Viennese philharmonic orchestra plays rendition of 'Vande Mataram' for PM Modi in Austria

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Vienna, Jul 10 (PTI) A Viennese philharmonic orchestra led by an India-born conductor regaled Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Austrian capital with a rendition of 'Vande Mataram'.

The orchestra was conducted by Lucknow-born Vijay Upadhyaya of Vienna University Philharmonic.

Modi paid an official two-day visit to Austria at the invitation of Chancellor Karl Nehammer, the first visit to Austria of an Indian Prime Minister after 41 years, in a year that marks the 75th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Austria is known for its architectural heritage and as a land of legendary composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Vienna being its cultural heartbeat.

Prime Minister Modi described his visit to Austria as historic and special.

He was treated to mellifluous strains of orchestral music performed by a troupe from Vienna University Philharmonic at his hotel.

They performed a rendition of 'Vande Mataram', the national song of India, much to the delight of the prime minister, who called the performance "excellent".

"Austria is known for its vibrant musical culture. I got a glimpse of it thanks to this amazing rendition of Vande Mataram!" Modi said in a post on X, sharing a video of the performance.

The University of Vienna Philharmonic consists of more than 800 musicians and singers who play in two orchestras and eight choirs, making it one of the largest music communities worldwide, according to its website.

Grammy Award winning-musician Ricky Kej in a comment on X in response to Modi's post on the social media platform, said, "The conductor is an Indian who makes all of us proud - Vijay Upadhyaya, originally from Lucknow. He is the director of the prestigious Vienna University Philharmonic (among other international orchestras) and founded the India National Youth Orchestra. He is a proud Indian and often conducts Indian-styled music internationally." 'Vande Mataram' was composed by author Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and also became a rallying cry for Indian nationalists fighting for Independence from colonial rule.

The prime minister arrived in Vienna from Moscow on Tuesday night after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He also held talks with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and exchanged in-depth assessments of recent developments in Europe as well as West Asia.

The two leaders underscored the importance of democratic countries such as India and Austria working together to contribute to international and regional peace and prosperity. PTI KND GRS AKJ GRS GRS

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