Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma died in Mumbai on Tuesday morning after a heart attack at 84 years of age. He was due to perform in Bhopal next week and was also suffering from renal ailments. The veteran musician is survived by wife Manorama and sons Rahul and Rohit. His son Rahul is also a santoor player. A family source told news agency PTI, “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.”
Soon after this news emerged, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the veteran santoor player. The Prime Minister tweeted, “Our cultural world is poorer with the demise of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Ji. He popularized the santoor at a global level. His music will continue to enthrall the coming generations. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
President of India Ram Nath Kovind also paid glowing tributes to the veteran musician. The President wrote, “Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma’s recitals would leave connoisseurs of Indian classical music spellbound. He popularized santoor, the traditional musical instrument from J&K. Sad to learn that his santoor is now silenced. Condolences to his family, friends and countless fans everywhere.”
RPG Enterprises boss Harsh Goenka shared an image with the santoor player and wrote, “Shiv Kumar Sharma was a charismatic classical musician who could draw on the canvas of space and silence with the tune, tone, notes and rhythmic lilt very beautifully. He was known as the ‘Sultan of strings’ and was synonymous with santoor, earlier a folk instrument. Om Shanti.”
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, MP from Mumbai North East Manoj Kotak, former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah, Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, The Kashmir Files director Vivek Agnihotri, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag actor Farhan Akhtar and Arth actor Shabana Azmi also chimed in to pay their last respects to the maestro.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was bestowed with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
(With agency inputs)
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