Shivkumar Sharma

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Shivkumar Sharma
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Santoor.jpg
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma after performance and Talk in First Santoor Samaroh (Santoor Concert) at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal July 2016
Background information
Born (1938-01-13) 13 January 1938 (age 79)
Jammu, British India (now Jammu and Kashmir, India)
Origin Jammu, India
Genres Hindustani classical music
Instruments santoor
Years active 1955–present
Associated acts Rahul Sharma

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (born 13 January 1938[1]) is an Indian santoor player[2][3] from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.[4] The santoor is a folk instrument.[1][5]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Jammu to the singer[6][7] Uma Dutt Sharma[8] and his mother tongue is Dogri. His father started teaching him vocals and tabla when he was just five.[7] Uma Dutt Sharma did "extensive research" on the santoor, and decided that Sharma should be the first musician to play Indian classical music on the santoor. So he started learning santoor at the age of thirteen,[7] and made his father's dream come true.[1] He gave his first public performance in Bombay in 1955.


Sharma in 1988

Shivkumar Sharma is the master instrumentalist of the santoor, after some years as a vocalist. He is credited with making the santoor a popular Classical Instrument.[5][9] In a 1999 interview to, Shivkumar said that it was his father who decided that he should play the santoor and that he never thought he would be choosing it when he started learning music.[7] He composed the background music for one of the scenes in Shantaram's Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje[10] in 1956. He recorded his first solo album in 1960.[1]

In 1967, he teamed up with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and Brij Bhushan Kabra to produce a concept album, Call of the Valley (1967) which turned out to be one of the greatest hits in Indian Classical Music.[1][9] He has composed music for many Hindi films in collaboration with Hariprasad Chaurasia[11] starting with Silsila[10] (1980). They came to be known as the 'Shiv-Hari' music duo.[10] Some of the movies they composed music for that were big musical hits are Faasle (1985), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993).

Fascinatingly, he has played tabla in the song Mose Chhal Kiye Jaye Haay Re Haay Dekho Saiyan Beimaan.While he started his career playing the tabla, Shiva Kumar Sharma had given up the instrument to focus on the santoor. It was R.D. Burman who convinced him to play the tabla for this song. He did not play the tabla again for any other Hindi film song.

Personal life[edit]

Sharma married Manorama[8][12] and has two sons.[7] His son, Rahul,[13][14] is also a santoor player[15][16] and they have performed together since 1996.[7] In a 1999 interview to, Shivkumar stated that he chose Rahul as his shishya because he thought he had the "gift of God".[7]


Shivkumar is the recipient of national and international awards, including an honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, USA, in 1985,[17] the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986,[18] the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.[19]


  • Santoor & Guitar, with Brij Bhushan Kabra (1964)
  • Shivkumar Sharma (1967) - (re-released 2005 as "First LP Record of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma")
  • Call of the Valley, with Brij Bhushan Kabra and Hariprasad Chaurasia (1967)
  • ...When Time Stood Still!, with Zakir Hussain (Live in Bombay) (1982)
  • Rag Madhuvanti & Rag Misra Tilang, with Zakir Hussain (1987)
  • Hypnotic Santoor (1988)
  • Maestro's Choice, Series One (1991)
  • A Sublime Trance (1991)
  • The Glory of Strings (1991)
  • Raga Purya Kalyan, with Zakir Hussain (1991)
  • Rag Rageshri, with Zakir Hussain (1993)
  • Raga Bhopali vol I (1993)
  • Raga Kedari vol II (1993)
  • Varshā – A Homage to the Rain Gods (1993)
  • Sound Scapes, Music of the Mountains (1994)
  • Hundred Strings of Santoor (1994)
  • The Pioneer of Santoor (1994)
  • Raag Bilaskhani Todi (1994)
  • A Morning Raga Gurjari Todi (1994)
  • Feelings (1994)
  • The Valley Recalls - In Search of Peace, Love & Harmony, with Hariprasad Chaurasia (1996)
  • The Valley Recalls - Raga Bhoopali, with Hariprasad Chaurasia (1996)
  • Yugal Bandi, with Hariprasad Chaurasia (1996)
  • Maestro's Choice, Series Two (1999)
  • Sampradaya (1999)
  • Rasdhara, with Hariprasad Chaurasia (1999)
  • Ananda Bliss, with Zakir Hussain (2002)
  • The Flow of Time, with Zakir Hussain (2002)
  • Sangeet Sartaj (2002)
  • Vibrant Music for Reiki (2003)
  • Sympatico (Charukeshi – Santoor)(2004)
  • The Inner Path (Kirvani – Santoor) (2004)
  • Essential Evening Chants, with Hariprasad Chaurasia (2007)
Contributing artist


  1. ^ a b c d e "A dream fulfilled". Indian Express. 30 April 2000. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma in conversation on Antardhwani, the film based on his life". Indian Express. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Santoor strains music to ears of unborn too". Indian Express. 10 November 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Santoor magic". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 27 February 2005. 
  5. ^ a b "Santoor comes of age, courtesy Pandit Shivkumar Sharma". Indian Express. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  6. ^ Gilbert, Andrew (16 November 2007). "Masters of the East come West". Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "'Music is an expression of human emotions'". 20 August 1999. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Note by note". The Times of India. 13 October 2002. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Lavezzoli, Peter (2006). The Dawn of Indian Music in the West. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 32. ISBN 0-8264-1815-5. 
  10. ^ a b c "Enchantment from Eden valley". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 6 April 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "'I just pick up the flute and feel the urge to play'". Financial Express. 19 February 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Sultan of strings: Shivkumar Sharma". DNA. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  13. ^ "Santoor notes that bind: father- son ‘Jugalbandi’". 1 July 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  14. ^ "Inner Melodies". Indian Express. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  15. ^ "Virasaat". 18 March 1998. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  16. ^ Dastur, Nicole (3 July 2006). "What's Rahul Sharma's Dalai Lama connection?". Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  17. ^ "Profile". India Today. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  18. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards – Hindustani Music – Instrumental". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  19. ^ "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  20. ^ Cite error: The named reference Pandit_Chatur_Lal_Excellence_Award was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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