to Hindustani music Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.