Austrian choir led by Indian conductor performs ‘Vande Mataram’ for PM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a grand reception in Austria on Wednesday, marking the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in four decades. Austria rolled out the red carpet for Modi’s two-day visit, with a warm welcome from the Indian diaspora upon his arrival at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Vienna.

A highlight of the reception was a special performance of ‘Vande Mataram’ by Austrian artists. PM Modi shared a video of the rendition on social media, praising Austria’s vibrant musical culture. The 50-member choir and orchestra were conducted by Vijay Upadhyay, an Indian director at the University of Vienna’s Department of Music.

Upadhyay, who also founded the India National Youth Orchestra, described the preparation as hectic, having less than three weeks’ notice to arrange the performance. “We decided to perform Vande Mataram. I wrote the score in two days and then rehearsals began,” he explained.

The performance aimed to maintain the essence of ‘Vande Mataram’ while blending it with an Austrian-European symphonic style. Following the performance, Upadhyay had the opportunity to interact with PM Modi, noting his energetic demeanor despite coming off a packed two-day visit to Russia.

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