Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Indian music composer and santoor player, passed away in Mumbai. He was 84. He had been suffering from kidney-related issues for the last six months and was on dialysis. He passed away due to cardiac arrest.
Sharma gave the santoor, once a little-known instrument from Jammu and Kashmir, a classical status and exalted it along with other, more traditional and famous instruments such as the sitar and sarod.
As one half of Shiv-Hari, he composed music with flute legend Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia for an array of films such as ‘Silsila’, ‘Lamhe’ and ‘Chandni’ among others.
He is survived by his wife Manorama and sons Rahul, also a santoor player, and Rohit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who condoled Sharma’s death.
“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 enthrall the coming generations. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” the Prime Minister said.
A Padma Vibhushan recipient, Shivkumar Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938 and is believed to be the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor