It was last year that world-renowned music conductor Zubin Mehta expressed his desire to perform in Kashmir. This was after he received the Commander’s Cross of the German Order of Merit, the highest award bestowed by the German President. Little did he know that this dream would find fruition so soon. On September 7, the Parsi musician will perform at the the valley. He will present the “Bayerische Staatsorchester”, which is the Bavarian State Orchestra, from Munich.
The concert, a first of its kind in the strife-torn state, will be held at the historic Shalimar Bagh. Mehta’s last performance in India was in 2008 where he performed with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Titled, “Ehsaas-e-Kashmir”, the event is being organised by the German Embassy and 1,500 people have been invited. The Mughal garden in the valley is undergoing restoration work for the concert and despite fatwas being issued against public performances, the organizers are confident that the event will take place without a hitch.
Mehta’s flamboyant conducting style and some compositions by greats such as Beethoven, Joseph Haydn and Tchaikovsky will mark this concert. At a press conference held in Delhi this week, German 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.”
After the concert, the members of the Orchestra will meet with students of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Srinagar.