Mu­sic Be­yond Bor­ders: Niru­pama’s vi­sion of a uni­fy­ing plat­form be­comes a re­al­ity

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - ARTS -

In 2017, the for­mer In­dian For­eign Sec­re­tary Niru­pama Rao, a gifted mu­si­cian, mooted the idea of a South Asian Sym­phony Orches­tra to bring to­gether mu­si­cal tal­ent from the eight coun­tries in the re­gion, in an ef­fort to unite peo­ple through mu­sic and pro­mote peace through the medium of melody.

She has worked with the Sym­phony Orches­tra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) to take this idea for­ward, and on Fe­bru­ary 7, co­in­cid­ing with the 70th an­niver­sary of Sri Lanka’s in­de­pen­dence as In­dia al­ready cel­e­brates this great mile­stone, musicians of both coun­tries will come to­gether on a uni­fy­ing plat­form of com­mon pas­sions to show­case a con­cert of sym­phonic mu­sic.

“Mu­sic speaks a univer­sal lan­guage that tran­scends bor­ders. My dream is to see that its magic works in our own re­gion of South Asia, bring­ing peo­ple to­gether, build­ing har­mony and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. The Fe­bru­ary con­cert in Colombo is a first step in that di­rec­tion. I hope we will be able to take our project to cre­ate a South Asian Sym­phony Orches­tra on­ward and for­ward, with sup­port from mu­sic lovers ev­ery­where. Let the young peo­ple of South Asia use the power of mu­sic to build peace,” Ms. Rao said in a state­ment.

The Fe­bru­ary 7 con­cert will fea­ture Vi­enna based, renowned pi­anist Mar­i­alena Fer­nan­des of Man­galuru ori­gin, who will per­form Mozart’s Piano con­certo, No. 27, un­der the ba­ton of US-based con­duc­tor Viswa Sub­bara­man who will also con­duct the joint orches­tra in Beethoven’s Sym­phony No 07 and Rossini’s Over­ture to La Cener­en­tola.

Mozart’s fi­nal piano con­certo is one of the most sub­tle and per­fect works in the reper­tory. Com­posed a year be­fore his death, the con­certo com­bines the sim­ple el­e­gance one has come to ex­pect of Mozart with a sense of poignancy; the mu­sic is at turns lu­mi­nous and tragic, and though this may sim­ply be a prod­uct of an evolv­ing style, one can­not but imag­ine it hints at a farewell.

Writ­ten at the same time as his “Im­mor­tal Beloved” let­ters, Beethoven’s Sev­enth is con­sid­ered to have the same pos­i­tive emo­tion. The cel­e­bra­tory, ex­u­ber­ant sev­enth sym­phony re­flects a fleet­ing but happy stage in Beethoven’s oth­er­wise tur­bu­lent life. Beethoven him­self called it “one of the hap­pi­est prod­ucts of my poor tal­ents.”

The con­cert will start with the over­ture to La Cener­en­tola by Rossini. This is Rossini’s take on the Cin­derella story, and like many of his works, was writ­ten at break­neck speed. Though lit­tle heard in Sri Lanka, this is one of Rossini’s best-known op­eras. based on the fairy tale story of Cin­derella.

‘Mu­sic Be­yond Bor­ders will take place at the Ladies’ Col­lege Hall on Fe­bru­ary 7 at 7.30 p.m. Tick­ets and box plan are now avail­able at the Lionel Wendt The­atre.

Mu­sic Be­yond Bor­ders is spon­sored by the In­dian Coun­cil for Cul­tural Re­la­tions, with co-spon­sors Mori­son’s, Brandix In­spired So­lu­tions, East In­dia Hold­ings, Elec­tronic Me­dia Spon­sors Yes FM, TV1 & Le­gends 96.6 with Hos­pi­tal­ity Part­ner Fair­way Colombo.

Niru­pama Rao: Pro­mot­ing har­mony through mu­sic

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