Om Shanti

Pt. Shivkumar Sharma
Pt. Shivkumar Sharma. Photo credit: Alephalpha

Om Shanti Pt. Shivkumar Sharma


How could you say he is no more? It can’t be. He was with us and will always be.
Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Hindustani Classical flautist


The passing away of Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharmaji marks the end of an era. He was the pioneer of the Santoor and his contribution is unparalleled. For me, it’s a personal loss and I will miss him no end. May his soul rest in peace. His music lives on forever! Om Shanti
Amjad Ali, Sarod player


A man that always was kind and forever smiling… The beautiful sounds from his Santoor will forever be present in our hearts
Shekhar Kapur, Filmmaker


A talented genius, humble despite his incredible presence
Amitabh Bachchan, Actor/star


Pt. Shivkumar Sharma’s mellifluous music will remain in our hearts of course but tinged by the pain of his loss.
Shabana Azmi, Actress


The musical community has lost a wonderful artist.
Ambi Subramaniam, Carnatic violinist


We remain ever grateful for his blessings 🙏
Shubha Mudgal, Hindustani Classical singer


Pt. Shivkumar Sharma took an indigenous instrument and made it global. He will always be remembered for his grace, modesty, and incomparable contribution to classical music. My heartfelt condolence.🙏
Anup Jalota, Bhajans & Ghazals singer


Gave the Santoor an identity.
Verus Ferreira, Music journalist


I had the super good fortune of once watching Pt. Shivkumar Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussain doing a jugalbandi sitting a few feet away from them at Prithvi Theatre when I was a teen and a student of tabla. It is one of the most magical evenings of my entire life. They took you to heaven and brought you back to earth. So great they were! Such a brilliant legacy we have of Shastriya sangeet. And we are losing masters. But I have faith there are new masters in the making. The river flows with the blessings of Ma Sharada and the Gurus.
Charudutt Acharya, TV script & dialogue writer


Pandit ji elevated the 100-stringed hammered dulcimer to classical concert stages worldwide… He has touched the hearts of so many people all over the world, and will live in our hearts forever.
Rachna Ramya, Kathak dancer


One has no idea where life comes from and where it goes to. And what constitutes the maestros, what they leave behind in their stays on this planet. Pt SKS, Shiv ji or Pandit ji to those close to him, radiated a glow around him almost like his thick mane, which had turned completely silver white in the past 10 years almost. One of those brilliant souls of musicians who come, spread joy, go through ups and downs but spread only joy. And whose mere presence fills u with positivity and inspirational energy. His understanding of the Indian classical was a deep well from which we could partake as much as we were capable of.

As a person, a lovely human being — elegant, dignified, spirited, smiling, warm and affectionate! Shiv ji is one of those big legends who, like Bismillah Khan brought the naubatkhana instrument Shehnai into mainstream, made Santoor a performance instrument and made sure the world of beautiful music never remained limited to rules of limitations and traditions while choosing to uphold traditions without diluting it one bit in his music.

For us SD-RD fans, he has a few more special spots for all of us: playing tabla for Mose Chal Kiye jaa on behest of Pancham, with whom he shared close friendship! He was so eloquent and liberal in speaking about Pancham in my film Pancham Unmixed recalling his association and insights about the SD-RD powerhouse. That he named his son Rahul after Pancham is yet another testimony of his love and admiration for and friendship with RD. Sad day for us at the thought that we will never be able to meet him in person again… but happy at the great treasure he has left behind for us to enjoy and learn from

Brahmanand Singh, Biography filmmaker


Santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma’s untimely demise brought back some old memories. I first met Shivji and his wife Baby at my cousin Anu’s place in the early 70s while I was still in my teens. Shivji was enigmatic even at that time. He was extremely quiet and self contained and barely said a word. Baby on the other hand more than made up for his silence. Shivji sported his charactestic halo like Afro even then and was dressed in a beautiful silk kurta. I later realized he was always dressed to the nines in silk kurtas, one more resplendent than the other. Though he didn’t speak his sharp blue-grey eyes didn’t miss a trick.

My brother in law Pradeep Sinha had introduced me to the joys of Hindustani classical music around the same time. I could therefore make make some conversation with Shivji. As a result he invited my sisters and me to hear him do his riaz one Sunday evening at his home in Rajiv Apartments on Zigzag Road. There was a pretty little lawn outside his living room French window and he made a pictureque sight seated on the carpet against the green backdrop. He announced that he would play Marwah, a pentatonic raga, because it was for the cognoscenti. I felt like a bit of a fraud because I had not only never heard the raga, I hadn’t even known of it’s existence. I realised why it was for the cognscenti within 10 minutes of him starting.. it seemed to hover around the same notes endlessly and was most dreary and depressing to my ears. Till today I am not a fan of Raga Marwah.

Shivji and his wife came over to meet Ma, so when she requested him to play for her Guru he agreed without demur. We had a very large living room in Godiwala Bungalow ( 25’×35′!) and it was packed from end to end for the concert. That day he excelled himself and gave an unforgettable performance. I remember he ended with a Pahari dhun. Thereafter we lost touch with him for many years but when I joined HMV I would meet him and Hari Prasad Chaurasia frequently in film song recordings. I think he earned more from these recording sessions than concerts, because concerts happened mainly during the winter season, and were few and far between during the rest of the year. (Of course he performed abroad too, so I could be wrong in my surmise.)

Sadly I can’t remember when I met him last, which means it must have been a long time ago. But he is hard to forget because of his arresting good looks and the magic of his nimble fingers which coaxed the sweetest harmonies from his santoor. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Joy Bimal Roy, Set & costume re-designer


Skies get musical ♥️
Partho Sengupta, Journalist


So beautiful, the music.
Alvaro Turrion, Spanish music composer


“Not only was he one of the finest teachers of Hindustani classical music, but he was also a guru, an innovator, a yogi, a seeker, and a philosopher. That is largely because his music is rooted in an ancient philosophical system and tradition.”

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Siddhartha Gigoo, The Quint
“The world, of course, knows Sharma for making the stringed instrument santoor a household name. Originally played in folk and Sufi music of the Kashmir region, the Jammu-born musician took to it at the age of 13, having learnt a bit of vocals and tabla before. He made many innovations in order to make it more feasible to classical music.”

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Narendra Kusnur, Seniors Today


“Raised in the lap of the Himalayas, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma captured the melody of the mountain air and serenity of the snowcapped peaks in the 100-stringed hammered dulcimer. Not surprisingly, Pahadi was among his favourite raags and a staple at his concerts. It assumed a distinct beauty on the santoor, evolving in a quaint, unhurried manner. His 1993 album, ‘Music of the Mountains’, showed how the santoor could recreate the haunting sounds and magical colours of the landscape.”

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Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu
“While their classical music careers flourished, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma and Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia also composed several Bollywood film soundtracks for eminent filmmaker Yash Chopra, beginning with “Silsila” (1981), starring Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jaya Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar. Under the screen credit Shiv-Hari, they composed seven more soundtracks for Chopra including “Faasle” (1985). “Vijay” (1988) “Chandni” (1989) “Lamhe” (1991) “Parampara” (1993) and “Darr” (1993), which was a breakthrough film for Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.”

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Naman Ramachandran, Variety


Pt. Shivkumar Sharma on IMDB | Photo credit: Alephalpha

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