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Lucknow Musician Vijay Upadhyaya Conducts Vande Matram Orchestra For PM Modi In Austria, Here's A Brief Profile

Nishtha Anushree

Jul 10, 2024, 05:05 PM | Updated 05:05 PM IST

Vijay Upadhyaya
Vijay Upadhyaya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed in Vienna with Austrian artists singing and playing India's national song Vande Mataram on musical instruments.

The orchestra consisting of violin and flute players along with some other wind instruments was led by an Indian Vijay Upadhyaya.

Grammy award winner Ricky Kej posted on X, "The conductor is an Indian who makes all of us proud," adding that Upadhyaya hails from Lucknow.

Kej further said that Upadhyaya is the director of the prestigious Vienna University Philharmonic (among other international orchestras).

Informing that Upadhyaya founded the India National Youth Orchestra in 2010, Kej added, "He is a proud Indian and often conducts Indian-styled music internationally."

The 57-year-old Upadhyaya started learning music from his mother by playing piano and by the age of 14, he was conducting his school choir.

After school, he completed studies in English literature, Economics and History from Lucknow University and moved to Austria.

While studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, he conducted a choir and a brass band in Eastern Styria and gathered his first experiences of rural Austria.

"Since 2013 he reduced his conducting activities and concentrated more on composition. His First Symphony, “Prayer Flags” was premiered in 2014 in Vienna and is based on Indian literature and melodies," his website says.

"His Second Symphony, “Chang’An Men – Gate to long lasting Peace”, was commissioned by the China National Symphony Orchestra and was premiered in 2017 in Beijing and Vienna. This work is based on ancient Chinese Philosophy by Confucius, Laozi, and the ShiJing," it adds.

"Since 2009 he has been conductor and composer for the China National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. This made him learn and love Chinese culture which is why his musical life and personality are composed of three cultures: Austrian, Indian and Chinese," the post says.

He is also an Austrian representative for the evaluation of European Union culture projects. While being the director of a European Union project in Turkey, he has directed and implemented projects for the Austrian Foreign Ministry in more than 20 countries worldwide.

He was also an expert for the Chinese government in developing cultural activities in China. He was awarded the Golden Award of Honour of the Republic of Austria for his cultural achievements.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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