The music, literary and social circles in Jammu and Kashmir plunged into grief on Tuesday when the world-famous santoor maestro and music composer Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma died in Mumbai following a heart attack. Politicians also posted tweets mourning his death.
The 84 years old Shiv Kumar was born in Jammu on 13 January 1938 and made the santoor, originally a folk instrument, an instrument for Indian classical through his internationally recognized playing style. He was scheduled to perform in Bhopal next week.
Recipient of Padma Vibhushan, Shiv Kumar was the first musician to have played Indian classical music on santoor which is basically a folk instrument of Jammu and Kashmir.
His son Rahul Sharma is also a santoor player.
Shiv Kumar composed the background music for one of the scenes in Shantaram’s famous film Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje in 1956. He recorded his first solo album in 1960. He also composed music with flute legend Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia for an array of films such as “Silsila”, “Lamhe” and “Chandni”.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board condoled his demise. Shiv Kumar was a former member of the Board. Paying homage, Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board recalled his
long association with the board from 2015 to 2019 and his significant contributions for the creation of pilgrim-centric facilities. Some of the major achievements of the Board in infrastructure development during his tenure as a Member, interalia, include the commissioning of major projects like SMVD Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, SMVD Sports Complex, and SMVD College of Nursing besides, several new facilities for the convenience of the visiting pilgrims such as passenger ropeway from Bhawan to Bharion, material ropeway from Siar Dabri to Bhawan, alternate Tarakote Marg from Katra to Adhkuwari and re-modeling project of Adhkuwari.
Politicians across party lines mourned his death. Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha said; “Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma passing away has left a void in the Indian classical music which will be difficult to fill”.
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, who is from Jammu, said “The world of music has lost one of its greatest maestros. Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma not only introduced Santoor at a global level but also enriched film music with his melody”.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah described him as a “legend in his lifetime”. “A proud son of the soil, he made his mark globally”.
BJP leader Devender Singh Rana said; “Jammu will always be proud of the son of the soil”.
Dr. Lalit Magotra, President of Dogri Sanstha, described Shiv Kumar as a “legend” and added that he brought Jammu on the international map through his santoor.