Pandit Bhajan Sopori Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Death Cause: Colon Cancer
Death Date: 02/06/2022
Hometown: Jammu And Kashmir

Full name Bhajan Lal Sopori [1]Zee News
Names Earned • Saint of Santoor
• King of Strings [2]Business Today
Profession Santoor Player
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.) in centimeters– 173 cm
in meters– 1.73 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 8”
Eye Colour Hazel Brown
Hair Colour Black
Gharana Sufiana Gharana
Awards, Honours • Maharajah Travancore Swati Tirunal Puraskar 2019, Kerala
• Sangeet Ratna Srijan Shikhar Samman 2019, Delhi
• Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) 2018 by Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
• Atal Bihari Vajpayee National Award 2018, Delhi
• Sathkalarathna Puraskar 2018, Sathkalapeetam, Payyanur, Kerala
• Ustad Bale Khan Memorial Award 2018, Bengaluru
• Distinguished Service Award 2018 by Delhi Govt, MTNL, NDMC & Health Care • Foundation of India), Talkatora Stadium, Delhi
• Pandit Ramji Upadhyay Lifetime Achievement Award 2018, Delhi
• PHD Art & Culture Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2018, Delhi
• Sangam National Award 2018, Delhi
• Shanti Devi Gangani Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2018, Delhi
• Shudh Dhwani Samman 2018, Delhi
• Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) 2017 by Hindustani Art & Music Society, Kolkata
• Swati Tirunal Award 2017, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
• Upendra Bhanja Samman 2017, Delhi
• Munnu Guru Sangeet Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2017, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
• Kashmir Music Club Shashrang Award 2017, Kashmir, J&K
• Himalayan Cultural Centre Award 2017, Delhi
• Ustad Hafeez Khan & Ustad Basheer Khan Award 2017, Delhi
• Dhrupad Shri (Title Honour) 2016, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
• J&K Government Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 by Govt. of J&K, Srinagar, J&K
• Baramulla District Administration Award of Honour 2016, Govt. of J&K, Baramulla, Kashmir, J&K
• Baramulla District Administration Award of Honour 2016, Govt. of J&K, Sopore, Kashmir, J&K
• Rotary Sur Samrat Sangeet Ratna Samman 2016, Delhi
• Maraz Abdi Sangam Award 2016, Kashmir, J&K
• Sangeet Martand Samman (Title Honour) 2015, Delhi
• Pride of India Lifetime Achievement Award 2015, Delhi
• 31st S Radhakrishnan Memorial National Teacher and Media Award 2015, Delhi
• Atal Bihari Media Excellence Award 2015, Delhi
• Atal Vaibhav Shikhar Samman 2015, Delhi
• DAV Distinguished Alumni Award 2015, Delhi
• Sangeet Vibhuti Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2015, Jaipur, Rajasthan
• Global Literary Festival Honour 2015, Delhi
• Sargam Mandir Swaran Jayanti Samman 2014, Delhi
• Sangeet Shiromani Award 2014, Delhi
• P Jhunjhunwala XXIV National Excellence Award 2014, Delhi
• Art Karat Award 2014, Delhi
• Indian Fine Arts Society Award 2013, Kingdom of Bahrain
• Pracheen Kala Kendra – Koser Award 2013, Chandigarh
• Delhi Ratna Award 2013, Delhi
• National Award by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh (Ustad Latif Khan Samman) 2012, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
• 19th Blockbuster Sur Aradhana Sangeet Ratan Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2012, Delhi
• KECSS Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2012, Delhi
• Best Citizens of India Award 2011, Delhi
• Rajiv Gandhi Pratishta Samman 2011, Delhi
• S. Agarwal Award 2010, Kolkata
• Ustad Ashique Ali Khan Sangeet Bhushan Award 2010, Delhi
• RaagRanjani Sangeet Bhushan Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2010, Delhi
Ninaad Sangeet Kala Ratna Samman 2010, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
• N. Mathur Smiriti Kumbh Award 2010, Udaipur, Rajasthan
• Naad Chetanya Samman 2010, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
• RAWA (Renaissance Artists & Writers Association) Award 2010, Delhi
• Baba Allauddin Khan Award 2009, Delhi
• Ustad Chand Khan Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2009, Delhi
• Srijan Cultural & Social Development Award 2009, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
• Maa Shardey Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2009, Ajmer, Rajasthan
• Ma Sharika Samman 2009, Faridabad, Haryana
• National Dogri Award 2008, Jammu, J&K
• Sumadhur Hansdhwani Samman 2008, Delhi
• J&K Government Civil Award (Highest Civilian Award of J&K) 2007, Srinagar, J&K
• Raag Sagar (Title Honour) 2007, Delhi
• Pandit Gama Maharaj Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2007, Delhi
• Sangeet Vibhuti Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2006, Delhi
• Shree Bhatt Kirti Puraskar (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2004, Delhi
• Akashwani Special Honour 2004, All India Radio, Delhi
• Padma Shri 2004 (4th Highest Civilian Award of India), Delhi
14th Shama Award 2004, Delhi
• Munnu Guru Sangeet Smriti Samman 2004, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
• Kashmir Samiti & KOA Award 2004, Jammu, J&K
• Beenkar Samman (Title Honour) 2003, Kolkata
• Kashmir Overseas Association International Award 2003, Boston, USA
• Celebrate India Award, Denver 2000, USA
• Millennium Delhi Ratna Samman 2000, Delhi
• YMCA Abililty Utsav Award 2000, Delhi
• Radio Kashmir Srinagar (All India Radio) Golden Jubilee Award 1998, Kashmir, J&K
• National Shiromani Award 1996, Delhi
• Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 1993 (Highest Performing Arts Award of India), Delhi
• Delhi Telugu Academy Award 1993, Delhi
• Sharda Samman 1993, Delhi
• Distinguished Leadership Award 1993, USA
• Kala Snehi Samman 1993, Delhi
• Punjab Sakha Award 1992, Delhi
• Kala Yogi Award (Title Honour) 1991, Mumbai
• Abhinav Kala Samman 1988, Bhopal
• National Flag Honour of the Arab Republic of Egypt 1986, Egypt
• Ismailia International Folklore Festival Award 1986, Arab Republic of Egypt
• Akashwani Annual Award 1985 for Compositional work by All India Radio, Delhi
• Akashwani Annual Award 1984 for Compositional work by All India Radio, Delhi
• Akashwani Annual Award 1983 for Compositional work by All India Radio, Delhi
• Akashwani Annual Award 1979 for Compositional work by All India Radio, Delhi
• 1st Prize in State Music Competition 1963 (Santoor) by J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar, J&K

Note: He has many more accolades to his name.

Personal Life
Date of Birth 22 June 1948 (Tuesday)
Birthplace Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Date of Death 2 June 2022
Place of Death Fortis Hospital, Gurugram, Haryana
Age (at the time of death) 73 Years
Death Cause Colon Cancer [3]Business Today
Zodiac sign Cancer
Nationality Indian
Hometown Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, India
College/University Washington University, Washington, US
Educational Qualification(s) • Master in Indian Classical Music (specialisation in Sitar)
• Master in Indian Classical Music (specialisation in Santoor)
• Master in English Literature
• A degree in Western Classical Music at Washington University, Washington, US [4]Business Today
Ethnicity Kashmiri [5]Outlook
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death) Married
Wife/Spouse Professor Aparna Sopori

Children Son(s)– Sorabh Sopori and Abhay Sopori (both are santoor players)

Parents Father– Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori (santoor player)

Mother– Name Not Known

Other Relatives Grandfather- Pandit Samsar Chand Sopori (santoor player)

Some Lesser Known Facts About Pandit Bhajan Sopori

  • Pandit Bhajan Sopori was an Indian santoor maestro, who received many national and international awards. On 2 June 2022, he passed away of prolonged illness due to colon cancer.
  • He belongs to a family of santoor players. He was the eighth generation santoor player in his family.
  • At a very young age, he started his training in playing santoor under his grandfather, Pandit Samsar Chand Sopori Ji, and his father, Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori Ji. When he was 5 years old, he performed for the first time in a public concert. He then performed in various concerts in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • At the age of 10, he performed at a conference in Prayag Sangeet Samiti at the University of Allahabad. His performance at the conference helped in establishing the santoor as a solo instrument on various national and international platforms.
  • Later, he joined All India Radio as a music composer and santoor player. In 1990, he was transferred to All India Radio, New Delhi, and he worked there for almost three years. He then returned to Jammu & Kashmir. In an interview, he shared the reason behind it. He said,

    I was with All India Radio when I was transferred to Delhi in 1990. For three years, no music was produced from the Valley. When I decided to go back, there was not even a tabla player to accompany me. They were so scared (of the terrorists).”

  • He then started working on folk music in Jammu & Kashmir. He promoted folk music among the local people and motivated the youth of Jammu & Kashmir to learn more about the folk music culture. He even composed a collection of prayers and Tarana-e-Watan (patriotic songs) which was choired by more than 8000 school and college students, and the song was sung as a common prayer in the Kashmir valley.

    Pandit Bhajan Sopori’s old phot

  • He was well versed in playing various musical instruments like guitar, mouth organ, and sarod.
  • Apart from playing santoor, he worked as a teacher, writer, and poet.
  • He is the youngest composer who has ever composed for the National Orchestra of India (Vadya Vrinda) (as of 2022). [6]Deccan Herald
  • Pandit Bhajan Sopori composed various ragas such as Laleshwari, Patwanti, and Nirmalkauns.
  • He composed music for more than 6000 songs in various languages like Hindi, Kashmiri, Dogri, Sindhi, Urdu, and Bhojpuri. Some of the Hindi patriotic songs composed by him were ‘Bharat Bharat Hum Iski Santaan,’ ‘Hum Honge Kaamyaab,’ ‘Vande Maataram,’ and ‘Naman Tujhko Mere Bharat.’
  • Pandit Bhajan Sopori recomposed a few Hindi songs like ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna,’ ‘Vijayee Vishwa Tiranga Pyaara,’ ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Jaa,’ and ‘Bharat Ki Beti.’
  • He also composed music for ghazals which is written by the prominent poets Ghalib, Daag, Momin, Bahadur Shah Zafar, and Firakh Gaurakhpuri. Apart from this, he created music for the work of poets-saints Kabir Das and Meera Bai.
  • In 2011, Pandit Sopori started a music academy SaMaPa (Sopori Academy for Music and Performing Arts), New Delhi, to promote Indian classical music. He then started music classes at various prisons in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2012, he started SaMaPa Vitasta Award in which a cash prize of Rs 50,000 was given to the winner.

    Pandit Bhajan Sopori performing in a concert

  • He composed music for various tableaus for various Indian Republic Day Parades. He won the 1st Prize for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tableau (2010).
  • Pandit Bhajan Sopori’s name has been listed in various biographical note volumes in India and abroad. Some of which are Famous India’s Who’s Who, the Asia Pacific Who’s Who, Asian Admirable Achievers, Personality of the Year, and Kohinoor Personalities of Asia.
  • His music has been used as a sound therapy for the recovery of various patients.
  • In 2011, the Indian Postal Department honoured Pandit Bhajan Sopori with a Rs 5 stamp.
  • On 2 June 2022, he passed away after suffering from a prolonged illness due to colon cancer. On his demise, his son said,
    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 last rites were performed at the Lodhi Road crematorium, Delhi.
  • On his demise, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said,
    Very sorry to hear about the tragic demise of Padma Shri Pandit Bhajan Sopori sahib.A great son of the soil, he was a colossus in the world of classical Indian music who made the santoor his own.May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to @abhaysopori  and the rest of his family.”
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↑1 Zee News
↑2, ↑3, ↑4 Business Today
↑5 Outlook
↑6 Deccan Herald

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