Bhajan Sopori

Last updated

Bhajan Sopori
Lange Nacht der Musik 2013 - Bhajan Sopori - 6.jpg
Bhajan Sopori
Background information
Birth nameBhajan Lal Sopori
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Origin Kashmiri
Genres Hindustani classical music and Sufyana Musiqi

Bhajan Sopori (born 1948 in Srinagar, Kashmir) [1] is an Indian instrumentalist. He is a player of the santoor, an ancient stringed musical instrument. [2] On the occasion of 67th Indian Republic Day 2016, Pandit Bhajan Sopori was accorded Jammu and Kashmir State lifetime achievement award. [3]


Personal life

Sopori hails from Sopore in Kashmir Valley and traces his lineage to ancient Santoor experts. He belongs to the Sufiana gharana of Indian classical music. [4] His family has played santoor for over six generations. [5] His first public performance was at a conference organised by Prayag Sangeet Samiti & the University of Allahabad when he was 10 years old. [4] Sopori's son Abhay Rustum Sopori is also a santoor player.


Sopori gave his first public performance in 1953, at the age of five. He learned western classical music from Washington University & Hindustani from his grandfather S.C. Sopori and Father Shambhoo Nath [6] Sopori has taught music at Washington University, US. His performances have been broadcast in India and seen by both cultural associations there and by audiences in countries such as Belgium, Egypt, England, Germany, Norway, Syria and the USA. [4] Sopori stated that "he worked with All India Radio in 1990, when he was transferred to Delhi." & that "no music was produced from the valley. There was not even a tabla player to accompany him" when he returned.[ citation needed ]

Music Academy, SaMaPa

Pandit Sopori, considered as the cultural link between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of India, also runs a music academy called SaMaPa (Sopori Academy for Music and Performing Arts), which is actively involved in promoting Indian classical music. [7] SaMaPa is involved in promoting music with jail inmates, with the objective of using music for healing the prisoners and creating an emotional bond between the society & the prisoners. [8] The academy has trained several musicians and revived old instruments. It was presented the state government dogri award in 2011. [9] Bhajan Sopori, in 2015, announced the SaMaPa awards for contribution to the field of music. [10]


Sopori was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992 [11] and the Padma Shri in 2004. [12] In 2009 he was honoured with the Baba Allaudin Khan Award. [13] He was also awarded the M N Mathur award in 2011 for his contribution to Indian classical music. [14] Jammu and Kashmir State lifetime achievement award [3]

Related Research Articles

Rahul Sharma (musician)

Rahul Sharma is an Indian music director and Indian classical santoor player. The santoor is a folk instrument.

Shivkumar Sharma Indian classical musician

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is an Indian music composer and Santoor player from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Santoor is a folk instrument.

Music of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Music of Jammu and Kashmir

Music of Jammu and Kashmir reflects a rich musical heritage and cultural legacy of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Two different regions of Jammu and Kashmir, consists upper Jammu Division and Kashmir Valley. Music of Kashmir Valley is closer to Central Asian music while music from Jammu region is similar to that of North India.

Ajoy Chakrabarty Indian classical vocalist

Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty is an Indian Hindustani classical vocalist, composer, lyricist and Gurudev. He is considered to be one of the proverbial figures of Indian classical music. He has also dominated for other major classical genres of India especially - Indore, Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Agra, Kirana, Rampur and even Carnatic music in South India. He was given Padma Bhushan Award, the third highest civilian award in India in 2020.

Girija Devi Indian classical singer

Girija Devi was an Indian classical singer of the Seniya and Banaras gharanas. She performed classical and light classical music and helped elevate the profile of thumri. She died on 24 October 2017.

Vasantrao Deshpande Indian classical singer

Vasantrao Deshpande was a Hindustani classical vocalist renowned for his contribution to natya sangeet

Lachhu Maharaj

Pandit Lachhu Maharaj (1901–1978) was an Indian classical dancer and choreographer of Kathak. He came from a family of illustrious Kathak exponents in Lucknow, and also worked as film choreographer, Hindi cinema, most notably Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and Pakeezah (1972). He was awarded the 1957 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest award for performing artists, conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.

Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas is an Indian Hindustani vocalist, and a contemporary exponent of the Paluskar style of North Indian classical singing. He belongs to the Gwalior gharana and the lineage of Sangeet Maharshi Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar contributed to his background. He is considered a maestro with this creative thinking, artistic approach and aesthetic research in the gharana gayaki with his arduous riyaz.

Chintaman Raghunath Vyas, popularly known as C. R. Vyas, was an Indian classical singer. He was known for singing khyal style.

N. Rajam Indian musician

N. Rajam is an Indian violinist who performs Hindustani classical music. She remained professor of Music at Banaras Hindu University, eventually became head of the department and the dean of the Faculty of Performing Arts of the University.

Brij Bhushan Kabra

Brij Bhushan Kabra was an Indian musician who popularized the guitar as an instrument in Indian classical music.

Sumati Mutatkar was an Indian classical music vocalist and musicologist from the Agra gharana of Hindustani classical music, and a Professor of Department of Music in University of Delhi.

Pandit Raghunath Seth was a noted Indian exponent of Hindustani classical music through the medium of Bansuri, or bamboo flute; he was also a noted film score composer. He has received Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1994, given by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.

Suresh Talwalkar Indian musician (born 1948)

Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar is an Indian musician who plays the percussion instrument tabla.

Siyaram Tiwari (musician) Indian classical singer (1919-1998)

Pandit Siyaram Tiwari was an Indian classical singer and leading exponent of Dhrupad-genre of Hindustani classical music. He belonged to the Darbhanga gharana and was based in Patna. Though Darbhaga gharam is known for its laykari techniques, he was the first exponent of the gharana to promote fast-paced laykari in Dhrupad, which developed in the second half of 20th-century.

Abhay Sopori

Abhay Rustum Sopori is an Indian Santoor player, music composer and conductor. He is the son of Santoor virtuoso and composer Pandit Bhajan Sopori. Known for his versatility, innovations and experimentation, Abhay is the youngest classical musician to compose and conduct orchestras, choral presentations, Sufi and folk music ensembles, and has also been the youngest recipient of almost all the awards that he has received in recognition of his outstanding contribution and achievements in the field of music.

Shanno Khurana

Shanno Khurana is a noted Indian classical vocalist and composer, from the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of Hindustani classical music. A disciple of the doyen of the gharana, Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan, she is known for performing rare bandish and raag, though her singing style includes genres like khayal, tarana, thumri, dadra, tappa, to chaiti and bhajan. Born and brought up in Jodhpur, she started singing on All India Radio in 1945 in Lahore, later shifted to Delhi, where she continued her singing on All India Radio, Delhi and in concerts and music festivals. She also pursued music education, finally earning her M. Phil. and PhD in music from the Kairagarh University, and has undertakes extensive research on folk music of Rajasthan.

Meeta Pandit

Dr. Meeta Pandit is a Hindustani Classical vocalist and a leading exponent of the Gwalior Gharana. She is the granddaughter and disciple of Krishnarao Shankar Pandit and daughter of Laxman Krishnarao Pandit. She is the sixth in the unbroken lineage and the first woman in the family to have taken up music as a profession.

Pandit Damodar Keshav Datar, popular as D. K. Datar, was an Indian violinist. He was born in Kurundwad, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra. His brother Narayanrao introduced him to music and he took early lessons in violin from Pandit Vighneshwar Shastri, who used to teach at the Deodhar School of Indian Music, Mumbai. Datar completed his Bachelor's Degree but took music as full time profession. He was nephew of Hindustani classical vocalist D. V. Paluskar, under whom he later on studied music. Influenced by Paluskar, Datar adjusted his violin playing technique to vocal dominated style and played violin according to the khyal style of Gwalior gharana. Apart from khyal, he popularly also played on bhajan, thumri and natya sangeet styles. Among various countries, he toured Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan. He was also employed by Films Division of India and regularly provided background score for various documentary films. He received Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Hindustani Music in 1995 and in 2004 was conferred with Padma Shri, India's 4th highest civilian honour. he died on 10 October 2018 of old age at his residing home in Goregaon, Mumbai.

Radhavallabh Chaturvedi Indian Classical Singer and Composer (1917 – 1974)

Pandit Radhavallabh Chaturvedi was an Indian singer, music composer of Hindustani classical music, scholar and conservator. His repertoire includes the genres of khyal, Dadra, thumri, Dhrupad, Tappa and Tarana.


  1. "Bhajan Sopori". Indian Arts. 24 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  2. "Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards – Hindustani Music – Instrumental". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  3. 1 2 "State awards for Jammu and Kashmir announced". Only Kashmir. 26 January 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "Bhajan Lal Sopori". Planet Radio City. 24 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010.
  5. "Santoor Player Abhay Rustom Sopori plays tomorrow". Mumbai Mirror. 26 February 2011. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013.
  6. Thiyyadi, Sreevalsan (22 November 2017). "How all did the Soporis improvise on their 'Folk' instrument". Outlook India. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. "J&K to be Cultural Capital of the country". Ground report. 5 February 2012. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  8. "SaMaPa to start music classes in Jails in J&K". Deccan Herald. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  9. "Trinidad envoy jams with Kashmiri Sufi band". Thaindian. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  10. "Santoor Maestro Bhajan Sopori announces SaMaPa awards". Indian Express. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  11. "Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards – Hindustani Music – Instrumental". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  12. "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  13. "Pandit Bhajan Sopori awarded again". Indian Express. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  14. "Bhajan Sopori gets M N Mathur Award". Early Times. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2020.