- HISTORY & LEGACY
MUKUL RIKHI RAM SHARMA
Mukul Sharma is the fourth generation of the unbroken lineage of the Rikhi Ram family and born with father Sanjay Rikhi Ram Sharma and mother Manjul Rikhi Ram Sharma in New Delhi. Mukul is BBA graduate from IILM, New Delhi and an upcoming luthier of Rikhi Ram family tradition (Gharana).
He is an aspiring sarod player and disciple of the living legend Padma Vibhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He started his musical journey by learning western Guitar, then learned to play sitar along with hindustani vocal training during school days. Later, he fell for Sarod to be under tutelage of Ustad Saab.
He started learning making musical instruments since a tender age from his revered father as well as his multi talented mother and continuing fourth generation legacy of family tradition. Being CEO of “Rikhi Ram’s Music” also runs a diversified business of civil constructions for the Government of India and travels around the globe demonstrating musical instruments of India and their making techniques. He has proved all his predecessors with his knowledge and sharp mind. He is a great administrator of the production line for ‘Rikhi Ram’s Music’ along with brand quality controller. His depth of knowledge in this fine art, makes him stand apart as a most qualified musical instrument maker of the current generation.
MANJUL RIKHI RAM SHARMA
Manjul Rikhi Ram Sharma is Sole Owner of “Rikhi Ram’s Music” and a MA (Political Science) graduate from Himachal Pradesh University and Visharad in Hindustani Classical Music (Vocals). She is a known and accomplished light classical, devotional/bhajan, sufi, folk (Himachali, Punjabi, Dogri) and Bollywood songs performer and has many musical albums and popular tracks to her name.
Being the sole proprietor of famous business house ‘Rikhi Ram’s Music”, New Delhi and actively working under this musical instruments manufacturing brand as one of the first women luthiers (Indian classical musical instruments maker) of Indian since 2002. She learned this fine art and craft from her father in law (Late Pandit Bishan Dass Sharma) and her husband (Sanjay Rikhi Ram Sharma) starting as early as in the year 1993.
She is specialist in making design patterns of almost every musical instrument, making choice of appropriate wood for them, as well as selecting suitable wood for new innovations along with, picking right gauges of strings and stringing them, to setting and selecting the correct format of structural stability for any particular instrument, synchronizing the chords and setting angle/action of playing strings to achieve uniformly aligned sound with perfect tones when played on them. She is also one of the first women in India, who has commissioned instruments repairs and restoration workshops globally. She also engages herself in constantly training young apprentices (on the job training sessions) at her own cost and ably converting these young talents to accomplished trained skilled workers of the future. Her contribution to this fine art is unparalleled and her endless effort in this field will benefit the current as well as generation next.
She has walked strongly and consistently through striving in top quality craftsmanship and workmanship as paralleled to the family geniuses of “Rikhi Ram”. She has professionally catered to the maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, Kishori Amonkar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Bhajan Sopori, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Anoushka Shankar, A. R Rehman, Bombay Jaishree, Sunanda Sharma, Malini Awasthi, Daler Mehndi, Jasbir Jassi and many more.
She is a philanthropist and also runs an established NGO named “Sanjay Rikhi Ram Vadya Parampara, Regd. New Delhi, promoting Indian Classical Music and propagating the art of making musical instruments by organizing events, featuring young budding musicians and established maestros of music in a yearly musical concert series. Her popularity as a cultural educationist and promoter has been invited from time to time to judge many talent and fashion shows nationally and internationally. She has received many honors and awards for her outstanding contribution in the field of music as a great performer and finest luthier.
Her journey continues with ‘Rikhi Ram’s Music’ as a strong driving force in quality musical instruments manufacturing, retail, exports and repair of all musical instruments of Indian and western music. Manjul Sharma is the only registered owner of “Rikhi Ram” Trade Mark in India since 2003.
Late Pandit Bishan Dass Sharma followed the footsteps of his father and started learning the art of instrument making from his father/Guru , Pandit Rikhi Ram ji. Became pioneer of this art and served world maestro to be rewarded for his services with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in the year 1998.He was disciple of renowned sitar maestro Pandit. Ravi Shankarji , who taught him sitar and showed his style of playing to brighten his skill for making his model of instruments. He also served at the All India Radio, Delhi as special musical instruments caretaker / maintenance in the year 1957, where he got associated with great musicians like Ustad Allauddin Khan, Ustad Hafiz.Ali Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan and others. His close association with them made him learn that the primal value of a good instrument lies in its tonal quality. It was often discussed of compatibility, sustain, volume and looks of instruments which would give him useful hints for betterment of this fine art. He would say, “This extra interest fired my imagination and aroused in me the urge to produce quality instruments for the maestros” and “to be a master craftsman one should have thorough knowledge of music, so as to understand sound, tonal quality and all other nuances of instruments”. He believed it is a rare blend of artistry of musician and skill of a craftsman.
“The Beatles’ in the year 1966 visited ‘Rikhi Ram Store” on their sojourn tour to India. Bishan Dass gave George Harrison his first introduction to sitar and also taught him basics of sitar like posture and hand positioning & tuning of sitar. Later on, George learnt with Pandit Ravi Shankar ji.
Late Pandit Bishan Dass worked as an ‘institute’, where he always experimented with acoustics of the instrument. Each instrument he would carry a rigorous check up for quality of tone, functioning, operational ease, will only finish when perfection is achieved. Bishan Dass went on with his mastery to create new innovations like Transistorized sitar, Tambouri, Swarsangam, Rikhi Veena, Pushpa Veena and Vishwa Veena.
SANJAY RIKHI RAM SHARMA
Sanjay Sharma is the third generation of the world famous iconic Indian Classical Musical Instruments maker family from India “Rikhi Ram”, acclaimed as luthier “par excellence” by top maestros of the world. He is also termed as the finest Indian/Western Musical Instruments Maker, Designer and Innovator. He is the torch bearer of the unbroken family tradition, to take on the hallowed tradition bequeathed by his grandfather, Late Pandit Rikhi Ram Sharma and his father, Late Pandit Bishan Dass Sharma.
Sanjay learnt Tabla (Indian drums) at the age of 7 years from Late Pandit Moti Lal Sharma, Late Pandit Radhey Shyam Sharma, Late Ustad Bandu Khan and Late Ustad Lateef Ahmed Khan. He received training in Hindustani Vocals and Sitar from prominent maestros of India. He has performed for Delhi Doordarshan, All India Radio (New Delhi), Sangeet Natak Akademi, and many institutions & organizations in India and abroad. Sanjay has custom designed musical instruments for most leading maestros of Indian music globally such as, Late Pandit Ravi Shankar, Late Ustad Vilayat Khan, Late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Late Ustad Rais Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Ram Narayan, Late Pandit Gopal Krishan Sharma, Late Pandit Kishan Maharaj, Late Dr. Sharan Rani Backliwal, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt. Rajan-Sajan Mishra, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Dr. L. Subhramanium, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Pandit Bhajan Sopori to name a few of Hindustani Music. Dr. R. Vedavalli, Dr. T.M. Krishna, Shri Ravi Kiran, Bombay Jaishree, Malladi Bros., Sikkil Sisters, Shri Shashank Subhramanium, Flute Raman, Dr T K Murty, Dr. Vikku Vinayakram, specially designed SwarTamboura for Dr. A.R. Rehman for his studio recording and live performances and many others. International musicians such as George Harrison, Harbie Hancock, Bryan Adams, George Brooks and many more from Western Music have performed on his crafted instruments.
To take this fine tradition globally, he has set up a unit in New York, to provide hands-on customer support internationally by hosting Lec-Dem/repair workshops regularly.
He is also the founder- President of “Sanjay Rikhi Ram Vadya Parampara (Regd.)”, New Delhi (an Institution to promote and propagate ancient and modern instruments of Indian Music).
-Musical Instrument Innovator
-Musical Instrument Designer
-Musical Instrument Maker
-Educator and Organizer for Musical concerts.
Received honours for outstanding contribution in the field of Musical Instruments making.
-Rashtriya Udyog Ratna Award 2011, Mumbai
-Quality Brands 2011-13, Mumbai
-12th Bhagirathi Samman 2011, New Delhi
-Rajiv Gandhi Achievers Award 2014, New Delhi
-Manohar Mulay Memorial Award 2014, Mumbai
-Titled by US authorities has titled him as “Individual of Extraordinary ability” 2005.
1. B.Com (Delhi University)
2. Master of Business Administration (YMCA, Delhi)
3. Bachelor of Music (Tabla) Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, UP.
1. Learned technical & practical aspects of crafting Musical Instrument unde of father /Guru Late Pandit Bishan Dass Sharma from the young age of 15.
2. Scholarship holder from Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi for Tabla.
3. Assisted many maestros in live concerts, such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Anoushka Shankar and many more in India & abroad.
4. Conducted Lec-Dems on Musical Instruments making for;
University of California in Los Angeles (LA, USA), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA, USA), University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX, USA), University of California at Irvine (CA, USA), India Center of New York (NY, USA), ITV (NY, USA), Ustad Vilayat Khan Foundation (NJ, USA), Sitar Niketan (MD, USA), Queens College (CUNY, NY, USA), Asian Music Circuit (London, UK), Cite De La Musique (Paris, France), Vadya Darshan by Sangeet Natak Akademi (Delhi), Mcmasters University (Hamilton, Canada), Ali Akbar College of Music (San Rafael, CA, USA), Mohawk College (Hamilton, Canada), Opera House (Cairo, Egypt), Music Circle (Pasadena, CA, USA), Om Music Circle (San Jose, USA), Raga Music School (Hamilton, Canada), Ustad Vilayat K (Princeton, NJ, USA), American School (New Delhi), Madhuban Dhaam University of Texas at Austin(USA), Mewati Gharana, Pandit Jasraj Guruk Jersey, USA) and many more.
5. Documentaries and Interviews for international broadcasting channels Channel, BBC, Arte Channel (France), Japan TV, Nile TV (Egypt), Delhi Doordarshan (India), ITV (USA) and others.
6. His store “Rikhi Ram’s Music” was the official store for shopping Musical the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010.
7. Acclaimed in numerous newspapers and magazines such as Times of India, Indian Express, First City Magazine, Dainik Bhaskar, Open Magazine, The Metro Now and many more.
8. Titled as “Melody Maker” by India Today magazine special issue “50 Pioneers of Change” 2008.
1. Microphonic Studio Sitar (flat wooden with built in microphone) for Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar.
2. Microphonic Sitar (traditional sitar with built in microphone) for Anoushka Shankar, Hidayat Hussain Khan, Shubhendra Rao, Radha Krishna Tadimalla, to name a few.
3. Nav Chitra Veena (for Shri. Ravi Kiran).
4. Tambouri (flat wooden) for Dr Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Jasraj, Pt Rajan Sajan Mishra, Gundecha Brothers, Vidushi R. Vedavalli, Dr. L. Subramaniuam to name a few.
5. Microphonic Tabla (built in microphone) for Karsh Kale, Vijay Ghate, Hafeez Ahmed Alvi, Vishal Nagar.
6. Microphonic Santoor (built in microphone) for Rahul Sharma
7. Lalitha Veena ( Indian violin ) for Dr L R Vishwanath Ramesh
8. Studio Veena (small size Vichitra Veena) for Dr Radhika, Mumbai
9. Erod (Electric Sarod) for Amaan Ali Khan
10. rikEsitar and Zitar (Electric Sitar) used by all Fusion musicians
11. Sri Veena (new Indian slide Guitar)
12. Suroleen (combination of Sarod & Mandolin) and more.
In the field of research and development, Sanjay had formulated a new synthetic material for making bridges of many Indian Instruments as replacement for Ivory/Deer Horn, which was widely/exclusively used by Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Rais Khan and many more. Santoor bridges from the same material are again a great find. Experimented on different woods like Burmese Teakwood, Spruce, Maple wood, Walnut, Mulberry and Cedar for the purpose of enhancing sound and tone of instruments.