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Kashmiri Singer Bhajan Sopori
Written By - Team Nettv4u

Pandit Bhajan Sopori, an Indian musician, was born in Srinagar on 22nd June 1948. He specialized in playing Santoor and belonged to a family of Santoor experts. He belonged to the Sufiana Gharana of Indian classical music and gave his first public performance at the age of 5 in 1953. He was the grandson of Pandit Shankar Pandit, who is credited with the development of the ‘Sufi Baaj’ style based on Sufiana Qalam and Hindustani Classical music. He studied Western classical music at Washington University and learned Hindustani from his father, Shambhoo Nath, and grandpa, S.C. Sopori. Sopori taught music at the US-based Washington University. His performances have been broadcast in India, where they have been viewed by both Indian cultural organizations as well as people in Belgium, Egypt, England, Germany, Norway, Syria, and the United States. 

Sopori was also considered the cultural link between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India. He ran his personal academy called SaMaPa (Sopori Academy for Music and Performing Arts). The institution has actively promoted Indian classical music. It continues to promote music among prisoners with the intention to use music to heal the convicts and build an emotional connection between society and them. The academy has taught music to many people and revived vintage instruments. In 2011, the state government awarded the institution with the Dogri Award. The SaMaPa awards for contributions to the musical arts were introduced in 2015 by Bhajan Sopori.

Sopori, known as the ‘King of Strings’ and the ‘Saint of the Santoor,’ received the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992. In 2009, he received the Baba Allaudin Khan Award, and in 2011, he received the M N Mathur Award for his contributions to Indian classical music. Sopori composed the music for more than 6000 songs in numerous languages and dialects, including Persian, Arabic, Kashmiri, Dogri, Sindhi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Himachali, Rajasthani, Telegu, Tamil, etc. His work appeared in movies, ads, documentaries, serials, operas, and choirs, among other things. He passed away of colon cancer in Gurugram on 2nd June 2022 at the age of 73.