Veteran music composer and santoor player Shiv Kumar Sharma died in Mumbai on the morning of Tuesday following an attack of heart, as told by his family members. He was 84.
He was India’s one of the most reputed musician of the classical genre and was to perform next week in Bhopal. He was also having renal problems.
According to his family’s statement to PTI, at around 9 in the morning of Tuesday at his residence of Pali Hill, he had a major heart attack. He was still very active although being on regular dialysis.
Sharma was born in 1938 in Jammu and is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan award. It is believed that he is the first musician who played classical music of India on the santoor. It is a classical instrument found in Jammu and Kashmir. Rahul Sharma, his son, is also a musician who plays santoor.
The well known sarod player, Amjad Ali Khan said in his tweet that the demise of Shiv Kumar Sharma ji points the ending of an era. His contribution is unmatched and he was truly the pioneer player of santoor. It is like a personal loss for Khan and he will be missing him until the end. He wished that the music the Pandit created lives on forever and his soul rests in peace.
The santoor virtuoso remarkably presented the stringed instrument to the world stage and successfully merged the two worlds of film and classical music. The late musician is survived by his two sons Rahul and Rohit and his wife Manorama.
The daughter of late Pandit Jasraj, the classical vocalist who was a very good friend of Sharma, Durga Jasraj informed that Sharma ji collapsed in the bathroom and soon after he was gone in no time. He was like a second father to her. The cardiac arrest was major and it was nearly impossible to revive him. The death happened in a split second even though they called for an ambulance. He went somewhat peacefully at home, Durga told PTI.
The secretary of Sharma added that the remains will be stored at the home of Pali Hill. Yesterday at 10:00 a.m., his body was shifted to a housing society named Abhijeet Cooperative in Juhu for public viewing until 1 pm.
Ram Nath Kovind, the Indian President and Narendra Modi, the prime minister were among those many people who gave condolences for Sharma’s death. The pandit’s recitals will leave connoisseurs of classical music of India spellbound.
The President twitted from his official handle that he was the one who popularised the traditional folk instrument of music, santoor, from J&K. It was heart-breaking to know that his instrument is now silent. He also expressed his condolences to his countless fans all over the world, friends and family.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, also took to Twitter to share her deepest condolences and mentioned that his demise impoverishes the cultural world of us. The maestro received Padma Shri in the year 1991 and in 2001, Padma Vibhushan.