Son of the soil, Pandit Shiv kumar Sharma, a musical genius
Oct 20, 2016
Pandit Shiv kumar Sharma, the son of the soil, a renowned ‘Santoor' player is known for his improvisations with santoor and creating entrancing melodies. This creative genius has added many feathers to his cap because of his excellence and love for creating music. He is a great classical musician from the state who was born in Jammu to a professional tabla player which helped him to inculcate the intricacies of the music. Being a vocalist himself, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma's father gauged his ability at a very young age. His father supported and encouraged him to play ‘Santoor' determining his interest in the folk instrument.
Pandit Shiv kumar Sharma was born on 13, 1938 in Jammu to Uma Dutt Sharma, a trained vocalist, musician and the head priest of Maharaja Pratap Singh's court. His father started training him when he was five. His first opportunity came to him at the age of 12 when he played table in radio station in Jammu. After that, his father gauged son's interest for Santoor and did a thorough research to make him the first musician to play Indian classical music on Santoor.
Pandit Shiv kumar Sharma's career started in the year 1955 when he performed in Mumbai for the very first time. Later, he got the opportunity to create music for one of the frames of ‘Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje'. In the year 1960, his first album got recorded and in the year of 1967, he collaborated with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and musician Brij Bhushan Kabra to create one of the greatest albums till date. ‘Call of the Valley' was an unmatchable piece of art. Later, he released scores of other albums and created some of the remarkable musical compositions including ‘The Glory Of Strings - Santoor' (1991),‘Varshā - A Homage to the Rain Gods' (1993), ‘Hundred Strings of Santoor' (1994), ‘The Pioneer of Santoor (1994)', ‘Sampradaya' (1999), ‘Vibrant Music for Reiki' (2003), ‘Essential Evening Chants' (2007) ‘The Last Word in Santoor' (2009) and Sangeet Sartaj (2011).
An autobiography titled ‘Journey with a Hundred Strings: My Life in Music' has also been published in the year 2002.
Pandit Shiv kumar Sharma is married to Manorama. The couple has two sons. One of his sons, Rahul, performs with his father at many concerts. The famous santoor player has worldwide following and he continues to teach his students without charging a penny from them.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has revoluntioned the whole classical music and created most riveting tones with the folk instrument ‘Santoor'. Considering his dedication, sheer brilliance and love for the music, he received accolades from across the globe which includes ‘Platinum disc' each, for the classical music album ‘Call of the Valley', the 1981 romantic drama film ‘Silsila' and the 1989 romantic drama film ‘Chandni'.
He was awarded an honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, in the year 1985 and ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award', the highest Indian recognition award in the year 1986 for his contribution in classical music. He also received the ‘Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar' in 1990 and Honorary Doctorate from the University of Jammu in 1991. In the same year, he was awarded with ‘Padma Shri', the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India. After this, he received multitude of awards and recognitions for his contribution to Indian film industry and got ‘Padma Vibhusan', the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India in 2001.
This son of soil created some of the ardent fans of classical music and got them hooked to his tunes. His performances spellbound every genuine music lover. His success mantra is sheer hard work and dedication for the instrumental music.