His Holiness Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji Maharaj (the spiritual head of Namdhari Sikhs) blessed Kiranpal Singh to be initiated into the art and intricacies of Santoor under the discipleship of the pioneer of Indian Classical Santoor- Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma in Bombay. Throughout his life, Kiranpal learnt Indian Classical Music at the lotus feet of Satguruji, and performing his Santoor for Satguruji throughout His tours in U.K and India. He learnt layakari in Tabla – Bandishes and Sangat & Raag.
Satguru Jagjit Singh is known as the ‘Master Musician’. He was the recipient of several Awards, including Bhai Mardana Award, The Sangeetacharaya Award, and the Sangeet Maneesh Awar. In 2012, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, honoured Satguru Jagjit Singh by inducting him as a prestigious Tagore Fellow of the Akademi for his contribution to Indian classical music and dance.
When His Holiness left for heavenly abode in 2012, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma paid this tribute:
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (born January 13, 1938) is an Indian Santoor player. The Santoor is a folk instrument from Jammu and Kashmir.
He was born in Jammu to the singer Uma Dutt Sharma and his mother tongue is Dogri. His father started teaching him vocals and tabla when he was just five. Uma Dutt Sharma did “extensive research” on the santoor, and decided that Sharma should be the first musician to play Indian classical music on the santoor. So he started learning santoor at the age of thirteen, and made his father’s dream come true. He gave his first public performance in Bombay in 1955. Sharma married Manorama and has two sons. His son, Rahul, is also a Santoor Player and they have performed together since 1996.
Shivkumar Sharma is the master instrumentalist of the Santoor. He is credited with making the Santoor a popular Classical Instrument. He composed the background music for one of the scenes in Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje in 1956. He recorded his first solo album in 1960. In 1967, he teamed up with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and Brij Bhushan Kabra to produce a concept album, Call of the Valley (1967) which turned out to be one of the greatest hits in Indian Classical Music. He has composed music for many Hindi films in collaboration with Hariprasad Chaurasia starting with Silsila (1980). They came to be known as the ‘Shiv-Hari’ music duo. Some of the movies they composed music for that were big musical hits are Faasle (1985), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993).
Shivkumar is the recipient of national and international awards, including an honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, USA, in 1985, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
Kiranpal Singh first music study was the Tabla, which he pursued under the guidance of Shree Ripudhamman Singh of Punjab Gharana from 1970 to 1977.