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The Madras Musical Association is headed to Vienna this month. We wish them the very best for their concert tour. Here’s what they had to say –

“The Madras Musical Association choir, with 123 years of promotion of Western classical music in India, has had the opportunity to sing by invitation in the London Olympics, the Australian Olympics, and in church music festivals in Rome and the Vatican, and in Chester, England.

We are happy to share that the choir is now bound to Vienna, Austria between 7th and 18th of June 2016 to be part of a Concert series on the invitation of the Vienna University Choir and Orchestra. The Madras Musical Association Choir along with singers from the Coimbatore Chamber Chorale, totalling 45, will be sharing stage with the Vienna University Choir and Orchestra.

The first concert on June 8 will be at the famous Vienna Concert House, featuring Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No 8 in C min. and the Indian choir will be singing three of his motets of which Ave Maria and Os Justi are often performed. The second concert which runs three consecutive days – June 13, 14 and 15 – will be performed at the Nepomuk Church and the composition is Verdi’s Requiem mass. Essaying this will be a very large orchestra and a huge choir to balance the orchestra with 4 technically strong and powerful soloists: a soprano, a mezzo-soprano, a tenor and a bass. The conductor for these concerts is Maestro Vijay Upadhayaya who is also from the University of Vienna.

It is not often, that choirs in India attempt choral works of late Romantic or modern composers, and  that too with a full compliment of an orchestra. The music is very varied from that of the Baroque and the Classical era. The unusual progressions, the twists in voicing, the chromaticism and frequent shift in tonality make this work of Verdi unique and exotic.

For the Indian choristers, it is a very good opportunity to perform  this kind of music in no less a place than in Vienna, the seat of Western classical music. It is a long journey from Chennai, the seat of South Indian classical music – Carnatic.”