Born: January 13, 1938
Achievement: Credited with single-handedly making the santoor a
popular classical instrument; Recipient of Padmashree and Padma
Shiv Kumar Sharma's name is synonymous with santoor, Indian classical
music instrument. Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is credited with
single-handedly making the santoor a popular classical instrument.
Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma was born on January 13, 1938. Shivkumar Sharma
took his initial training in music under his father, Pandit Uma Dutt
Sharma, an exponent of the Benaras Gharana and the "raj pandit"
at the court of Maharaja Pratap Singh. Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma learnt
both the Tabla and the Santoor. He was also a vocalist. But, Pandit Shiv
Kumar Sharma became famous because of his improvisations with santoor, a
folk instrument from the valley of Kashmir.
the early decades of the twentieth century, santoor, also called as
Shata-Tantri Veena, was used as an accompaniment to a specific type of
singing called Sufiana Mausiqi. Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma was convinced of
the potentialities of the instrument and after extensive research on
santoor he bestowed the responsibility of establishing it on the concert
platform on his only son Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.
Shiv Kumar Sharma modified santoor to make it more suitable for his
classical technique. He introduced the new chromatic arrangement of
notes and increased the range to cover full three octaves. He also
improvised a new technique of playing with which he could sustain notes
and maintain sound continuity. Shiv Kumar Sharma brought Santoor at par
with other classical instruments, well established it not just all over
India, but also across the globe.
Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is the recipient of many national and
international awards. These include: Sangeet Natak Academy Award (1986),
Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar (1990), Honorary Doctorate from the
University of Jammu (1991), Padmashree (1991), Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan
Award (1998), and Padma Vibhushan (2001). He is also received the
honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, USA (1985).