Santoor player Rahul Sharma, son of the Indian musician Pandit Shivkumar Sharma
Santoor player Rahul Sharma, son of the Indian musician Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Image Credit: Supplied

In the mood for a santoor recital, the instrument synonymous with snow, the Himalayan peaks and pristine waterways?

Santoor maestro Rahul Sharma, the son of Shivkumar Sharma — who’s credited with bringing the instrument to mainstream Indian classical music — is set to perform in Dubai.

‘Swaralaya  Symphony On Strings’ will feature the young musician, with percussion by the tabla exponent Mukundraj Deo, Avinash Chandrachud on the keyboard and Barkha Rahul on the tampura.

The much-feted Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, was also behind Call of the Valley, ranked among Indian classical music’s largest selling albums. He was the recipient of India’s Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his achievements in music; and the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan — India’s fourth- and third-highest civilian honours. Sharma, along with the flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, composed music for yesteryear Bollywood classics like ‘Silsila’. Shivkumar Sharma died in May last year at the age of 84.

A chip of the old block, Rahul Sharma, who learnt music from his father, is also an expert Santoor exponent. He has collaborated with global musicians, including the saxophonist Kenny G, for an album that reached #2 on the Billboard world charts and #4 on the Board Smooth jazz charts. Other musicians that Sharma has collaborated with include the Indian tabla legend Zakir Hussain, the world-renowned pianist Richard Clayderman, John McLaughlin, among others. He has performed at the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival in the UK, as well as the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Rahul Sharma has also composed for Bollywood movies, including the 2002 hit ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’.

“We’re privileged to host this heartfelt tribute to one of the most influential and distinguished figures in Indian music,” the concert’s organiser Jyoti Easwaran said in a statement. “Exactly one year since the day of tragic passing, we aim to honour the treasured memory of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and keep his memory alive in the hearts of music lovers.”

The concert will be held at the Emirates Theatre in Jumeirah, Dubai, on Sunday, May 7. Gates open at 7pm, while the concert will start 30 minutes later.

Tickets for the event are available online on, under various categories and start at Dh50. Silver tickets are available at Dh100, gold tickets at Dh150 and platinum tickets at Dh200.