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Santoor Maestro Bhajan Sopori Dies in Gurugram Hospital

Within one week, the music industry suffered a huge blow as it lost prominent artists. After Sidhu Moose Wala and singer KK’s death, Santoor maestro Bhajan Sopori passed away on Thursday, June 2. According to a report in PTI, Bhajan Sopori, 73, passed away at a Gurugram hospital following a battle with colon cancer.

“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 son Abhay told PTI.

The last rites will be held at the Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi. Sopori received multiple awards throughout his career, including the Padma Shri in 2004, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992 and the Jammu and Kashmir State Lifetime Achievement Award, Sopori learnt western classical music from Washington University and Hindustani music from his father and grandfather.

Pandit Bhajan Sopori is regarded as the cultural link between Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of the country. He is also known as the Saint of the Santoor and the King of Strings.

He has several awards to his name including the prestigious Padmashri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, J&K Government Lifetime Achievement Award, J&K Government Civilian Award, Doctorate of Literature by Utkal University (Odisha), National Flag Honour of the Arab Republic of Egypt, among others.

Bhajan Sopori is survived by his wife and two sons Sorabh and Abhay, who also play santoor. “We lost a really great musician, a great human being and a great father. It’s really hard for me to believe this and imagine my life without him,” Abhay Sopori told Indian Express.

(With PTI inputs)

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