Santoor maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma no more

Sharma, one of India’s most well known classical musicians, died around 8.30 am at his Pali Hill residence here, his secretary Dinesh said.
Santoor maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma no more
Santoor virtuoso Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma

MUMBAI: Santoor virtuoso Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, who took the stringed instrument to the global stage and successfully straddled the worlds of classical and film music, died here on Tuesday following a heart attack. He was 83.

Sharma, one of India’s most well known classical musicians, died around 8.30 am at his Pali Hill residence here, his secretary Dinesh said. He had been active till the end and was due to perform in Bhopal next week. He was also suffering from renal ailments.

“He had a severe heart attack in the morning... He was active and was to perform in Bhopal next week. He was on regular dialysis but was still active,” a family source said.

Sharma, one half of the famous ‘Shiv-Hari’ composer duo along with flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia, is survived by his wife Manorama and sons Rahul, also a santoor player, and Rohit. The Shiv-Hari duo composed music for an array of films such as Silsila, Lamhe, Chandni and Darr.

A Padma Vibhushan recipient, Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938 and is the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor, a folk instrument from Jammu and Kashmir.

Describing his father as his ‘guruji’, Rahul said the end was peaceful. “He is not with us anymore but his music lives on. He went away peacefully. He has given the entire world his music, peace through his music and what he did for santoor... it’s now known across the world.

The santoor legend’s long-time collaborator and friend Chaurasia was at Sharma’s residence for nearly eight hours and broke down while talking to the media.

“Ye aapne kaise keh diya woh hamare beech nahin rahe. Aisa ho hee nahin sakta. Woh hamare saath the, aur hamesha rahenge (How could you say he is no more? It can’t be. He was with us and will always be),” the flautist said.

His mortal remains will be kept at the Pali Hill home. At 10 am on Wednesday, the body will be shifted to the Abhijit Cooperative Housing Society in Juhu for “public darshan” till 1 pm.

The last rites will be held at Pawan Hans Crematorium. He will be accorded a State funeral.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind were among those who condoled Sharma’s death.

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