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  • Krati Purwar
  • Editorial, 12 May 2022, 18:03 IST

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma: Personal Life, Music Career And Serene Songs

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was a santoor maestro and a popular name in the Indian Music industry. Read on!
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  • Krati Purwar
  • Editorial, 12 May 2022, 18:03 IST
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Wikipediapandit shivkumar sharma

With the demise of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, the Indian Music industry has lost a gem today. He was a Santoor player from Jammu and had composed several swoon-worthy songs.

The Hindustani Music Composer was suffering from health issues related to his kidneys for the past six months. He was on dialysis and suffered a cardiac arrest today. 

Personal Life Of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

Born in January 1938, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was born to a famous singer of Jammu, Uma Dutt Sharma. He spoke Dogri, for it was his mother tongue. His first teacher in the field of music was his father, who started his training in tabla and vocals when he was only 5-years-old.

At the age of 13, Shivkumar Sharma started to learn santoor, which was a folk instrument. It found recognition in Indian Classical after its playing style was recognised on the international platforms.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was married to Manorama Sharma, and the couple had two sons. Interestingly, his son, Rahul, was his disciple because Pandit Sharma believed that he was blessed with a gift from God. Rahul started to learn to play santoor at the same age as his father. The father and son due have given several memorable performances since 1996.

Music Career Of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

pandit shivkumar sharma music career

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

In 1955, Pandit Ji gave his first public performance in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. In 1956, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma composed the background music for one of the Indian classic films Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, directed by V. Shantaram (1901-1990). In 1960, he recorded his first solo album. 

He collaborated with musician Brij Bhushan Kabra and flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia in 1967 to produce the concept of an album, Call of the Valley. It is renowned as one of the greatest hits in Indian Classical Music. 

Throughout his career timeline, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma delivered several albums on santoor music. This list includes Sangeet Sartaj (2011), The Last Word In Santoor (2009), Essential Evening Chants (2007), Vibrant Music for Reiki (2003), Sampradaya (1999), The Pioneer of Santoor (1994), Hundred Strings of Santoor (1994), Varsha - A Homage to the Rain Gods (1993) and The Glory of Strings - Santoor (1991).

The renowned artist had composed music for many popular movies (Bollywood Movies Based In New York) of the 1980s and 1990s, including Darr (1993), Lamhe (1991), Chandni (1989), Faasle (1985) and Silsila (1981). 

In the year 2002, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma published his autobiography, Journey with a Hundred Strings: My Life in Music. He followed the Guru-Shishya tradition while teaching santoor to his disciples and never charged a fee from them. He had students from all over the world, including Germany, America, Japan and Australia.

Work, Awards And Achievements Of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma worked towards popularising the santoor, which was merely a folk classical instrument when he started. He experimented with the instrument and its strings to make its techniques worthy and suitable for Indian Classical Music. 

He had received the Platinum Disc award for his work in Silsila (1981), Call of the Valley (1967) and Chandni (1981). The year 1985 made him win the honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, U.S.A.

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In 1986, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and in 1990, he received Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar. The same year, he got the Honorary Doctorate from the University of Jammu. 

Did you know that in 1991, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was honoured with the Padma Shri? He also won Special Award for Outstanding Music and Sale of Film for Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993).

In 1998, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma received Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Award, and in 2001, he was the recipient of Padma Vibhusan. 

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Music Composition For Famous Songs By Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

pandit shivkumar sharma songs

Image Courtesy: Twitter

It is a never-ending list of soothing songs from Hindi movies (IMDb-rated Hindi Web Serries) that you must have heard. Popular songs with Shivkumar’s music composition include Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum, Dekha Ek Khwab, Jaadu Teri Nazar, Mere Haithon Men Nau Nau Chriyan and Chandni O Meri Chandni.

Stay tuned with HerZindagi for more such stories!

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