Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Yeshwant Balkrishna Joshi, one of the leading exponents of the Gwalior and Agra gharanas, passed away at Dadar’s Dhanvantari Hospital on Friday evening. Popularly known as Yeshwantbuwa Joshi, the 84-year old died of multiple organ failure.
Joshi was born in Pune and began his musical training under Pandit Mirashibua. He moved to Mumbai in 1950 and received further training in khayal singing from Jagannathbua Purohit.
Joshi performed frequently all over the country and received, among other laurels, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar in 1993 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2003.
“Joshi was one of the last vocalists of his calibre singing in the pure Gwalior gharana style,” said Ram Deshpande, 44, who was a disciple of Joshi for more than 20 years.
Joshi’s career as a performer spanned more than 50 years, but he was also a dedicated teacher who trained nearly 40 disciples, many of whom went on to become established singers.
“My guru was known for the purity of his ragas and the clarity of his sur (melody),” said Asha Khadilkar, 58, another of Joshi’s disciples. “He was also a very humble man who led a simple life.”
Joshi is survived by his daughter, vocalist Dhanashri Joshi.