Legendary Musician And Santoor Player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Passes Away at 84

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, a legendary Indian music composer and santoor player, died in Mumbai. He was 84 years old. Sharma had been suffering from kidney problems for some time, according to The Indian Express, and died of a heart attack.

Sharma elevated the santoor, a little-known instrument from Jammu and Kashmir, to classical stature, alongside more traditional and well-known instruments like the sitar and sarod. He was a Jammu native and began learning santoor at the age of thirteen.

In 1955, he gave his first public concert in Mumbai. He is credited with making the santoor mainstream.

In the 1956 film Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma created the background music for one of the scenes. He then recorded his debut solo album four years later.

He wrote music alongside flute great Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia for a number of films, including Silsila, Lamhe, and Chandni, as one half of Shiv-Hari.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter.

“Our cultural world is poorer with the demise of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Ji. He popularised the Santoor at a global level. His music will continue to enthral the coming generations. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti”, he wrote.