Shiv - Hari were the music director duo of Shivkumar Sharma, the distinguished santoor player, and Hariprasad Chaurasia, the eminent flautist. The duo, known for their creative innovations in Indian classical and film music, joined forces to compose music for a few Hindi movies in the eighties and nineties. They were nominated thrice for the Filmfare award for their music.
Shiv Kumar Sharma (born January 13, 1938), who hails from the Kashmir Valley, was taught the tabla by his father, Pt. Uma Dutt Sharma before he switched to santoor, the hundred string instrument. He has introduced several changes to the instrument in order to render this folk instrument pliant to classical music, including adding sixteen strings to it.
Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia (born July 1, 1938), hails from Allahabad, and began his education in classical music at the age of 13 under Pt. Raja Ram. Later, when he was sixteen years old, he switched to the flute and learned the instrument under Pt. Bholanath. He has also received musical training from Annapurna Devi, daughter of Ustad Allauddin Khan of Maiher.
The young musicians met in the late 1950s. When Shivkumar moved to Bombay in 1960, their incredible musical association began. In 1967, Shiv-Hari recorded together, the album “Call of the Valley”. It went on to become not only one of the most popular Indian classical music albums ever but also made itself successful in Western countries owing to its remarkable use of guitar by guitarist Brij Bhushan Kabra. Over the years, this collaboration resulted in many live performances and in 1995 they paid tribute to the concept album by releasing a live album titled “The Valley Recalls”.
During the period between the two albums, Shiv - Hari also got together to compose for films like “Silsila” (1981), “Chandni” (1989), “Lamhe” (1991) and Darr (1993). Yash Chopra’s “Silsila” starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha had lyrics written by Javed Akhtar. The songs of this movie captured the imagination of the nation and stood out in a time when Hindi film music was perhaps at its worst. The success of the soundtrack earned the duo a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Music Director.
While Shiv - Hari stopped composing film music after Darr, they continue to flourish as individual musicians, recording albums and performing live.