Wednesday, August 2, 2017




Pandiit ji belongs to an illustrious family of musicians from Old jammu City .Santoor was introduced to him by his father Pandit Uma Dutt sharma ( A disciple of Pt. Bade Ramdas ji of Benaras) , who himself was an accomplished Vocalist and Tabla Player .

Santoor had an ensemble role in Sufiana music of Kashmir sung by a group of musicians . It was one of the instruments used by by the group . But Pandit Ji used its full potential to play solo Hindustani classical Music . Panditji’s struggle in establishing the santoor as an independent and complete musical instrument in the Hindustani music world is commendable.

Pandit ji informs us:-

" Some critics were very harsh, saying the santoor would never be accepted as a classical instrument. Others, mostly senior musicians who knew my father, were sympathetic, and framed their comments in a different way: ‘Beta, you have chosen the wrong instrument. There is still time: give up this instrument, take up the sitar or sarod and you will be very successful."

                                   ( Pandit Ji engrossed in his Music  )

He did some fantastic and soulful Jugalbandis with Ustaad Zakir Hussain ( Tabla ) , Hari Prasad Chaurasia ( Flute ), Brij Bhushan kabra (Guitar ) and so many other well known names in Classical Music (Instrumentalists).

It may not be out of place to mention that both Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma have strong ancestral link with Jammu and both could be called as eminent Dogras.Ustad Zakir Hussain is the worthy son of Tabla legend Ustad Allah Rakha. Allah Rakha's family was from a village near Samba town in Jammu province of J&k State.. He used to speak fluent Dogri . Ustad Allah Rakha  was also honoured by Dogri Sansatha Jammu. Sri. T K Jalali  Well Known Vocalist and  Musician from our state remembers the event as under :-

Yes Autar ji .We are proud of these two maestros of Duggar Prant.They have brought laurels to this land and the  country. I am a witness to the  ceremony in which Ustad Alla Rakha khan was felicitated in Jammu and  requested to speak a few lines in Dogri.

                                  ( Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit ji   )            

For his contribution to Indian Classical music, he received  Sangeet Natak Akademi award ( 1986 ) , Padma Shri (1991) and the Padma Vibhushan (2001). In 1985, he was awarded an honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, USA.

Joined by Hari Prasad Chaurasia ( under Shiv- Hari Banner ) , Pandit ji also scored Music for some successful Hindi films notable being Silsila ( 1981) and chandini ( 1989 ). They first collaborated in 1967 as part of a trio with guitarist Pandit Brij Bhushan Kabra to produce the album “Call of the Valley”. And His Albums" Call of the valley and Soundscapes - Music of the Mountains " remain my Prized possessions .

Not many of his fans know that Pandit Ji is a wonderful Tabla Player . Not Many of us know that Great Burman-Da (S D Burman ) was also an admirer of Pandit Ji's Music. Later R D Burman too became his admirer. It was RD who knew Pandit Ji's expertise at Tabla and suggested to his father to use some Tabla notes from Pandit Ji for Devanand's Super hit movie GUIDE . And senior Burman Da used Pandit ji's Scintillating Tabla notes in two songs ' Mo se Chhal Kiye Jaaye and "Piya to se Naina laage Re "

 Sri. Chaman Taku informs me as under :-

Pt.Shiv Kumar Sharmawere  and me  in the same section of 9th class of Hari Singh High School located in Julaka Mohalla jammu.We passed the matriculation together in 1952 and he registered himself as an Arts student and me as Science student. He was very soft spoken,shy and very cultured student and at that young age was 'A' class artist of of J&K State.

Pandit Ji's contribution towards enriching Hindustani classical Music is Immense .  Trained by Pandit Ji  ,  Rahul Sharma son of the maestro is emerging as a leading santoor Player in the world of Music  .

 Good Health and Long life to this Great musician . ...

( Autar Mota )

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