NEW DELHI – Santoor player and renowned music composer Pandit Bhajan Sopori died on Thursday. He was 74. The Padma Shri awardee, who hailed from Kashmir, was undergoing treatment at Fortis Hospital in Gurugram. His last rites will be held at the Lodhi Road crematorium in Delhi on Friday. Sopori is survived by his wife and two sons – Abhay, who also plays santoor, and Sorabh.
He was diagnosed with colon cancer last year in June. We admitted him to Fortis, Gurugram, three weeks back for immunotherapy treatment. It didn’t work for him and his health deteriorated,” his son Abhay said.
Sopori received multiple awards through his career, including the Padma Shri in 2004, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992 and the Jammu and Kashmir State Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Sopori learnt western classical music from Washington University and Hindustani music from his father and grandfather.
Many on Twitter paid their tribute to the late musician. “Santoor maestro Pandit Bhajan Sopori is no more.. He was a great musician and a great human being. This is a personal loss. May his soul rest in peace. Om shanti #EndOfAnEra,” wrote a user.
Another person tweeted, “Anguished to learn about the demise of Santoor maestro & music composer Pandit Bhajan Sopori Sahab. He dedicated his life in the service of music & made lasting contributions to Indian classical music. His timeless creations mesmerised millions of hearts. My deepest condolences!”
One more person tweeted, “What is this year. Pandit Ji was family. This loss is personal. But beyond personal loss, this is a huge loss for music world. Pandit Bhajan Sopori, renowned Santoor player also revolutionised Kashmiri folk and ghazal singing. His compositions are timeless.”
In May, the legendary musician and santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma had died due to a cardiac arrest. Singer Lata Mangeshkar and music composer Bappi Lahiri also died in 2022. Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala died last week, while playback singer KK died this Tuesday.