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Vinay Desai


Vinay began his classical musical training initially in vocal/harmonium/tabla from Shafiq Rahman in his teens. After completing university degrees, Vinay ventured to India to take up study of the unique Himalayan 100 stringed instrument, the Santoor.


In 2011, with blessings and direct guidance of the renowned Santoor Master Padma Vibhushan Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Vinay continued his studies with Takahiro Arai. He later moved back to USA to learn from Kunal Gunjal. To expand his knowledge and skill in music, Vinay has learnt from many different Maestros.


Vinay’s passion and dedication to Santoor allowed him to be under the direct tutelage of Pt. Shivkumar Sharma for several of Panditji’s last years. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma sadly passed away in early May, 2022. The departure of such a legend leaves a great echo in the vast vista of pure music. There is now a task carried by the few people who really learned Santoor in this way to keep this music and this legacy alive. Vinay dedicates his playing to the memory of his great teacher.


Vinay has extensively performed Santoor solos across USA including presitigious festivals such as Pt. Kashinath Bodas Festival, Kussum Mahotsav. In India, he presented solos in Pt. Anindoji’s Guru Poornima festival in Kolkata, SwarGanga in Pune, Delhi, and in Mumbai.


Vinay has also performed in Argentina, Canada, the Bahamas and Hawaii. He is known for his meditative and dynamic musical phrases. His devotion to the purity and the depth of Shivkumar Sharma’s style and mastery of the instrument is imbued in Vinays absorbed and transporting performance quality.

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