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Journey with a Hundred Strings: My Life in Music

Shiv Kumar Sharma (Author)
Synopsis Santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma is one of India’s living musical legends. Born and raised in Jammu, ‘in a house where, from dawn till dusk, someone or another was singing or playing an instrument’, Shiv Kumar Sharma began his musical life as a tabla player under the tutelage of his Benares-trained father. One day when he was fourteen, his father returned from Srinagar with a santoor and announced that he had found his son’s true calling. The bemused boy took the instrument—traditionally used only in Kashmiri Sufiana songs—and, over the next few years, performed surgery to adapt it for Hindustani ragas. The results are musical history. In this lucid memoir, the artist recalls his youth in tranquil Jammu and Kashmir his lean years as an aspiring young professional in Bombay, his long, not always happy association with All India Radio, his work in the film industry, his most blissful moments onstage, his tours around the world and, most compellingly, his struggle to establish the santoor as a classical Indian instrument in the face of sceptical, sometimes dismissive critics. Along the way, he illuminates a remarkable series of relationships and encounters: guru-shishya bonds, life-long friendships, dazzling jugalbandis and of course, musical rivalries, good-natured and otherwise. Here are Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Allah Rakha Khan, Zakir Hussain, Brij Bhushan Kabra, George Harrison, Yash Chopra, Lata Mangeshkar and a host of household names—doing riyaaz, recording LPs, discussing style and technique, gathering at All India festivals and cooking for each other at the end of a long day. The life chronicled here is rich in professional achievement, personal companionship and pure, solitary artistry. ‘I am here,’ says Shiv Kumar Sharma with a mission: to reach out and touch the hearts of people with my music. And I shall do my duty as best I can.
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About the author

Shiv Kumar Sharma

Dr. Shiv Kumar Sharma, has done M.A. in History of Art and Ph.D. from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He secured First Class First Position and was awarded the University Gold Medal. He also passed Post-Graduate Diploma in art & Architecture from the same University and Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology & Museums from Varanasys Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi securing First Class First in both the Courses. He availed Greek Government Scholarship for another Ph.D. and studied at Athens University Greece in the department of Archaeology and History of Art. During his studies in Greece, he also obtained one year’s diploma in Modern Greek language from the Athens University. On his return from Greece, he was selected as Pool Officer by the U.P.S.C., sponsored by the C.S.I.R. He served Crafts Museum (Govt. of India), New Delhi as Assistant Director and National Museum, New Delhi as Pool Officer. Thereafter, he joined Allahabad Museum, another National Museum of the country, as Education Officer in 1988. Dr. Sharma has honour of several awards like B.H.U. Scholarship, Sr. Fellowship of the I.C.H.R., Research Associateship of the U.G.C., etc. In 1992, ‘Small Study and Research Grant’ was awarded by the ‘Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has organized a large number of art exhibitions of national and international repute in India and abroad. Besides exhibitions at Allahabad Museum, he has organized a number of educational activities, short-term courses on Indian and European art, lectures, seminars and symposiums. Among noteworthy contributions, Dr. Sharma catalogued the huge collection of miniature paintings preserved at Ram Nagar Fort, Varanasi in the collection of Maharaja Banaras under the supervision of Prof. R. Das Gupta. He was also assigned to catalogue a private Indian art collection while studying in Greece. In 1992, Dr. Sharma was called upon by the Hon. High Court Allahabad to organize a prestigious exhibition on the occation of its Post-Centenary Silver Jublee Celebrations. There he displayed photographs, rare documents and precious objects. In the words of the Hon’ble Justice Mr. S.K. Dhawan, the convener of the exhibition committee, ’Dr. Sharma has shown tremendous organizing capacity’ which made him an outstanding display expert. The author has published considerable number of research articles in different research journals of India as well as abroad.

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Bibliographic information

Title Journey with a Hundred Strings: My Life in Music
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0670049336
length xiv+194p., Figures; Plates; 22cm.