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A.R.Rahman to compose and conduct symphony for Birmingham Symphony Orchestra A.R.Rahman to compose and conduct symphony for Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Topic started by Anon (@ on Fri Apr 11 21:59:05 EDT 2003.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

A R Rahman to conduct City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to Collaborate with Bollywood Star

Birmingham's bid to be crowned European Capital of Culture 2008 has received a major boost from the biggest name in the Indian music industry.

A R Rahman, yesterday announced details of a collaboration with the world famous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The Bollywood superstar will compose an orchestral piece, which will receive its world premiere in July, 2004, and conduct an autumn concert for the CBSO featuring his Bollywood film music.

"It was while I was at the Birmingham Film and Television Festival 2000 that I met people involved in the music industry in Birmingham and was encouraged to write a piece with the CBSO," he said.

"I love the different cultures that Birmingham has and this collaboration provides a bridge between the East and West nations at an important time in history. I chose Birmingham because of its rich diversity and the friendly people.

"I would very much like to see Birmingham become Capital of Culture it seems to be the only place in Britain where different cultures live happily alongside each other."

As well as a year-long festival of arts and sport in 2008, winning the European culture crown is expected to kick-start an economic boost worth at least 150 million and to create more than 10,000 jobs.

The orchestral work will be based on The Conference of the Birds , a 12th century Persian poem by Farid Uddin Attar from Nishapur.

A R Rahman will also be conducting projects involving young people in a continuing collaboration with the CBSO between now and Birmingham's intended year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Rahman has achieved superstar status through his Bollywood music and is reported to be the world's biggest selling living artist with more than 40 million albums of his own and many more tapes of film music sold.

His first major work outside India was for Andrew Lloyd Webber, writing the score for the West End musical Bombay Dreams which is now set to open on Broadway.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "A R Rahman is nothing short of a melodic genius. It has been thrilling to watch London theatre-goers embrace Bombay Dreams with such fervour."

After starting to learn the piano, aged four, Allah Rakha Rahman started work as a keyboard player, aged 11.

Following a teenage musical career, he earned a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in Oxford and a degree in Western classical music.

He made a name for himself back home in Chennai, southern India, writing and producing advertising jingles, but his career took off writing music for Indian blockbuster films.

He said: "Art is the only way to transcend our different cultures and I am very excited to be involved in this project. I will be composing the piece over the next six months between Birmingham, New York where Bombay Dreams goes to Broadway and my present home in Madras."


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