Santoor Maestro Shivkumar Sharma passed away. ‘End of an era’, says Amjad Ali Khan

Pt Shivkumar Sharma was one of India’s most famous classical musicians. (File photo)


Famed santoor player Pt Shivkumar Sharma, who brought the stringed instrument to the world stage and successfully transcended the worlds of classical and film music, died today in Mumbai after suffering a heart attack. He was 84.

pt. Shivkumar Sharma, one of India’s most famous classical musicians, died between 8 and 8:30 a.m. at his Pali Hill residence in Mumbai, his secretary Dinesh told Press Trust of India news agency.

He had been active until the end and was due to perform in Bhopal next week. He also suffered from kidney disease.

“He had a serious heart attack in the morning… He was active and was due to perform in Bhopal next week. He was on regular dialysis but was still active,” a family source told Press Trust of India.

He is survived by his wife Manorama and sons Rahul, also a santoor player, and Rohit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those offering condolences on Sharma’s death.

“Our cultural world is poorer with the demise of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Ji. He popularized the Santoor on a global level. His music will continue to captivate for generations to come. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” said the prime minister.

Pt Shivkumar Sharma, a Padma Vibhushan recipient, was born in Jammu in 1938 and is considered to be the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor, a folk instrument from Jammu and Kashmir.

As one half of the musician duo Shiv-Hari, he composed music with explanatory Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia for a series of films such as “SilsilalamheChandnic” and “Darr

Sarod player Amjad Ali Khan said the death of Pt Shivkumar Sharma was a personal loss to him.

“The passing of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharmaji marks the end of an era. He was the pioneer of Santoor and his contribution is unparalleled. For me it is a personal loss and I will miss him endlessly. May his soul rest in peace. His music lives on forever! Om Shanti,” Amjad Ali Khan wrote in a tweet.

Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas and veteran actor Shabana Azmi also offer their condolences on the death of Shivkumar Sharma.

“We have lost a gem today Padma Vibhushan Shri Shiv Kumar Sharma ji Santoor virtuoso a great loss to Indian classical music,” Pankaj Udhas wrote on Twitter.

“Deeply saddened to hear that maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma has passed away. His soft music will of course remain in our hearts, but tinged with the pain of his loss. My deepest condolences to the family,” Shabana Azmi tweeted.

Music composer and singer Salim Merchant remembered Shivkumar Sharma as one of the “greatest musicians of our time”.

Pt Shivkumar Sharma received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, followed by the Padma Shri in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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