Australian Consulate-General
Chennai, India

Media release

09 February 2015                                                                                                                                                                          PA-CN/02/01

Australian World Orchestra under the Direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta to Perform in Chennai

The Australian World Orchestra (AWO), under the direction of internationally renowned conductor Zubin Mehta, will perform in Chennai in October 2015, in part thanks to funding support announced by the Australian Government today.

Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, the Australian Minister for the Arts announced that the government will provide $250,000 (AUD) in funding to support the AWO’s tour to three Indian cities- Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi.

The AWO brings together over 100 Australian musicians playing in leading world orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and musicians from various Australian State Orchestras. AWO’s inaugural concert series was held in Sydney in August 2011. Maestro Zubin Mehta has previously conducted the AWO for concerts in Sydney and Melbourne in October 2013. The Maestro was so impressed with the AWO that he decided to bring the orchestra to India. Maestro Mehta’s last visit to Chennai was in December 2005 for a tribute concert for tsunami victims with the Bavarian State Orchestra.

As part of their tour, the AWO will also deliver an education program to young Indian musicians and perform Haydn’s Toy Symphony in a series of concerts for underprivileged children, with the involvement of a number of high-profile Australian and Indian cricketers.

“I am delighted that we can help bring the Australian World Orchestra and Maestro Zubin Mehta to Chennai this year,” said Mr Sean Kelly, the Australian Consul-General to South India. “The Australian World Orchestra is an exciting and innovative orchestra initiative and it represents the best that Australia can offer in the field of the arts.”

The Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Patrick Suckling said the concert tour would be a rare opportunity for Indian audiences to experience the finest talents in Western classical music from India and Australia.

“This is a wonderful example of the growing cultural engagement between Australia and India, which is a critical foundation of the relationship between our two countries,” Mr Suckling said.

“It will be a privilege for our world-class musicians to work with an internationally-renowned Maestro such as Zubin Mehta for a series of high-profile concerts. They will also deliver an education program to young Indian musicians and work with underprivileged children.”

Cultural engagement has been a key priority for both the Australian and India Governments and during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Australia in November 2014, Mr Modi and Prime Minister Tony Abbott witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Arts and Culture.

Prime Minister Modi also announced a Festival of Indian Culture in Australia in 2015/16 to showcase the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Indian culture.

Further information on the AWO can be found on their website