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Master of the santoor, a hammered dulcimer-like instrument native to the Kashmir valley, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is a famous figure in Indian classical music. He has made significant contributions to the growth of Indian classical music in the post-independence era and is widely considered as one of the best exponents of Hindustani classical music.
Early Life and Family- Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was born in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the city of Jammu, on January 13, 1938. Uma Dutt Sharma, his father, was a traditional singer and a student of the famous Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was interested in music from a young age. When he was five, his father started teaching him singing music and drums. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma didn't start playing the santoor, which would become his signature instrument, until he was 13 years old.
Career- In the late 1950s, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma started his work as a singer by playing the tabla for All India Radio in Jammu. But because he was so good at playing the santoor, he would become well-known in India and around the world. He first learned how to play the santoor from the famous artist Pandit Uma Dutt Batish, who at the time was one of the few people in India who could play it. Sharma then made up his own way to play the santoor, which involved a lot of new methods and a deep understanding of how Indian classical music melodies are put together.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma played the santoor for the first time in public at a concert in Mumbai in 1955. He went on to play at many other concerts and music events all over the world. He also wrote a lot of music, and many of his pieces are now considered standards in Hindustani classical music. "Raga Charukeshi," a hauntingly beautiful piece that shows the full range of the santoor, is one of his best-known works.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was also one of the first people to work in fusion music. Over the years, he worked with a number of Western artists to make groundbreaking records that mixed Indian classical music with jazz, rock, and other styles. In 1967, he made an album called "West Meets East" with the great pianist Yehudi Menuhin. This is one of his most well-known partnerships. The record was a big hit, and it helped Indian classical music reach people all over the world.
Prizes and Awards- Many awards and honours have been given to Pandit Shivkumar Sharma over the years for his work in Indian traditional music. In 1991, he got the Padma Shri, which is one of India's top citizen awards. In 2001, he got the Padma Vibhushan, which is the country's second-highest civilian award. He has also won the Sangeet Natak Akademy Award, the National Film Award for Best Music Direction, and the Indian Telly Award for Best Title Music/Sound Design.
Legacy- Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has made a huge impact on Indian traditional music, and his work continues to influence artists all over the world. Many people think he is one of the best santoor players of all time, and the way he plays the instrument is unique and has helped to make it more famous among Indian classical artists. His work with Western artists has also helped spread Indian classical music around the world and has inspired many musicians to explore the possibilities of blending music from different cultures.
The master of the Santoor
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma became a well-known name in the music business because he worked hard and kept at it. His music didn't just stay in the classical field. It also got to a lot of people through movies. He worked with well-known directors like Yash Chopra and wrote music for a number of films, such as Silsila, Chandni, and Lamhe.
When Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia worked together, they became known as the Shiv-Hari team. Together, they wrote beautiful music for a number of Bollywood films. "Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum" from Silsila and "Baagon Mein Bahaar Hai" from Aradhana are two of their most famous songs.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma did more than just make music. He also taught many young artists, including his son Rahul Sharma, who is also a well-known santoor player. Several special doctorates have been given to him for his work in the music business. In 2001, he was given India's second-highest citizen award, the Padma Vibhushan, for his work in the field of Indian traditional music.
The Legacy- Even now, people remember Pandit Shivkumar Sharma as the first person to play the Santoor and as a master of Indian classical music. His songs and the many people he has taught will keep his memory alive.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma will be 83 years old in 2021, but his music and commitment to his craft will still be inspiring to new generations of artists. He is still a big deal in the music business and a source of inspiration for budding artists.
The path that Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has taken in the music business is truly amazing. His commitment to his work and his ability to bring a less popular instrument like the Santoor to the top of the Indian classical music scene show how talented he is.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma's music will keep inspiring and influencing singers for a long time to come. His gift to music will always be remembered and honoured, and he will always be known as one of the best singers in the history of Indian classical music.