Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma dead at 84

Legendary musician and santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is no more. The veteran musician passed away on May 10, Tuesday. He was 84. 

Sharma was of India’s most well-known and celebrated classical musicians. He was due to perform in Bhopal next week. Reports state that he was suffering from renal ailments. 

“He had a severe heart attack at around 9 am… He was active and was to perform in Bhopal the next week. He was on regular dialysis but was still was active,” the family source told news agency PTI.

A Padma Vibushan awardee, Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938 and is believed to be the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor, a folk instrument from Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharma and flute legend Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia had also formed a musical duo Shiv-Hari and had composed music for Yash Chopra’s films ‘Silsila’, ‘Lamhe’ and ‘Chandni’. 

Sharma had also composed the background music for a small portion of ‘Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje’.

His son Rahul Sharma is also a santoor player.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi paid rich tribute on Twitter to the late musician as he wrote, “He popularised the Santoor at a global level. His music will continue to enthral the coming generations. I fondly remember my interactions with him. Condolences to his family and admirers” 


“The passing away of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharmaji marks the end of an era. He was the pioneer of Santoor and his contribution is unparalleled. For me, it’s a personal loss and I will miss him no end. May his soul rest in peace. His music lives on forever! Om Shanti,” sarod player Amjad Ali Khan tweeted. 


West Bengal CM, Mamata  Banerjee also paid her condolences to the legend.