Shivkumar Sharma, Hindustani classical musician and co-composer of several memorable Bollywood film soundtracks for the late Yash Chopra, died on Tuesday in Mumbai. He was 84.
Sharma, addressed by the honorific Pandit, had kidney related ailments for the past six months and eventually succumbed to a cardiac arrest.
Born in Jammu, Northern India, Sharma became an exponent of the classical instrument santoor. Already well known in Hindustani music circles, he shot to international prominence in 1967 when he recorded the album “Call of the Valley” alongside his long time collaborator flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and guitarist Brij Bhushan Kabra for EMI.
While their classical music careers flourished, Sharma and Chaurasia also composed several Bollywood film soundtracks for eminent filmmaker Yash Chopra, beginning with “Silsila” (1981), starring Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jaya Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar. Under the screen credit Shiv-Hari, they composed seven more soundtracks for Chopra including “Faasle” (1985). “Vijay” (1988) “Chandni” (1989) “Lamhe” (1991) “Parampara” (1993) and “Darr” (1993), which was a breakthrough film for Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
“Sahibaan” (1993), directed by Chopra’s former associate director Ramesh Talwar, was the only film Shiv-Hari composed outside the Yash Raj Films banner.
The Shiv-Hari duo were nominated for the prestigious Filmfare award in the music category for “Silsila,” “Chandni,” “Lamhe” and “Darr.”
Indian honors accorded to Sharma include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
Sharma is survived by his wife Manorama and sons Rahul, who is also a noted santoor player and Rohit, a Bollywood executive. (Variety)