Press Esc to close
Tuesday 03 March 2015
News updated at 4:33 PM IST
Weather
Max: 31.7°C
Min : 16.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

Zubin Mehta's concert mesmerises Kashmir

Srinagar, Sept 7, 2013, (PTI) :
Classical Music Mastro Zubin Mehta performs during Ehsaas-e-Kashmir Concert,at Shalimar Garden in Srinagar on Saturday. PTI Photo

Soulful strains of some of the most popular and best known western classical music compositions reverberated in the majestic backdrop of Zabarwan Hills when Zubin Mehta, world famous conductor, performed before a mesmerised audience in the Shalimar Gardens on the banks of Dal Lake here this evening.

In a unique setting in the 400-year-old Mughal Garden with its magnificent chinars, some as old as 300 years and more, Mehta and his Bavarian State Orchestra played its full cast of works of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz Joseph Haydn and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in front of an invited audience of 1,500 guests.

The concert kicked off with the maestro leading the orchestra in concert with Abhay Sopori's troupe with traditional Kashmiri instruments.

The concert, 'Ehsaas-e-Kashmir'(Feel of Kashmir), assumed political overtones following opposition by separatists and civil society, which saw it as an attempt to present a picture of peace in Kashmir which had witnessed so much bloodshed in recent decades.

The city remained mostly shut at the call of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the concert.

Setting the tone for the concert, the 77-year-old music maestro started by saying in Hindi, "Hum bahut khush hain, hum bahut khush hain (I am very happy). I have waited and dreamt of this moment for years.

"Where are all those whose music we have heard inadvertently. 'Agli baar se to yeh sab muft hona chahiye'. Music sabke liye hona chahiye (the next time, this should be free for everyone. Music should be for everyone) and it should not be for a select few.

"We only want to do good. Music must go out from here to all our friends everywhere... to all Kashmiris."

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah started by quoting the famous couplet by Amir Khusrau "that if there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here. Shalimar Bagh once again comes alive with the sound of music.

German Ambassador in India Michael Steiner, who hosted the concert, said, "The distance between Munich and Srinagar is 7,756-km. Today, the distance reduces to zero. German and European cultural heritage bow to Kashmir, to its history, to its beauty and to its difficult reality and journey."

"The world is looking at you, Ehsaas-e-Kashmir," he said, going on to quote Kashmiri poet Habba Khatun and German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.

While acknowledging the support of the state government and the Chief Minister, Steiner said, "I thank you all, but most of all I thank you all Kashmiris".

Holding of the concert fulfils a long-cherished wish of the Mumbai-born Mehta, who brushed aside the controversies surrounding it, saying that he was extremely happy to be performing here. "I did not choose Kashmir, Kashmir chose me."

Among the audience were Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, a number of celebrities and envoys of several countries.

The high-profile event was telecast live by public broadcaster by Doordarshan for the first time in Hi-Definition format, which was watched by millions across India and 50 European countries.

Mehta played Symphony No.5, a composition of the famous German composer Beethoven, a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in western art music in the early 19th century.

The other well-known compositions that were played this evening were Concerto for Trumpet by Haydn, the late 18th century Austrian composer regarded by many as "Father of the Symphony", and the Violin Concerto by Russian composer Tchaikovsky, one of the most celebrated musicians of the 19th century.

Mehta, who had worked with several international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic, wove a magic spell and kept his audience in thrall unmindful of the controversy generated by separatists and others objecting to the concert.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Cambodian artists presenting dance-drama at the International Ramayana Mela...

Cambodian artists presenting dance-drama at the International Ramayana Mela...

Cyclist at the Rajpath as the national capital received early morning showers in New Delhi...

Cyclist at the Rajpath as the national capital received early morning showers in New Delhi...

A waterlogged street after the early morning showers in the national capital...

A waterlogged street after the early morning showers in the national capital...

A train moves through snow covered railway track as the region received heavy snowfall in Anantnag..

A train moves through snow covered railway track as the region received heavy snowfall in Anantnag..

Artists dressed up as Hindu deities Lord Krishna and Radha play Holi...

Artists dressed up as Hindu deities Lord Krishna and Radha play Holi...

People throw coloured powder as they celebrate Lathmar Holi at Nandgaon...

People throw coloured powder as they celebrate Lathmar Holi at Nandgaon...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Syeed..

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Syeed..

Sangakkara and Thirimanne celebrate beating England in their Cricket World Cup match...

Sangakkara and Thirimanne celebrate beating England in their Cricket World Cup match...

Sangakkara congratulates team mate Perera who celebrates talking the wicket of England's Morgan...

Sangakkara congratulates team mate Perera who celebrates talking the wicket of England's Morgan...

Pakistan players celebrate with wicket of Zimbabwe's Chamunorwa Chibhabha during ...

Pakistan players celebrate with wicket of Zimbabwe's Chamunorwa Chibhabha during ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523