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The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A. R. Rahman in Calcutta & Four Other Cities - Classic Incantations Concert Series

English: A.R. Rahman at The Nobel Peace Price ...

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“Classic Incantations”  brings alive the Year of Germany in India with a five-city concert tour:

“The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A. R. Rahman”

Momentous collaboration formed under the aegis of the Year of Germany in India 

Concert tour marks the centenary celebration of Indian Cinema and Studio Babelsberg

Over 100 plus member live orchestral performances mark a new milestone for the five-city concert tour.

Unique collaboration of renowned soloists, choir members from KM Music Conservatory, Chennai to join the German Film Orchestra to perform A. R. Rahman’s film compositionsLapp India to foster closer ties between India & Germany.

Classic Incantations - The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A. R. Rahman, a five-city concert tour, exclusively presented by Lapp India, a leading cable and connectivity solutions company, the musical extravaganza will for the first time, showcase over a hundred orchestral musicians as they perform live in India as part of the collaborative celebration titled “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”.

The tour coincides with the celebration of the centenary year of Studio Babelsberg, the world's oldest film studio in Germany, and Indian Cinema that were incepted in 1912. The concert will debut in Mumbai on 20th January 2012 and will subsequently travel to Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, creating a new highpoint for music lovers across the nation.

A R Rahman


Pt. Viswa Mohan Bhatt Live in Concert at Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival 2011

Pandit Viswa Mohan Bhatt & Subrata Bhattacharya
Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt & Subrata Bhattacharya

Pandit Viswa Mohan BhattCalcutta, Jan 4, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): From December 29 till January 4, Kolkata will be gifted with memorable concerts by the leading classical guitarists worldwide, as the Calcutta International Guitar Festival 2011 gets started with all the right chords and beats!

Supported by the Siddha and Bikram Ghosh, the concert got its way amidst much fan-fare, lauded by enthusiastic followers and maestros alike.

ICCR auditorium hosted the festival’s first concert in the evening of December 29. Pt. Viswa Mohan Bhatt, the Grammy Award Winning, Mohan Veena player accompanied by Subrata Bhattacharya on the Tabla and Somnath Roy on the Ghatanm captivated the audience in his rhythmic and soulful tunes.

Read all about the event and check out our exclusive photo-feature and slide-show on WBRi.



German violinist Julia Fischer performs with Milana Chernyavska in Washington

Julia FischerWashington, D.C.­, Jan 4, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / WPAS) German violinist Julia Fischer is recognized worldwide as an exceptionally gifted performer. Said the Guardian, of her latest CD, Poème, “The Suk dazzles, the Chausson is restrained yet passionate, the Respighi beautiful in the extreme.” Said NPR’s deceptive cadence, “As a technician, Fischer is astounding. You only need hear her crisp articulations and fantastically precise left-hand work to hear proof of that. But within these works she also reaches an emotional inner core that is very moving.” Fischer performs a recital of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy and Saint-Saëns at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on February 18.

Fischer’s extraordinary talent is reflected in the numerous awards and similarly effusive reviews she has received for both her live performances and recordings. Said the Guardian of a performance last year of Shostakovich’s first violin concerto, “In what is one of the most arduous works in the repertoire for the violin soloist, Fischer’s unstinting vigor and ability to dig deep into the tone matched the sense of purpose conductor and orchestra brought to the finely integrated accompaniment.” Said the New York Times of a Fischer recital of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, “Ms. Fischer plays with a remarkably sweet tone (evoking melting caramel perhaps) and long, refined phrases that have an operatic quality to them.”

Julia Fischer started the 2011-12 season at the Lucerne Festival with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and on a subsequent tour to London, Luxembourg and Frankfurt performing the world premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s violin concerto “Mar’eh,” a piece dedicated to Ms. Fischer. Other highlights of season include European tours with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, playing and directing a program of Mozart, Puccini and Verdi, as well as with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov. Guest appearances in 2011-12 include performances with the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. Her recital tours with pianist Milana Chernyavska take her to Italy and Spain, as well as to five cities beyond Washington, D.C.  in the U.S. The season is rounded off with recital and chamber music performances at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad and Copenhagen’s Tivoli Concert Hall in the summer of 2012.

Julia FischerFischer was named “Artist of the Year” at the Gramophone Awards in 2007. In January 2009 her CD of Bach concertos recorded with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra became the fastest-selling classical music debut in iTunes history. Fischer’s 2005 recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin earned worldwide critical praise including the rare distinction of winning three of France’s most prestigious awards: the Diapason d’Or from Diapason; the CHOC from Le Monde de la Musique; and the highest rating from Classica Repertoire. Fischer revisited the works on a two-month 2010 tour that included two performances at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.

Also an accomplished pianist, Fischer, made her professional piano debut at the Alte Oper Frankfurt performing the Grieg Piano Concerto and Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in the same concert. A DVD of the concert was released by Decca in August 2010.

Born in Munich in 1983 to a pianist mother from Slovakia and a mathematician father from Eastern Germany, Fischer began learning the piano with her mother at age three, but was soon persuaded to take add the violin. She began violin lessons at the Leopold Mozart Conservatoire in Augsburg, and three years later became a pupil of Ana Chumachenco at the Munich Academy of Music., She won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition at age 11, an event that catapulted her toward a career as a soloist. Fischer lives in Munich, Germany.

Milana ChernyavskaMilana Chernyavska was born in Kiev in the Ukraine. She began piano lessons at age of five and entered the School for Gifted Children at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory two years later. She won the first international chamber music competition Concertino Praga at age 12 and graduated with distinction from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1990 after which she continued her studies at the Academy for Music and Theatre in Munich. She won the Gold Medal at the Vladimir and Regina Horowitz Competition in 1994.

Chernyavska has appeared as soloist with a number of orchestras, including the Munich Chamber and Ukrainian National Symphonic orchestras. Her performances have been recorded by German radio, as well as for the BBC, the VRS, Radio France, and the National Ukrainian Radio. She has made numerous solo and chamber music recordings for EMI, Naxos, Claves, Avie and Ars Musici.

Chernyavska has performed at Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall, Chatelet in Paris, the Conservatoire in Moscow, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. She performs regularly with her own quartet, the Milander Quartet, as well as with Julia Fischer and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, among others, and has taught at the Academy for Music and Theatre in Munich, among other places.

Who: Julia Fischer, violin Milana Chernyavska, piano
When: Saturday, February 18, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Where: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Program: Beethoven Sonata in B-flat Major, K.454 Schubert Rondeau Brillant, Op. 70, D. 895 Debussy Sonata in G minor Saint-Saens Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75
Tickets, $40, are available at www.wpas.org or 202-785-9727.

The Encore Series is made possible through the generous support of the Abramson Family Foundation.

Funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by National Endowment for the Arts. 



Radharani Telefilms Centre Kolkata Felicitates Tollywood Stalwarts

Bengali Actresses Supriya Devi, Santwana Bose, Rita Koyral & Sandhya Roy

Bengali Actresses Supriya Devi, Santwana Bose, Rita Koyral & Sandhya Roy

Bengali Actresses Supriya Devi, Santwana Bose, Rita Koyral & Sandhya Roy
From Left: Supriya Devi, Santwana Bose, Sandhya Roy, Rita Koyral & Rina Mitra

Kolkata, January 2, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations)  Bidding adieu to the year that was, Kolkata was at the height of festivities while a part of the city’s film fraternity took this opportunity to felicitate some of the stalwarts of the industry through a grand award ceremony.



The Emerson String Quartet and Wu Han perform at Strathmore on Feb. 15th

Washington, D.C., Jan 3, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) After 35 years of extensive touring, the Emerson String Quartet boasts an incomparable list of achievements: nine Grammy® Awards (including two for Best Classical Album, an unprecedented honor for a chamber music group), three Gramophone Awards, the coveted Avery Fisher Prize and an international reputation for groundbreaking chamber music projects including cycles of the complete Beethoven, Bartók, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich string quartets in the world’s musical capitals.


Latin American Ball Room Dance Workshop Coming to Kolkata

Daniel Clifford's School of Latin American Dances, Kolkata

Calcutta, Dec 20, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Internationally acclaimed South American Dance expert Daniel Clifford will conduct a 7 day workshop in Kolkata on various forms of Latin American Ball Room that includes Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Tango, Waltz, Quick Step etc.


The 10th India International Mega Trade Fair, Kolkata: Bringing Business Closer

December 22, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): From December 15th to 25th Science City Auditorium grounds, Kolkata will be busy welcoming some of the most recognizable names in the business fraternity with the 10th India International Mega Trade Fair kicking off amidst much fan fare.

The guests of honor, Mr. Partho Chaterjee, (West Bengal State Commerce and Industry Minister) and the deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, saw the IIMTF through its inaugural program, in the presence of the representatives from the participating countries - Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana and Myanmar, to name a few. The country in focus is Pakistan, while Bangladesh will partner the event with India.

Supposedly the largest trade fair of its kind in Asia, the IIMTF, Kolkata, will feature separate air conditioned stands with displays from various industrial segments such as Electronics & Electricals, Furniture, Lifestyle, Food & Beverages, home décor & home appliances and much more.

Realizing the importance of homemakers and kids in influencing buying decisions, steps have also been taken to draw them in huge numbers and keep them entertained throughout. A Mega Chef Contest and a Mega Drawing Competition is expected to serve this purpose satisfactorily. To be stretched across two weekends, the India International Mega Trade Fair, Kolkata, is also expecting to pull in the working professionals, who would otherwise find it extremely difficult to attend the fair.

Here is a picture gallery from the Trade Fair.

10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta

10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta

10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta 10th India International Mega Trade Fair Kolkata 2012 @ Science City Calcutta


The Jarry Singla Trio Cast Their Spell on Calcutta

Jarry Singla Trio Performing Live in Calcutta

Jarry Singla Trio Performing Live in Calcutta

Kolkata, December 10, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations): Renowned German jazz group The Jarry Singla Trio kick-started their Indian tour with a captivating performance at Kolkata’s Goethe Institut on Friday December 9. Amid the tragedy of deaths the city had been struck with at AMRI Hospital, the Goethe Institut (Max Mueller Bhavan) provided the city with a kind of tranquility following the chaotic events of the rest of the day.



Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes Returns to Washington DC with Haydn, Bartók, Debussy and Chopin

Leif Ove Andsnes

Washington, D.C.­, Dec 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Internationally-acclaimed Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes returns to the Washington area to perform a program of works by Haydn, Bartók, Debussy and Chopin at The Music Center at Strathmore on February 12.


Opera star Susan Graham performs at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Susan Graham

Washington, D.C., Dec 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Dubbed “America's favorite mezzo” by Gramophone magazine, Grammy Award-winning singer Susan Graham captivates audiences with her expressive voice, unusually tall and graceful stature, and engaging acting ability. One of the world’s foremost stars of opera and recital, “it is impossible to take eyes or ears off of Susan Graham whenever she is onstage…once Graham opens her mouth, a listener can only submit to a lustrous voice that abounds in expressive colors,” said The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Graham performs an afternoon recital of works ranging from Purcell to Sondheim presented by WPAS at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Saturday, February 4, 2012.



Choral Arts Society Founder Norman Scribner to Receive Humanitarian Award at His Final MLK Tribute Concert

Norman Scribner, Conductor

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) M

en, Women, and Children of the Gospel Choirs will again join together to present the 24th annual “Living the Dream…Singing the Dream” choral tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on January 22, 2012, at 7 p.m. This rich musical collaboration will commemorate the legacy of the great civil rights leader through music conducted by Norman Scribner and Stanley J. Thurston. The program includes a diverse selection of works, including classical music, gospel hymns and moving spirituals.


Jonathan Biss performs Beethoven, Janáček and Chopin at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Jonathan Biss

Washington, D.C., Dec 16, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Read Jonathan Biss’s bio on jonathanbiss.com and you’re bowled over by his wry and self-depreciative sense of humor. Read reviews of his performances and you’ll find him described as one of “the most exciting young artists of a new generation carrying the grand tradition of classical music into the 21st century ablaze with passion, rigorous musicianship and inspired interpretive flair” (Houston Chronicle). Biss first performed for WPAS in a 2001 recital with Isaac Stern, then debuted on the Hayes Piano Series the following year. He performs on WPAS's Encore Series at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on February 4.


Award-winning cellist Sol Gabetta performs Schumann, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn and Servais with pianist Alessio Bax

Sol Gabetta

Washington, D.C., Dec 15, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The charismatic young Argentina-born cellist Sol Gabetta, who soloed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto in 2008, has forged an impressive career. Said The Strad in a review of her recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto, “Sol Gabetta shines at every turn. Her technical command is absolute…the legacy of Rostropovich seems firmly in place. More importantly, her nuance on shaping phrases is tasteful and expressive.” Said Allgemeine Zeitung, “Sol Gabetta…can sing with four strings, tell lively stories, crow dramatically, shine with playful technicality and turn a cello line into her own question-and-answer game in just a few measures.” Gabetta’s recently released CD, "Il progetto Vivaldi 2" hit the top of the German classical charts. Gabetta makes her WPAS debut performing works by Schumann, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn and Servais at the Terrace Theater on February 11.



Pankaj Udhas Live in Concert : An enchanting Mehfil of Ghazals and Shayari Warming up Kolkata

Pankaj Udhas Live in Kolkata

Pankaj Udhas Live in Kolkata

Kolkata, December 8, 2011(Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  Indian Ghazal stalwart Pankaj Udhas graced Kolkata’s Science City Auditorium with a live concert on Saturday December 3.

The concert was organized by Radio 104 Fever Unplugged to launch their new 24 hour request channel – “Bolo Ki Shunbe” (First of its kind in India!). The show, hosted by RJ Shekhar, had an almost packed auditorium, filled with admirers of Pankaj Udhas.



Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying - Photo Exhibition in Calcutta Celebrates India - Germany Relations

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Kolkata, December 5, 2011(Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  They speak volumes without words. Their silent stories take you to a world unseen. They are photographs.

An exhibition of photographs, “Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying” was inaugurated at the Indian Culture for Cultural Relations (ICCR) by acclaimed actor-director, Mr. Suman Mukhopadhyay . Also present at the inaugural were Ms. Bharati Ray, Chairperson of ICCR and Dr. Martin Waelde, Director of Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata.

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

A photo exhibition that will go on till December 13, 2011, is a gesture to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Germany and is a part of the fifteen months program series named “Germany + India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” . This exhibition hosts photographs taken by 18 ace photographers from Ostkreuz, one of the world’s leading photographic agencies that was born in the year 1990 in Berlin.