04 Dec 2018 15:43 IST

HCL Concerts presents first global show in New York

Inaugural event features violin maestro L Subramaniam and singer Kavita Krishnamurthi

To celebrate the 30th year of its presence in the United States, global technology major HCL presented its first ever overseas concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on Thursday. Organised by HCL Concerts, a platform that showcases and promotes Indian classical performing arts, the concert featured violin maestro and composer L Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam, well-known singer in the film music world, who has recorded over 15,000 songs in 16 languages.

Welcoming the audience, C Vijayakumar, President and CEO, HCL Technologies, spoke of the rich tradition of classical music in India, with its emphasis on diverse, personal interpretations of a composition or raga, the hallmark of top-class performances being the endless variations and innovations that performers fashion from the same set of seven notes. Just as strongly is the concept of constant innovation and excellence rooted in the HCL ethos, he said, explaining the synergies with the performance initiative.

Accompanied by Steve Sandberg on the piano, Vasanth Vaseegaran on keyboard, guitarist Dominic, and percussionists Meher Chanti on the drums, Mahesh Krishnamurthy on the mridangam and Tanmoy Bose on tabla, the artistes delighted a 500-plus audience of senior business leaders and cultural personalities with a high-energy performance marked by the compelling fusion sounds spanning genres and styles that Subramaniam is globally renowned for.

Setting the tone for the evening, Kavita began with an invocation in Raga Bhairavi, followed by a spirited rendition of Hindi film hits, such as Chupke Se, Hawa Hawayee and Dheemi, Dheemi Gaoon. The next part of the concert showcased Subramaniam’s unique gift for melding Indian classical sounds with Western melodies. The violin in perfect sync with Sandberg’s virtuoso mastery of the keys, the artistes performed the electrifying Indian Express, followed by the perfectly modulated Conversations and the melodious Time is Right, that was enlivened by a series of forceful and brilliant drum solos.

Started in 1998, HCL Concerts organises 30 concerts a year across various cities in India, and has featured over 500 artistes so far; its key aim is to spot and promote young talent, apart from showcasing senior artistes. Having kicked off its overseas foray with the inaugural concert in New York, HCL Concerts plans to promote the performing arts in several cities across the world.

(The writer was in New York on the invitation of HCL.)