Pandit Shivkumar Shukla was born in 1918 in Gondal, a tiny princely state, near Rajkot in Gujarat. He loved music from childhood and started his initial training in music when he was only 9 years old under the guidance of Pandit Baburao Gokhale of Mumbai. Pleased with his progress in short span of 7 years, the Maharaja of Gondal appointed him as the court Musician of Gondal state in 1934, when Shivkumarji was barely 16 years old. Shivkumarji however, preferred to pursue the study of music under Pandit Omkarnath Thakur and in 1935 he relinquished his post at the royal court.
Shivkumar`s extraordinary performance at a concert in Karachi in 1936 impressed Pandit Omkarnath Thakur so much that he honoured Shivkumarji with the title `Sangeet Rasraj`. Shivkumarji had, in the meantime, commenced performing on All India Radio since 1932.
In 1941, when Shivkumar came to Mumbai, he heard Ustad Aman Ali Khan and was so influenced by that novel style, that he became a disciple of Ustad Aman Ali Khan. Within a few years he mastered the style and came to be known as the leading singer of Bhendi Bazaar Gayaki. Being a reclusive person, Ustad Aman Ali Khan rarely sang in any public concerts. However, Pandit Shivkumar Shukla sang in many conferences all over India. After the death of Ustad Aman Ali Khan in 1953, AIR wanted to broadcast a recording of Ustad Aman Ali Khan. Since such a recording was not available, Pandit Shukla received the honour of performing at the memorial programmes as the foremost disciple of Ustad Aman Ali Khan.
In 1951, he was invited to teach as Professor of Music, in the college of Indian Music, Dance and Dramatics under Maharaja Sayajirao University at Vadodara. At the pinnacle of his performing career in 1960, his voice suffered a serious setback. This prompted him to concentrate only on teaching music. He retired from service in 1978 as Principal, Faculty of Performing Arts. His leading disciples are the late Dayanand Dev Gandharva, Bipin Patel, Sangeeta Pandharpurkar, Indira Thapa, Late Anil Vaishnav, Mukund Vyas, Vasanti Sathe, Prof. Dwarakanath Bhosale, Suresh Trivedi, his daughters Kiran and Neelam Shukla, Prof. Ishwar Chandra Pandit, and Mitali (Mukherjee) Singh.
Pandit Shivkumar Shukla devoted his life to classical Music, following the footsteps of his Guru, Ustad Aman Ali Khan. For his contribution to music, Pandit Shivkumar Shukla received many prominent honours, including an award and medal from the Government of India in 1951 at the hands of the 1st President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the Gujarat Rajya Sangeet Academy Puraskar (1971), the ITC Award (1980), the Gujarat State Pandit Omkarnath Puraskar (1990-91) and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (1992).
Pandit Shivkumar Shukla died on December 31, 1998