Baluji Shrivastav OBE Uses Inspiring Tale To Encourage Musicians All Over The World
Blinded at only 8 months, Baluji Shrivastav OBE has spent nearly all of his life challenging the stereotypes around the blind as one of the industry’s leading and most respected musicians. An Indian multi-instrumentalist, Baluji established the Baluji Music Foundation in 2008 – an organisation which aims to support visually impaired musicians which then in turn founded The Inner Vision Orchestra.
Baluji Shrivastav OBE is one of the greatest instrumentalists India has produced excelling in Sitar, Surbahar, Dilruba, Pakhavaj and Tabla. The outstanding characteristic of Baluji’s musical career is his consistent versatility. His ability to concentrate on sound as his primary mode of interaction with the world has enriched his musicality and his courageous attitude to life is reflected in his approach to music.
Firmly established in the Hindustani classical tradition, he effortlessly delights in exploring music in all of its forms, as he shared when entertaining the world at the closing ceremony of 2012 Paralympic Games with Chris Martin and Coldplay. He composes for film, dance, theatre and original works for Western orchestra and Indian ensembles.
He is Sitarist to the stars”- Evening Standard - recording with Massive Attack, Madness, Doves, Amorphous Androgynous, and performing with great artists such as Stevie Wonder He also has his own Jazz ensemble Jazz Orient/Re-Orient and has recorded many albums which has been one of the vital areas that inspired and influenced him to continue to want to make change for others.
Through his success, representation has always remained important to Baluji, and so in the year 2008, he created The Baluji Music Foundation which is a charity based in London focussing on the understanding and enjoyment of music and the performing arts from Indian Sub-Continent in all its traditional and evolving forms. Traditionally accepting participants who are disabled within the music industry, the foundation has now founded The Inner Vision Orchestra of Blind and Visually impaired musicians which was founded in 2012. The Inner Vision Orchestra is the world’s only professional ensemble of blind and partially sighted musicians, established to challenge the barriers Baluji faced as a child. Presently the orchestra has 18 members and counting with branches in the UK and India. The orchestra reached its impressive international stage when members of the group, alongside Baluji, performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games at the London 2012 games, which was an incredibly monumental moment within their journey.
The founding principles of the Baluji Music Foundation are to advance access to artistic experiences for disabled people, to advance experience and appreciation of the arts through cross-cultural artistic activities for people of all backgrounds. They also aim to advance the public’s education in traditional, classical, and contemporary Indian music and to advance racial harmony, community development, and the promotion of diversity for people of all backgrounds and abilities through involvement in artistic activities.
Baluji has two exciting shows on the horizon, with April 2nd seeing him perform alongside world-renowned opera singer Patricia Rozario OBE for a night of Goanese music while later on May 7th Baluji takes his Inner Vision Orchestra to Bradford-on-Avon for an indelible performance of spectacular artistry and passion.