A musical masterclass from Down Under

By: | Published: November 1, 2015 12:03 AM

Soprano Greta Bradman shares the stage with renowned musical conductor Zubin Mehta for Australian World Orchestra concert

The stage at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium played host to two distinct personalities this Friday and Saturday. One, a maestro conductor in a league of his own. The other, an operatic soprano and a descendant of an undoubted cricket legend. What followed was a captivating performance of western classical music as the audiences in New Delhi were treated to the best by the Australian World Orchestra (AWO), which performed its final shows in India under the baton of renowned Indian conductor, maestro Zubin Mehta. Joining Mehta was soprano Greta Bradman, the granddaughter of legendary batsman Don Bradman.

Two evenings of musical masterclass included compositions by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Brahms and Rossini.

Australia’s high commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, said the concerts were an exciting showcase of the very best musical talent from both countries. “Maestro Mehta formed a strong bond with the AWO when he conducted their 2013 season in Sydney and Melbourne, and it was wonderful to see them reunite in India to once again create sublime music together,” Suckling said.

The Australian World Orchestra is made up of Australia’s best classical musicians, who play with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, as well as some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Chicago and London Symphony Orchestras.

Suckling said this was an excellent example of expanding cultural exchanges arising from the Memorandum of Understanding on Arts and Culture, which Australia and India signed last year. “The cultural relationship between Australia and India is growing stronger and stronger, with an increasing tempo of exchange in a whole range of areas, from music, art and dance, to literature, fashion and film,” Suckling added.

The government of India will hold a ‘Festival of India’ in Australia next year, which would provide Australian audiences with an opportunity to engage in the best of classical and contemporary Indian culture.

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