Rahul Sharma (musician)

Rahul Sharma (born 25 September 1972) is an Indian music director and Indian classical santoor player. The santoor is a folk instrument.[1]

Rahul Sharma
Sharma in santoor concert at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, July 2016.
Sharma in santoor concert at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, July 2016.
Background information
Born (1972-09-25) 25 September 1972 (age 50)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
GenresIndian classical music
Occupation(s)music director, Santoor player
Years active1996–present

Early lifeEdit

Rahul Sharma was born in Mumbai to the Dogra family of Santoor player Pt. Shivkumar Sharma and Manorama, from a family steeped in the tradition of Jammu and Kashmir. His grandfather, Uma Dutt Sharma,[2] was a santoor player. Married to his sweetheart Barkha Sharma in 2009. The couple have a son named Abhinav born on 17 June 2014.[3]

Sharma in Pune "2012"
Rahul Sharma performing in Delhi in 2011


Rahul started playing the harmonium at an early age. Learning the santoor at age 13, he wasn't completely sure of pursuing music until he turned 17. After studying economics at Mumbai's Mithibai College, Rahul Sharma began performing with his father. He started accompanying him in concerts in 1996, at the age of 24.[4]

At the age of 22, Sharma was signed by Peter Gabriel to perform at WOMAD and at the Darbar festival.[5]

Having learnt from his father Shivkumar Sharma, Rahul has taken the santoor into world music with various collaborations, including Namaste India.

Rahul and American saxophonist Kenny G's album reached #2 on Billboard world charts and #4 on Board Smooth jazz charts.[6]

Rahul also collaborated with Grammy-winning electronica group Deep Forest, founded by Eric Miquet on 10 tracks which combined Indian folk and santoor with electronica.[7]

Rahul has also experimented by taking the santoor into the rock genre with his album The Rebel.

Rahul Sharma has been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award.[8]

He has released several CDs, some solo and some with his father. He has collaborated with international musicians such as pianist Richard Clayderman and keyboardist Kersi Lord.[9] The Confluence (2002) has mostly Indian titles, six of which were composed by Rahul himself. He provided the music for the Hindi feature film Mujhse Dosti Karoge, for which he received the award in the "Best Debut - Music Director" category at the 2002 ZEE Bollywood Music Awards. Time Traveler, which has been described as New Age, was released on 10 March 2006. Amitabh Bachchan is the singer of Rahul's latest composition titled ‘ Jai Hanuman’ from Kunal Kohli's web series Ramyug on MX player Feat - Ustad Zakir Hussain.[10][11]

He also collaborated with such musicians as Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, Mickey Hart, George Harrison, Yo Yo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Pharoah Sanders, and the Kodo Drummers.[12]

During the Royal visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton, Rahul Sharma and his wife had played various songs by The Beatles, including "Norwegian Wood", "O Sweet Lord" and "Let It Be".[13]

In 2019, he and his father along with Yogesh Samsi had performed at the Barbican Centre.[5]

Rahul Sharma has more than 60 Albums to his credit[14]

Awards and accoladesEdit

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (2011)[15]
  • MTV IMMIES Best Instrumental Album - ZEN 2001 [16]


  1. ^ "Santoor comes of age, courtesy Pandit Shivkumar Sharma". Indian Express. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  2. ^ Gilbert, Andrew (16 November 2007). "Masters of the East come West". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  3. ^ Chatterjee, Arundhati (4 August 2016). "Meet santoor player Rahul Sharma". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  4. ^ Pradeep Thakur. Indian Music Masters of Our Times- I. Pradeep Thakur & Sons. p. 198. ISBN 978-81-908705-6-6.
  5. ^ a b "Budhaditya Mukherjee + Shivkumar & Rahul Sharma". Darbar Festival. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  6. ^ Debarati S Sen (14 July 2012). "The single, Namaste, topping charts". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Rahul Sharma and Deep Forest collaborate for Deep India". The Times of India. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi awards conferred". The Hindu. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  9. ^ Rodericks, Lionel (10 November 2008). "Stepping into father's shoes". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  10. ^ IndiaTimes, TimesofIndia. "Rahul Sharma to debut as a singer in Kunal Kohli's next". Times of India - India Times. Debarati S Sen. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  11. ^ Music, Mad 4. "Jai Hanuman : Amitabh Bachchan Ft Zakir Hussain & Rahul Sharma, Ramyug, New Hanuman Song 2021". Youtube. Mad 4 Music. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Zakir Hussain and Rahul Sharma". Wisconsin Union. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  13. ^ Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari (14 April 2016). "I played The Beatles on the santoor for the royal couple : Rahul Sharma". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  14. ^ express, newindian. "Rahul Sharma: The wandering minstrel fuses rock and classical". newindianexpress. Vinita Tiwari. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Rahul Sharma". Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  16. ^ unplugged, music. "Banyan Tree brings its 'Milan' festival with Deep Forest' Eric Mouquet and Santoor Maestro Rahul Sharma". Musicunplugged. editor. Retrieved 7 May 2021.

External linksEdit