In Srinagar, Zubin says music binds: Next time concert be held in a stadium, free
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With controversy surrounding his concert in Srinagar, music maestro Zubin Mehta began his performance on Saturday saying he would like to play in a stadium in Kashmir next time.
Performing before an invited audience of about 1,500 people at the 'Ehsaas-e-Kashmir' concert, the 77-year-old musician added, "We want to do good. And I promise, next time, let's do the concert 'sabke sab Kashmiris, muft (with all Kashmiris attending, free)' in a stadium. Everybody should come. We don't want only a select few," he said.
In Srinagar, Zubin says music binds: Next time, let it be held in a stadium, free to all crowd with folded hands and began his speech in Hindi by expressing his extreme delight to be present at the event, hosted by the German Embassy, at the 17th-century Shalimar Garden on the banks of the Dal Lake. "Hum bahut khush hain, bahut khush hain (I am very, very happy)," he said.
"I have waited and dreamed of this moment...practically all my life," Mehta added, saying he has always believed that the power of music to bring people together could not be underestimated. "And every person on this subcontinent will agree that this is where it (concert) should be... The moment music starts, a very positive wave goes to all of Kashmir, to all our friends, to all our critics. And god bless them all."
Mehta and his nearly 100-member-strong Bavarian State Orchestra performed an array of classical orchestral pieces, to the delight of the audience, including bureaucrats, diplomats, senior politicians and several top industrialists, with the restored 400-year-old monument at the garden serving as the backdrop.