Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori

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Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori

Master Musician Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori passed away last Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Delhi. He was 98. He was critical for last one month.

Pandit Sopori had been the pioneer to popularise the Classical music. It was he who made J&K State a new cultural centre. The legendary musician was the ‘Guru’ of more than 35000 students, included a large number of professionals, music performers and teachers.

Known as ‘Masterjee’, Pandit Sopori was an instrumental force behind the growth of Hindustani classical music in the state. His strength included Sitar, Santoor and Classical vocal. He was hailed as the ‘Father of Indian Classical Music’ in J&K.

He introduced Hindustani Classical music as a subject initially in SP Higher Secondary School for boys.Later, he introduced it in the Girls College at Maulana Azad Road. The initiative paved the way for the musicians to grow and make music a source of livelihood.

During the same period, his pioneering and dedicated efforts flourished music as art and helped musicians getting a prestigious status in the state. He also started ‘Sangeet Mahavidyalaya’, the school of Indian Classical music and Dance. The institute was the main institution for holding Hindustani Classical music and Dance concerts regularly in J&K.

Pandit 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.

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

It is said that Pandit Sopori would ensure that anyone who would meet him would learn a line or a verse of a Raag or Ghazal. His punchline would be “Sur Lagaoo” (sing a note). His students found in him their affectionate and loving teacher.

His legacy is carried forward by his son Pandit Bhajan Sopori and grandson, Abhay Rustum Sopori.

– Riyaz ul Khaliq

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