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Zubin Mehta’s dream for India

Rahi Gaikwad

Mumbai: Zubin Mehta has spoken of his dream of a school for Western music in Mumbai, adding that India has a huge amount of talent and young musicians should not have to go abroad to train in Western classical music.

Several concerts have been scheduled in Mumbai with the maestro and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra from October 7 to 12. Organised by the Mehli Mehta Foundation, the event marks the birth centenary of Zubin’s father and musician Mehli Mehta. Renowned artists including pianist Daniel Barenboim, tenor Placido Domingo, soprano Barbara Frittoli and violinist Pinchas Zukerman will perform at the National Theatre of Performing Arts and the Brabourne Stadium.

Mehta spoke at a press conference here of the need to harness the vast talent in India and nurture the future of Western music here. “Hopefully, we will raise enough money and soon start considering building a school and look at how to get teachers from India and abroad,” he said. Proceeds from the concerts will go towards funding this school.

Talking about the difficult task of bringing together artists of repute, he said many of them wanted to come to the country to perform. “India is a great attraction for all these people.”

Diversity

He spoke of the diversity of Indian music across its regions. He wished to see Western classical music living “side by side with the great tradition of India music.”

The concerts, he said, were turning into a mini-music festival, the kind India has never been. He praised the interest shown by Mumbai in this regard.

Speaking of his autobiographical work The Scores of My Life, he said it was first published in German in 2008 and translated in other languages. It is published by Roli Books.

“It is about aspects of my life and profession so far. I have been quite candid. I have spent most of August translating it in English. It is being presented today [Monday]. So, I am nervous,” he said.

Mehta released a postal cover released by the Department of Post. For his love of cricket, he was presented with a cricket bat.

Corrections and Clarifications

[Paragraphs six and seven in an article "Zubin Mehta's dream for India" ("Newscape" page, October 7, 2008) were: "The concerts, he said, were turning into a mini-music festival, the kind India has never been. He praised the interest shown by Mumbai in this regard. "Speaking of his autobiographical work The Scores of My Life, he said it was first published in German in 2008 and translated in other languages. It is published by Roli Books." It should have been "the kind India has never seen" and "published in German in 2006".]

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