Baluji Shrivastav OBE is an Indian multi-instrumentalist who was blinded at eight months old and has become one of the world’s leading composers and sitar players. He has performed and recorded with some of the greatest tabla accompanists such as Anindo Chatterji and Ustad Fayaz Khan. He has worked with a wide variety of artists including Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Massive Attack, Madness, Shakira, Malu, Boy George & Doves. His latest stunning multimedia composition Antardrishti-Inner Vision was funded by an international commission from Unlimited and features his Inner Vision Orchestra of blind musicians, dancers as well as audio-visual artists Addictive TV. It was performed to great acclaim at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre London and also in Delhi and the Mumbai Opera House in collaboration with the British Council.
Baluji Shrivastav and Inner Vision Orchestra, together with British Paraorchestra as part of the Paralympics Closing Ceremony, 2012
Baluji has an extraordinary life story and is a charismatic performer. Born in Uttar Pradesh, Baluji was introduced to the sitar at Gwalior Blind School when he was eight years old . He graduated from University of Lucknow with a BA in Vocal Studies and Sitar, followed by a BA in Tabla and an MA in Sitar from Alahabad University. Baluji is a multi-instrumentalist, playing sitar, dilruba, surbahar, pakhavaj and tabla. He signed to world and folk music record label Naxos World ARC after moving to London and has released over fifteen studio albums including Indian Classical Interactions, Seasons of India, Classical Indian Sitar & Surbahar Ragas, Classical Indian Ragas Shadow of the Lotus and Baluji Shrivastav Re-Orient - Indian World Music Fusion - featuring Hossam Ramzy and Best of Baluji Shrivastav OBE 2017 with a track on British Airways inflight entertainment. Other releases include Voice of Flowers - Spring Ragas from India, The Art of the Indian Dilruba & Goddess: Indian Music in Celebration of Goddesses around the World.
Baluji Shrivastav OBE, leading the Inner Vision Orchestra on the set of 'Changemakers', An eye health awareness campaign by Roche AG, 2019
His compositions feature in a wide spectrum of films, theatre and television including a series of commissioned works such as Portraits of the Dark, Sitar-Guitar Suites, Indian in London for sitar & string orchestra and the world’s only Urdu opera called Sohini and Mahival, which he composed together with Golden Globe and Oscar Winner Dario Marianelli. Baluji's music has featured in Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, 20th Century Fox’s New Girl as well as multiple episodes of NBC’s Outsourced. More recently, Baluji has composed music for The Restless Cane, an Indigo Films production, and Sandstorm, which was nominated for Best Short Film at the British Independent Film Awards. The documentary film Baluji about his life and work was directed by Marie-Cecile Embleton and has been screened at the New York Film Festival & the Auroville Film Festival in India.
A still from Marie Cecile Embleton's award-winning film, Baluji, 2019
Committed to improving the lives of blind and visually impaired people, Baluji and his wife, musician and writer Linda Shanson, established the Baluji Music Foundation in 2008 to recognise and support blind musicians. The Baluji Music Foundation promotes the participation of disabled people in music and founded The Inner Vision Orchestra of blind and visually impaired musicians.
Baluji was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List for services to music and in 2016 was given the GG2 Award for Overcoming Adversity. In 2017, Times Group India awarded him the accolade of Non-Resident Indian of the Year for Art and Culture. In 2019 Baluji received the prestigious Hind Rattan Award-Jewel of India from the Indian Government.
For further information about Baluji Music Foundation please visit: