Bhajan Sopori

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Bhajan Sopori
Birth name Bhajan Lal Sopori
Born 1948
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Origin Kashmiri
Genres Hindustani classical music and Sufyana Musiqi
Occupation(s) musician
Instruments santoor
Notable instruments

Bhajan Sopori (born 1948 in Srinagar, Kashmir)[1] is an Indian instrumentalist. He is a player of the santoor, an ancient stringed musical instrument.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Sopori hails from Sopore in Kashmir Valley and traces his lineage to ancient Santoor experts. He belongs to the Sufiana gharana of Indian classical music.[3] His family has played santoor for over six generations.[4] His first public performance was at a conference organised by Prayag Sangeet Samiti & the University of Allahabad when he was 10 years old.[3] Sopori's son Abhay Rustum Sopori is also a santoor player. Both father and son have given several performances together.


Pandit Bhajan Sopori has taught music at Washington University, US. His performances have been broadcast in India and seen by both cultural associations there and by audiences in countries such as Belgium, Egypt, England, Germany, Norway, Syria and the USA.[3] Pandit Sopori, considered as the cultural link between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of India, also runs a music academy called SaMaPa (Sopori Academy for Music and Performing Arts), which is actively involved in promoting Indian classical music.[5] SaMaPa is involved in promoting music with jail inmates, with the objective of using music for healing the prisoners and creating an emotional bond between the society & the prisoners.[6] The academy has trained several musicians and revived old instruments. It was presented the state government dogri award in 2011.[7]


Sopori was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1993[8] and the Padma Shri in 2004.[9] In 2009 he was honoured with the Baba Allaudin Khan Award.[10] He was also awarded the M N Mathur award in 2011 for his contribution to Indian classical music.[11] His other awards include the Jammu and Kashmir State Award, the National Flag Honour of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Delhi Ratna Award, Delhi Telugu Academy Award, Beenkar Samman, Sangeet Vibhuti Award and Sangeet Ratna Award.[12]


  1. ^ bhajansoporipage, (24 June 2012). "Bhajan Sopori". 
  2. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards – Hindustani Music – Instrumental". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c RadioCity, Online (24 June 2012). "Bhajan Lal Sopori". 
  4. ^ online, MumbaiMirror (26 February 2011). "Santoor Player Abhay Rustom Sopori plays tomorrow". 
  5. ^ "J&K to be Cultural Capital of the country". 5 February 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "SaMaPa to start music classes in Jails in J&K: Sopori". 16 February 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Trinidad envoy jams with Kashmiri Sufi band". 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards – Hindustani Music – Instrumental". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  10. ^ "Pandit Bhajan Sopori awarded again". 13 February 2009. 
  11. ^ EarlyTimes, Newspaper Jammu & Kashmir (3 March 2011). "Bhajan Sopori gets M N Mathur Award". 
  12. ^ "Pandit Bhajan Sopori awarded again". ScreenIndia. 13 February 2009.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)