Tribute to a Maestro
Born on August 28, 1942, Sohanlal Sharma was initially tutored by his musician father, the Late Pandit Narayan Prasad in a musical ambience at home. He later enriched himself through effective talim from the late Laxman Prasad Jaipurwalle and also from the Late Ustad Aminuddin Khan Dagar and went on to achieve immeasurable heights of esteem. His relentless efforts in his field enabled him not only to contribute priceless improvisation to the genre but also to add to the grandeur of Bharatiya Shastriya Sangeet.
He gave the art of Harmonium Playing a new dimension by incorporating into it the different melodies of Sitar, Sarod, Shehnai and Violin and his rendering of ‘Sruti’. ‘Gamak’ and ‘Mir’ in the instrument, a mammoth task, was widely hailed for his wizardry. Pandit Sohanlal Sharma accompanied almost all the leading vocal artist of eminence for the last forty-five years, including the likes of Pandit Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Pandit Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, Vidushi Gangubai Hangal, Ustad Amir Khan Saheb, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit A Kanan, Vidushi Shipra Bose and many others.
His solo recitals mesmerized audiences at home and abroad and he also performed several ‘Jugalbandis’ with such great artists as Pandit V G Jog, Sri Indranil Bhattacharya, Pandit Manilal Nag, Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan and others. His death on 25th May 2012 was an irreparable loss to the world of Hindustani Classical Music. The following clip is an excerpt of his performance at ITC Sangeet Research Academy, where he was accompanied on the tabla by Pandit Ananda Gopal Bandopadhyay