It comes as a stocking news to the music lovers and particularly the classic music community over the sudden passing away of 84 year old Legendary Musician and Santoor Maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma today morning due to cardiac arrest. Since the last six months he was on dialysis.
Notably, it was Shiv Kumar Sharma who gave santoor – traditionally a folk instrument – a place in Indian classical music through his works, and elevated the instrument to the status of sitar and sarod. Infact, he was a gifted musician and had received training in vocal, percussion and instrumental music, from none other than his father, Pandit Umadutt Sharma, who was also a distinguished musician from Jammu & Kashmir.
But, it was his father’s express desire that Shivkumar should dedicate himself to popularising the santoor, which he succeeded in doing.
Often remembered for his jugalbandi with Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, he also composed music for several Bollywood films including ‘Silsila’, ‘Lamhe’ and ‘Chandni’ along with the flutist. Sharma also shared cordial relationship with RD Burman, so much so, that he named his son after the music director. While Burman was composing music for the film, ‘Guide’ he requested that Sharma play the tabla for one of Lata Mangeshkar’s number. After much insistence the maestro complied, and the song ‘Chaliya Beimaan’ was created.
Reportedly he was due to perform in Bhopal next week. Despite his renal issues, he was active, and continued his music practice devotedly. His son Rahul Sharma is also a santoor player.
Many celebrities from politicians, musicians to India Inc. bosses mourned the death of Sharma.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said that “our cultural world is poorer with the demise of Pandit Sharma. His music will continue to enthral the coming generations.”
Condoling the demise of Shiv Kumar Sharma, West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee said that his “departure impoverishes our cultural world.”
MP Supriya Sule also tweeted expressing her remorse at the maestro’s death.
Former Minister of Civil Aviation and Heavy Industries, Praful Patel too lamented the legend’s death..
UP CM Yogi Adityanath said that Sharma’s death is ‘an irreparable loss to the art and music world.’
Singer and Musician Shankar Mahadevan, and Singer Abhijeet paid tributes to the departed soul.
News Input: K.V.Raman