Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar was instituted by the Kendra Sangeet Natak Academy in 2006 in fond memory of the shehnai legend Ustad Bismillah Khan to promote talent in the fields of music, drama and dance.
Balabhaskar who started composing from the age of 12 has composed for Malayalam movies like Mangalya Pallakku, Kannadikkadavathu and Moksham. Though he has numerous albums to his credit, Ninakkai and Aadyamai have been major chartbusters.
J.L. Saritha (Drama) and Kalamandalam Vijayakumar (Kathakali) are the other keralites who have won this award along with Balabhaskar.