Ace santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma passes away at 84
Indian music composer and santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has passed away. He was 84. Reports said that for the last six months, he was suffering from kidney-related ailments and was on dialysis. The icon is survived by his two sons and wife Manorama. Sharma is credited to make santoor a mainstream instrument from a folk one. May his soul rest in peace!
As soon as this news surfaced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay his tributes. "Our cultural world is poorer with the demise of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Ji. He popularized the Santoor at a global level. His music will continue to enthral the coming generations. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti," he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed her "deepest condolences." "Sad to know about the demise of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, eminent Santoor player and internationally celebrated Indian music composer. His departure impoverishes our cultural world. My deepest condolences," she tweeted. Journalist Nishant Arora wrote, "He brought Santoor to our lives...There will now be a deep void...RIP Pt Shivkumar Sharma the maestro."
Born in Jammu, Sharma started learning santoor when he was 13 and four years later, he delivered his first public performance in Mumbai. As far as composing for Bollywood films is concerned, the maestro gave the background music for a scene in Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje in 1956. Four years later, his solo album came out and in 1967, Shiv-Hari was born.
Shiv-Hari comprised Sharma and classical flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia. Together, they gave music for films like Silsila (1980), Faasle (1985), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Darr (1993). The duo also teamed up with guitarist Brij Bhushan Kabra for a concept light-classical album titled Call of the Valley. One of the most successful Indian albums, its fans were artists like Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, etc.