Rahul Sharma

Profile Image

Rahul Sharma, though born as the son of illustrious santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, did not begin learning the instrument until he was 13. Instead, he started on harmonium, only switching to the hundred-stringed box when he had mastered Hindustani music’s melodic fundamentals. He imbibed his father’s style and has since built on it, taking the santoor to new corners of the world.

After studying economics in Mumbai he decided to pursue a life of full-time music, practicing harder and deepening his emotional bond with the ragas. At age 24 he started accompanying his father at concerts, and has since toured the world with him many times. And like the great Pandit, he has become renowned for breathtaking duets with tabla master Ustad Zakir Hussain. He has released over 60 albums, with a roughly even split between classical and experimental recordings.

Rahul has taken the santoor into several distinctly modern settings, working with pianist Richard Clayderman, psy-chillout pioneers Deep Forest, and smooth jazz artist Kenny G. He has also taken the instrument back to its roots, recording with traditional Kashmiri musicians and exploring Sufi devotional music, and even turned up on Indian TV playing flamenco-tinged music in an extravagant Taj Mahal Tea advert (‘waah Taj!’) Outside of music he is an advocate for animal rights, and finds peace from his hectic schedule by hiking around Maharashtra.


"Performing and collaborating live on stage is more spontaneous, and depending on the artist, the innovations have to be done respectfully - giving equal opportunities."


Darbar believes in the power of Indian classical music to stir, thrill, and inspire. Explore our YouTube channel, or subscribe to the Darbar Concert Hall to watch extended festival performances, talk and documentaries in pristine HD and UHD quality. 


Other artists you may like

Kiranpal Singh

Kiranpal Singh is an esteemed santoor artist, born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but resident in the UK for the past...

read more

Harjinderpal Singh Matharu

Harjinderpal Singh Matharu is among Europe’s leading santoor players. He studied Punjab gharana tabla in his youth,...

read more

Shivkumar Sharma

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is one of very few instrumentalists who has near-single-handedly put their instrument on the...

read more

Tarun Bhattacharya

Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya’s santoor style is highly distinctive, borrowing from the melodic inclinations of many...

read more

See Full Festival concerts from our extensive archive,
and hundreds of other exclusive performances with
Darbar Concert Hall

Download our app and watch on the go
New exclusive releases every month
Watch anytime, anywhere


START FREE TRIAL

Free for 3 days. Cancel anytime.
Pay £9.95/month

Follow us

Keep up to date with the latest news, events, music and musings across our social channels

YouTube latest

For hundreds more clips and shorts, vist our YT page here

Subscribe to our newsletters

Be the first to hear before events go on sale. Get the latest news and articles from Darbar