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German orchestra to play Rahman's music in 5 cities

Last updated on: January 5, 2012 12:36 IST

German orchestra to play Rahman's music in 5 cities

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To mark the centenary of Indian cinema and of Studio Babelsberg, the world's oldest film studio, based in Potsdam-Babelsberg in Germany, the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg will do a five-city concert tour of India performing the compositions of the musical genius A R Rahman.

The tour is also part of the event 'Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities'. Classic Incantations -- The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A R Rahman will showcase, for the first time in India, over a hundred orchestral musicians performing live. It is exclusively presented by Lapp India, a leading cable and connectivity solutions company.

The 100-member strong musical alliance between the German film orchestra and students of Rahman's KM Music Conservatory, Chennai, will perform orchestral compositions of Rahman. Rahman has composed music for films such as Bombay, Swades, The Rising, Elizabeth:The Golden Age, Roja, Robot and many, many more.


Image: A R Rahman


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Commenting on this unique initiative, A R Rahman said, "I am really excited and grateful for this gesture of the Babelsberg Orchestra in doing this tour in India along with our students and kids from the KM Music Conservatory. I am sure this will be a new experience for Indian score lovers. It will give them a great opportunity to experience and see how many people are involved in creating huge scores and create a thirst among the younger generation to become orchestral musicians..."

Dr Marla Stukenberg, director of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in Mumbai said, "We are very grateful to musical maestro A R Rahman for accepting our invitation to collaborate with the renowned German Film Orchestra Babelsberg."

"It is for the first time that a Western classical orchestra comes to India to perform A R Rahman's compositions in his home country. I am sure fans of A R Rahman will enjoy this different experience of a classical orchestra from Germany performing to his scores, signifying truly that music has no boundaries."

Klaus-Peter Beyer, director of the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg explained what the collaboration of two cultures means.


Image: A R Rahman


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"As a musician, I have had the opportunity to travel to many countries and most of the continents on this planet. The music that we play forms an inherent part of us.

"It is European, influenced by composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. A peculiar sort of fascination grew through the juxtaposition of visual and mental images I formed of these new lands, and the familiar music that accompanied me wherever I went."

He said that "except for documentaries and films reinforcing age-old cliches," he knew next to nothing about the sub-continent.

"All this changed dramatically when I visited this wonderful country for the first time in September 2011. I had brought with me the recording of our first rehearsal. It contained a few selected pieces from A R Rahman`s music. For the first time everything that I saw, felt and perceived was symbiotically connected with music." 

Beyer paid a huge compliment to Rahman when he said: "A R writes not just the sound track for films, he composes the sound track for an entire country and thus describes what is most beautiful and precious in this country--its people." The first concert will be in Mumbai on January 20 and subsequently in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru.


Image: A R Rahman
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant

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