Kashmir Concert - IntroductionEnlarge image Kashmir Concert - Ehsaas-e-Kashmir (© German Embassy New Delhi)
On 7th September, the German Embassy New Delhi hosted an unprecedented event in Srinagar: The ‘Kashmir Concert’.
Maestro Zubin Mehta, international icon of classical music, conducted the “Bayerische Staatsorchester” (Bavarian State Orchestra) from Munich, one of the best classical orchestras, at Shalimar Bagh, Mughal Gardens in Srinagar. Soloists were Andreas Oettl (trumpet) and Julian Rachlin (violin).
2,700 guests from Kashmir and beyond listened to the timeless music of Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky.
At a press conference in Delhi on 22 August to announce the Kashmir Concert, Ambassador Michael Steiner said,
"This concert is for the people of Kashmir. Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky, played by a world acclaimed Maestro and one of the best orchestras of the world in one of the most enchanting places in the world: This is a wonderful cultural tribute to Kashmir and its warm-hearted and hospitable people.
Music is a universal language. Music connects. With the magic power of music, crossing geographical, political and cultural borders, we want to reach the hearts of the Kashmiris with a message of hope and encouragement.
"Ehsaas-e-Kashmir" – Feelings for Kashmir. This is why we, together with Zubin Mehta and the Bavarian State Orchestra, have embarked on the magic endeavour to organise this unique concert in the heart of beautiful Kashmir.”
Information on the Concert:
The ‘Kashmir Concert’ was organised by the German Embassy and supported by the competent authorities both at Central as well as at Union State level.
The costs of the concert were covered by benevolent sponsors mainly from the business world in India and Germany, as well as “Incredible !ndia” and the German Foreign Office. It was broadcast live by TV channels across India and Europe.
For this unique occasion, the historic venue Shalimar Bagh, Mughal Gardens, has been restored to its full beauty.
The project took shape on 22 July last year when German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner bestowed upon Zubin Mehta the Commander’s Cross of the German Order of Merit. In just one year, the Concert has been prepared with immense engagement of the German Embassy, the Orchestra and the Maestro between Delhi, Munich and Srinagar. Both the Orchestra and the Maestro have renounced their usual fees and are eagerly looking forward to this unique cultural event.
In the months ahead of the concert, Ambassador Steiner has talked to Kashmiris from all walks of life to make the concert an inclusive event. The “Kashmir Concert” is part of a broader engagement. Ahead of the Concert, members of the Orchestra will meet with students of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Srinagar. Already in July, Ambassador Steiner interacted with more than 2,000 students at the University of Kashmir on the chances of globalisation.
Background on Zubin Mehta and the Bavarian State Orchestra:
From 1998 to 2006, Zubin Mehta was the admired Bavarian General Music Director in Munich, Germany. The Indian-born musical maestro’s German connection dates back to the early 1960s. In 1961, at the age of 25, he was the youngest conductor directing the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and has been associated with the ensemble for the past 50 years. Zubin Mehta has been selected as Tagore Award winner 2013.
The Bavarian State Orchestra is the official orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany. Its origins can be traced back to the year 1523. The Bavarian State Orchestra is among world’s top orchestras and has played concerts around the globe, from Paris to Moscow, from Rome to Seoul.