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Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori
Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori

Master Musician Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori passed away Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Delhi. He was 98. He was critical for last one month. He is the father of the legendary musician Pandit Bhajan Sopori.

Popularly known as ‘Masterjee’, he was hailed as the ‘Father of Indian Classical Music’ in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. A legendary name in the musical history of Jammu and Kashmir, he has been the Guru and Ustad of thousands of students and Hindustani classical music grew with him in the State. Sitar, Santoor and Classical vocal were his forte. A large number of professionals, music performers and teachers are his taught including more than 35000 students.

Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori had been the pioneer in bringing the Classical music to the masses. He initiated the mass popularization of Indian Classical music and practically made J&K State a new cultural centre with virtually every classical musician in the State as his taught.

He introduced Hindustani classical music as a subject initially in SP Higher Secondary School for boys and later in the Girls College at Maulana Azad Road and paved the way for the musicians to grow and make music a source of lively hood.

It’s due to the pioneering and dedicated efforts of Panditji that musicians got a prestigious status in the State. ‘Sangeet Mahavidyalaya’, the School purely of Indian Classical music and Dance that Pandit SN Sopori started in the Valley, was the main institution for holding Hindustani Classical music and Dance concerts regularly in the State.

Sopori was also the pioneer in putting some of the Muqams in the notations to ensure its preservation. With his command in Classical and Sufiana music made his distinctive style of presentation combining both instrumental and vocal in his presentation.

A versatile musician with a great command on languages like Persian, Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi and Kashmiri, Panditji had a huge repertoire of compositions in these languages.

Music being in his blood and life itself, he would inspire people from all walks of life to sing and awaken them to nuances of melody and notes.

He would ensure that anyone who would meet him would learn a line or a verse of a Raga, Ghazal or a Bhajan and it all started with the punch line “Sur Lagaoo” (sing a note). This practice gradually brought him to the pinnacle of popularity and people over a period of time gradually developed a curiosity to learn more and more from him and would ask him to teach more. They found in him their affectionate and loving teacher whom with utmost regard and respect they called “Masterjee”.

Some of the eminent performers and professors who have been his taught include Pandit Omkar Nath Raina, Prof Nancy Dhar, Prof Usha Bagati, Prof Rifet Jabeen, Dr BL Koul (Sitar), Late Mohammad Ashraf (Music Composer), Prof Jai Kishori Kaul, Prof Hawa Bashir, Dr Rajkumari Magazine, Smt Rita Kaul, Prof Sunaina Kaul (Vocal), Jawahar Kaul (Santoor), Sai Abdul Langoo (Tabla), Abdul Majeed (Rabab), Mohammad Ameen Nizami (Flute), Bollywood singer Neerja Pandit, and the ‘Melody Queens’ of J&K State – Smt Shameem Azad and Prof Kailash Mehra.

Even Late Maharani Yashoraj Laxmi Ji of the royal family of J&K State was Panditji’s disciple.  His legacy is carried forward by his son Pandit Bhajan Sopori and grandson Abhay Rustum Sopori. (CNS)


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