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Renowned santoor player Pandit Bhajan Sopori passes away

Pandit Bhajan Sopori, the well-known Santoor player passed away today

Indian classical music suffered another terrible blow as well-known santoor maestro and renowned music composer Pandit Bhajan Sopori passed away today. He was 73 and would have celebrated his 74th birthday on June 22.

Abhay Sopori, his son and also a santoor artist who played with his father informed that cremation will take place on Friday afternoon.

Sopori was diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2021 and was undergoing treatment. He was admitted at Gurugram’s Fortis Hospital for the last three weeks.

The santoor wizard was born in 1948 and came from Kashmir’s Sopore Valley. He belonged to the Sufiana gharana of Indian classical music.

Sopori showed his mettle very early in life as he gave his first performance at the age of five in 1953. Playing for several decades, he has performed in several countries including the United States, Egypt, England and Germany.

Sopori had grounding in both Western classical music from Washington University and Hindustani from his grandfather, SC Sopori, and father, Shambhoo Nath. He also used to teach music at Washington University. He could play both sitar and santoor with equal felicity. Besides learning music, he also had a masters degree in English Literature.

Sopori was bestowed the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992 and the Padma Shri in 2004 for his contribution to Indian classical music.

Last month, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, another legendary musician and santoor player had passed away due to a cardiac arrest.