HomeIndiaPt Bhajan Sopori:Saint of the Santoor passes away

Pt Bhajan Sopori:Saint of the Santoor passes away

In another blow to the music industry after KK’s untimely demise, santoor maestro Pandit Bhajan Sopori passed away. The renowned music composer was undergoing treatment at Fortis Hospital in Gurugram. Fans and followers were left in a state of grief and mourned his loss on Twitter.

Santoor maestro and Sufi exponent Pandit Bhajan Sopori passed away in Gurugram on Thursday.

Family sources told reporters that the maestro passed away at the Fortis Hospital in Gurugram.”His cremation will take place tomorrow (Friday) afternoon,” a family source said.Born in Srinagar in 1948, he had a double masters degree in Indian classical music specialising both in sitar and santoor. Known as ‘Saint of the Santoor’, he was awarded Padma Shri, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Indian music.

Santoor maestro Bhajan Sopori died on Thursday at a Gurugram hospital following a battle with colon cancer. He was 73.
Bhajan Sopori is survived by his wife and two sons Sorabh and Abhay, who also plays santoor. “He was diagnosed with colon cancer last year in June. We admitted him to Fortis, Gurugram, three weeks back for immunotherapy treatment. It didn’t work for him and his health deteriorated,” his son Abhay told PTI.

The last rites will be held at the Lodhi Road crematorium here on Friday. Bhajan Sopori received multiple awards through his career, including the Padma Shri in 2004, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992 and the Jammu and Kashmir State Lifetime Achievement Award,
Sopori learnt western classical music from Washington University and Hindustani music from his father and grandfather.

Santoor and Bhajan Sopori are synonymous. Born in a family of musicians of ‘Sufiana Gharana’ of Kashmir, Pandit Bhajan Sopori, the Legendary Santoor maestro and Music Composer has been the pioneer in bringing Santoor on National and International platforms at par with Sitar and Sarod in Tantrakari and boles and giving it the honour and prestige of a complete concert instrument. Rendition of Dhrupad Ang on Santoor with the accompaniment of Pakhawaj, attaching Tumba (Gaud), introducing ‘Meend’ and ‘Glides’, ‘Gamak’, balancing of Kalam (strikers) with boles, etc. are also a part of his innovations combining to form a style of playing Santoor known as ‘Sopori Baaj’ (style) for which he is hailed as the “Saint of Santoor” and the “King of Strings”.

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