Pandit Bhajan Sopori
Santoor and Bhajan Sopori are synonymous. Born in a family of musicians of 'Sufiana Gharana' of Kashmir, Pandit Bhajan Sopori, the Legendary Santoor maestro and Music Composer has been the pioneer in bringing Santoor on National and International platforms at par with Sitar and Sarod in Tantrakari and boles and giving it the honour and prestige of a complete concert instrument. Rendition of Dhrupad Ang on Santoor with the accompaniment of Pakhawaj, attaching Tumba (Gaud), introducing 'Meend' and 'Glides', 'Gamak', balancing of Kalam (strikers) with boles, etc. are also a part of his innovations combining to form a style of playing Santoor known as 'Sopori Baaj' (style) for which he is hailed as the "Saint of Santoor" and the "King of Strings".Pandit Bhajan Sopori was initiated into Santoor playing by his Grand father Pandit S.C. Sopori and later by his father Pandit S.N. Sopori, the veteran musician of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, under whom he had rigorous training that provided him a strong traditional base of Raga-Sangeet combining both the Gayaki and Tantrakari styles in his instrument. His recitals demonstrate a high technical virtuosity. His intricate legendary Layakari, Chandhkari and speedy Taan patterns running through three octaves and melodious Alaap leave a scintillating effect on the listeners.A highly learned person, Pandit Bhajan Sopori did his Masters both in Santoor and Sitar besides having Masters degree in English literature. He also studied Western Classical Music at the Washington University, USA.
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