Shivkumar Sharma (born January 13, 1938, Jammu, India) is an Indian santoor player. The santoor is a folk instrument from Kashmir and Jammu. Sharma is often referred to by the title Pandit.
“His father started teaching him vocals and tabla when he was just five. He goes on to say that Uma Dutt Sharma did “extensive research” on santoor and decided that Shivkumar should be the first musician to play Indian classical music on santoor. So he started learning santoor at the age of 13 and made Uma Dutt Sharma’s dream come true. He gave his first public performance in Bombay in 1955” says Sharma. His mother tongue is Dogri.
Shivkumar Sharma is the master instrumentalist of the santoor, after some years as a vocalist. He is credited with making the santoor a popular classical instrument. Sharma recorded his first solo album in 1960. Sharma composed the music of Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1956).
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has not only elevated this folk instrument of Kashmir to concert hall status, but thanks to his enduring efforts, the santoor has taken its place in concert halls around the world. With a style evolved out of gayaki (vocal), gatkari (instrumental technique) and layakari (rhythmic improvisation), Shivkumar imparts to his santoor recitals a multi-dimensional appeal.
The measure of Shivkumar Sharma’s achievement with the santoor has parallels with that of the great master of the shehnai, Ustad Bismillah Khan. The shehnai, too, was more a folk instrument than a classical one before the legendary Ustad came on the scene almost 70 years ago.
Born in Jammu to the singer Uma Dutt Sharma. Sharma married Manorama and has three sons. His son, Rahul, is also a santoor player and they have performed together since 1996.
Awards & Titles
Sharma is the recipient of national and international awards, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. Platinum Disc for Call of the Valley.Platinum Disc for music of film Silsila.Gold Disc for music of film Faasle.Platinum Disc for music of film Chandni. Special Award for outstanding music and sale of film Lamhe. Special Award for outstanding music and sale of film Darr.