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Abhay Rustum Sopori 

‘Santoor Player and Music Composer’

Born at Srinagar, Abhay Rustum Sopori is the son of the Legendary musician Pandit Bhajan Sopori.

Born in a musical environment and spiritual surroundings, Abhay has been learning instrumental and vocal music both from his Grandfather Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori and his illustrious father. Abhay has a profound sense of music that he has inherited from his traditional Sufiana Gharana, under the Guru-Shishy Parampara, with its roots of Santoor playing of more than 150 years. He has also learned Western Classical Music providing him a base for systematic compositional work. 

Abhay’s debut as a Santoor player in 1997 in a prestigious concert in Delhi was very well received by the music lovers. Since then he has been performing on the national and international platforms. He has performed in countries like USA, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, etc. 

He has participated in some of the very prestigious music festivals of India and abroad prominent being ‘Asian Music Festival-2002’, ‘Sankat-Mochan Festival’, ‘Harballabh Sangeet Festival’, ‘Indira Gandhi Memorial Concert Series’, ‘Basant Utsav-Kolkata’, ‘NDMC Morning Raga Concert Series’, ‘Spic-Macay Concerts’, ‘International Doctors Meet at AIIMS - Delhi’, ‘Sharadh Purnima Sangeet Mahotsava’, ‘Raag-Tarang Festival’, ‘Bandra Festival’, ‘Pranav Sangeet Samaroh’, ‘Salt Lake Festival’, ‘Arpan-2004’, etc 

Abhay’s performances demonstrate a keen sense of Gayaki (Vocal) and Tantrakari (Instrumental) techniques, which is the essence of his Baaj (style). Performing along with the accompaniment of Pakhawaj is also a special characteristic of his Baaj. Another remarkable and unique quality of his presentation is that he sings the composition along with its instrumental rendering. Some of the great asserts of his playing are clarity of notes, Melodious Sequence of Notes, Lightning Tempo and his dedication and zeal for perfection in adapting the Style created by Pt. Bhajan Sopori known as ‘Sopori Baaj’. These include variety of ‘Taan patterns’, ‘Bol Patterns’, ‘Chand Patterns’, ‘Meend’, ‘Gamak’, ‘Glides’, etc. which are the characteristics of the Sopori Baaj.

Abhay has already made some innovations in his Santoor by introducing the ‘Open String concept’ to boost the lower octave of the Santoor and further developing the ‘Been Ang’ on Santoor.

Abhay has also played for the Signature Tune of the ‘Aaj Tak’ News Channel of India.

His concerts have brought him a lot of appreciation by the music connoisseurs and the critics in India and abroad. 

Abhay was given the first prize in the State Music Competition in Srinagar when he was just 10. He also sang as a playback singer in the ‘National Award’ winning Kashmiri feature film ‘Bub’. He has also sung for various Documentaries, Tele-films, Serials, etc. 

Abhay is also an established composer. He has composed music for a no. of serials, documentaries, etc. like ‘Tabla Ka Itihaas’, ‘Guldasta’, ‘Roshni’, ‘Do Sheron Ke Kahani’, ‘Kabir Bani’, etc. Abhay has assisted his father in several Tele-films, Documentaries, Albums, etc. To name a few: ‘Mahamritunjaya’, ‘Durga Kavach’, ‘Surya Upasana’, ‘Kashmir - A Rainbow Of Melodies’ etc. 

At this age only, Abhay has had the privilege to perform with great musicians from India like the legendary Tabla Maestro Pt. Kishan Maharaj, and many more.

Abhay did his schooling from Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. He is a double graduate in ‘Commerce’ from Delhi University and ‘Computer Applications’. 

Website: www.santoor.org

 

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