It has been Zubin Mehta’s life-long dream to play in Jammu and Kashmir.
Author: Naseer Ganai Source: The Daily Mail UK
Come September, and the world famous musician and composer’s wish will finally come true and the picturesque Shalimar Bagh on the banks of the Dal Lake will be the setting.
The concert will be sponsored by the German embassy in India.
An announcement to this regard is going to be made shortly by the German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner, a source said. Mehta’s show will be televised live to nearly 100 countries around the world.
"He will perform at Shalimar Bagh in the first week of September," G.A. Mir, the J&K ministerfor tourism, said.
Mir said the event is being sponsored by the German embassy and the state government has facilitated it.
"It is big event. It has all the right things. The German embassy is already on board. It has been a long-pending wish of Zubin Mehta to perform in Kashmir and this concert will help boost brand Kashmir," Mir added. "We must welcome it."
Mehta has always been keen to perform in Kashmir. Last year, the Mumbai-born musician told reporters during a visit to New Delhi that he would drop everything to perform in the Valley.
"I wish one day I could play in Kashmir. I will cancel every appointment to come and do that," Mehta had said then.
Steiner, who last year presented the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit to the Mumbai-born conductor, had assured Mehta that he would do everything to make his dream a reality.
To this effect, the German envoy visited Kashmir five times since January this year and held discussions with the state government and others concerned about Mehta’s concert.
Mehta had asked Steiner to explore the possibility of a "suitable open air venue in Srinagar" and that’s the reason Shalimar Bagh had been chosen.
Mehta’s association with J&K dates back to 1974 when he first came to India on a vacation with his wife and children. It is said that Mehta went to Kashmir and fell in love with it.