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Sitar player Shamboo Nath Sopori dies at 98

Well-known sitar player Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori, father of santoor maestro Bhajan Sopori, passed away here on Wednesday. He was 98.

Popularly known as ‘Masterjee’, he was hailed as the ‘Father of Indian Classical Music’ in Jammu and Kashmir with sitar, santoor and classical Hindustani vocal being his forte.

He had taught more than 35,000 students, including a large number of Kashmiri professional singers and music performers, a statement by the family said.

He initiated the mass popularisation of Indian classical music and practically made J&K a new cultural state. Sopori introduced Hindustani classical music as a subject initially in SP Higher Secondary School for boys and later in the Women’s College in Srinagar.

He had a great command over languages like Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit, Hindi and Kashmiri. Sangeet Maha Vidyalaya, the school purely of Indian classical music and dance that Sopori started in the Valley, was the main institution for holding Hindustani classical music and dance concerts regularly in the state.
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