Classical musician of Hindustani classical music and the master of Santoor
Rahul Sharma is an Indian classical musician of Hindustani classical music. He plays santoor and is also a vocalist. Rahul Sharma was born in Mumbai to the Dogra Brahman family of santoor player Shivkumar Sharma and Manorama, from a family steeped in the tradition of Jammu and Kashmir. He was named Rahul after musician Rahul Dev Burman by his father.
Rahul started playing the harmonium at an early age. Learning the santoor at age of 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.
Rahul sharma plays the 100 stringed Kashmiri santoor. Having learnt from his father and Guru Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Rahul has taken the santoor into world music with various collaborations. Having done around 60 albums, in various genres some of Rahul's important collaborations are NAMASTE INDIA with Grammy Award-winning American Saxophonist Kenny G.
He followed in his father's footsteps in taking the sounds of Indian classical music with his santoor to the world stage - and even added a foreign flavour to his work by blending the country's folk music with western rhythms. Rahul and KennyG's album reached #2 on Billboard world charts and #4 on Board Smooth Jazz Charts.
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. He has also experimented by taking the santoor into the Rock Genre with his album “The Rebel”.
Rahul Sharma says "It's a misconception that if you don't understand classical music you cannot enjoy it. This is not true. Today I see several youngsters at my concerts. I guess when they see a younger artist who has the potential to be an icon; a
connection is made with the younger listener”.
Rahul Sharma has consciously decided not to be on any of the social networking platforms — Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. He doesn’t see the point in constantly checking notifications and scrolling down the same newsfeed hundreds of times in a day. However, he finds peace in nature, and says he has trekked and hiked to every nook and corner of Maharashtra. “I make sure I explore cities on foot, wherever I am performing” he adds.
Rahul Sharma has been awarded The SANGEET NATAK ACADEMI Award (Bismillah Khan yuva puruskar) for Hindustani instrumental music. Rahul has performed in North America and throughout Europe, and at various folk and world music festivals.
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. The Confluence (2002) has mostly Indian titles, six of which were composed by Rahul Sharma 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. His last album Time Traveler, which has been described as New Age, was released 2006.
Rahul, who endorses a premium tea brand (TAJ MAHAL) that has been synonymous with classical music, became part of a 14-hour-long music concert in Mumbai with sitarist Shahid Parvez and djembe player Taufiq Qureshi along with other artistes to celebrate the brand's golden jubilee.
His grandfather, Uma Dutt Sharma, was also a master of the santoor. Rahul was married to Barkha in 2009 and the couple has a son named Abhinav.