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Personalities - Hindustani Music


* 13 May 2022
Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma (April 1900 - 1973) was introduced very early into music during his visits to Maharaja Hari Singh's "darbar" palace along with his father.  He got the opportunity to enjoy the music of great stalwarts who performed in the royal court of Maharaja Hari Singh.
Pandit Uma Dutt received his training in tabla and pakhawaj from his Guru Sardar Harnam Singh and then trained under Guru Bade Ram Das Ji at Banaras for 10 years, after which he returned to his home town Jammu, where he trained several students in vocal and instruments.
He served as music supervisor in Radio Kashmir Jammu and Srinagar. Here he was introduced to Santoor and practised hard on the musical instrument. His son Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma received training on palying the santoor who gives all credit to his father and guru Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma for modifying the folk instrument Santoor to make it more suitable for classical music.
Every Year Nirvana Academy Cultural Club and Nirvana Entertainers Jammu honour Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma by organising a music festival in his name Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma Sangeet Mahotsav.
Source: nirvanaentertainers.com


* 12 May 2022
Pt Shivkumar Sharma (13 January 1938 - 10 May 2022) born in Jammu is believed to be the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor. Sharma gave santoor, once a little known instrument from Jammu and Kashmir, a classical status and elevated it to the level of other more traditional and famous instruments like sitar and sarod. Till then, Shata-Tantri Veena, as Santoor was known in earlier days, was used only to accompany Sufiana Mausiqi, a Sufi ensemble.
      Shivkumar Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938, in a musical family. His father Pandit Uma Dutta Sharma, a disciple of Pandit Bade Ramdasji of Banaras Gharana, was a vocalist and renowned player of Santoor. His mother too was a classical music vocalist.  Sharma was introduced to Tabla by his father at the age of five and later he was given training in Santoor.
     Sharma modified the folk instrument to make it more suitable for classical music. He increased its range to a full three octaves and also created a technique for smoother gliding between music notes in order to imitate human voice quality. Sharma also created a new way of playing it so that the notes and sound continuity could be maintained for a long time.
      His experimental albums ‘Feelings’ and ‘Music of the Mountains’ stand testimonials to this. Sharma also collaborated with numerous musicians, including Zakir Hussain and Hariprasad Chaurasia.  Shiv-Hari, the musical pairing he had with Chaurasia contributed to some of the best Bollywood soundtracks such as Silsila, Darr, and Lamhe to name a few. Sharma also collaborated occasionally with his son, Rahul Sharma, who is also a santoor player.
Shivkumar Sharma was honored with many prestigious awards, including the Padmashree (1991), the Padma Vibhushan (2001), the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, an honorary doctorate from the University of Jammu, the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Award, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar to name a few. His autobiography, Journey with a Hundred Strings: My Life in Music was published in the year 2002.
Source: narthaki.com, indiaartreview.com