THE INDIAN classical music scenario has had many legends, but very few who turn down lucrative offers in favour of simple concerts just to establish a musical instrument among the masses.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is one such person. Panditji refused offers to compose music for legendary V Shantaram’s films way back in 1960s just to make Santoor a well-known and established instrument in India. In times when most celebrities hanker after endorsements and film offers, Pandit Sharma feels that it all depends on the balance one is able to strike.
Speaking to Hindustan Times during his visit to the City to perform at Idea Jalsa slated for Sunday, Pandit Sharma said that it was not wrong to compose music for films provided that priorities for classical music do not change and riyaaz is not affected.
A strong believer in Guru-Shishya tradition, Pandit Sharma said that music is completely a ‘Gurumukhi Vidya’ (art that can be learnt only from a guru). In his words, it is the Guru who decides whether a student has the potential to become a performing artiste or not. The Guru even decides the right time for a student to begin stage performances, said Pandit Sharma.
Is the classical scenario in India losing its glory? Not at all, said Pandit Sharma, and added that it is only because the electronic media shows more of film songs and pop music that the people have come to believe that classical music is
becoming rare. In fact, all decades-old classical music festivals like ‘Savai Gandharv’ in Pune and ‘Arvallabh’ in Punjab still get large audiences, he added.
This legendary artist remarked that the newer forms of music are discussed by every second person and are hence considered to be popular. He went on to say that those who really understand classical music alone could discuss it and this accounts for the notion that it had become less popular.
Pandit ji concluded with a thought that he never forgets to pass on to his disciples: To learn music and perform it successfully one needs to be patient, dedicated and most of all humble in order to keep all praise in the heart and never let it get into the head.