Santoor’s maestro, Shivkumar Sharma, has passed away. “End of an era”, says Amjad Ali Khan

Pt Shivkumar Sharma was one of India’s best-known classical musicians. (File photo)

Mumbai:

Renowned santoor player Pt Shivkumar Sharma, who propelled the stringed instrument onto the world stage and managed to straddle the worlds of classical and film music, died today in Mumbai after suffering a heart attack. He was 84 years old.

Pt Shivkumar Sharma, one of India’s best-known classical musicians, died between 8 and 8.30 a.m. at his Pali Hill residence in Mumbai, his secretary Dinesh told the Press Trust of India news agency. .

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

“He had a severe 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 his sons Rahul, also a santoor player, and Rohit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who pardoned Sharma’s death.

“Our cultural world was impoverished with the passing of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Ji. He popularized Santoor globally. His music will continue to fascinate generations to come. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers Om Shanti,” the Prime Minister said.

A recipient of Padma Vibhushan, Pt Shivkumar Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938 and is said 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 Shiv-Hari musical duo, he composed music with flute legend Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia for a series of films such as “Silsila“, “Lamhe“, “chandni” and “Darr“.

Sarod player Amjad Ali Khan has said the death of Pt Shivkumar Sharma is a personal loss for 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 forever! Om Shanti,” Amjad Ali Khan wrote in a tweet.

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

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

“Deeply saddened to learn that Maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma has passed away. His melodious 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 Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

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

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