here, it is here. Shalimar Bagh once again comes alive with the sound of music.
"We hope that the music from here will lift our spirits and lighten our souls for a better tomorrow," the chief minister said.
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, BJP leader Jaswant Singh, industrialist Nusli Wadia, 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.