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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Grammy winner Gerald Wirth meets children in Gurugram

The composer, who was in Gurugram, likes how people in India are still intact with their historical values.

delhi Updated: Oct 29, 2018 16:13 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Austrian composer Gerald Wirth, who won a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance in 2013, visited Gurugram recently.
Austrian composer Gerald Wirth, who won a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance in 2013, visited Gurugram recently.

The charm of India compels visitors to come back. And that’s what happened with Austrian composer Gerald Wirth — who won Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2013 — visited Gurugram recently.

Wirth had been to Kolkata on his previous trip; and this time made a trip to Rabindranath World School in Gurugram, to meet children. “I have been to India many a times, and love the country. This country makes me feel very comfortable; like my own home. There are [a few] things that I like a lot. The list is long, but if I have to name them then I would say that I like the spiritual atmosphere the most and can feel it in many aspects... especially as a foreigner in the country. I also like Indian music. especially the classical and traditional Indian music,” he says.

Talking about his love for Indian musicians, Wirth says, “I like many, but (sitar maestro) Pandit Ravi Shankar introduced me intensively to Indian music. I have shared the stage with him, and he taught me the details and depth of his musical instrument. We even discussed European music at length.”

“What I like about this place is that be it music or culture, people here are still intact with their historical values. This quality makes India very special,” he adds.

The musician believes that despite being miles apart geographically, India and Austria have some commonalities. “There are a lot of traditions that Austrians follow; like Indians do...,” says Wirth, who loves to listen to different ragas from Indian classical in the morning, and even indulges in singing bhajan and qawwali.

Wirth’s love for the country can’t be expressed completely without talking about Indian food: “I eat lots of amazing food items whenever I come to India. I don’t remember the names of everything, but what I remember having tried is chole bhature for breakfast; and I absolutely love them!”

The artist is also a fan of Indian literature. “I read Shakuntala about 20 years ago and it was a great read. One of my friends gave the book to me, and I was in Tibet at that time. I didn’t know that it was already a hit in Europe. The book has been there for the past 200 years. I was astonished to learn that a European composer had written an opera on the book, too,” says Wirth, who believes that music changed his life.

What did he share with the school children on this trip? He says, “Music can bring a positive change in our minds; that’s what I told the children.”

Interact with the author @ruchikagarg271

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 16:13 IST

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