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Vijay Upadhyaya: India's Cultural Ambassador Who Welcomed PM Modi With Music In Vienna

PM Modi was accorded a grand musical reception on the historic visit to Vienna, the Austrian capital. Western artists gave a welcome to Modi with their version of ‘Vande Mataram’. Leading the welcome was Vijay Upadhyaya, India’s cultural ambassador to Austria, who lead a choir and orchestra performance for the Prime Minister. Taking to ‘X’, […]

PM Modi was accorded a grand musical reception on the historic visit to Vienna, the Austrian capital. Western artists gave a welcome to Modi with their version of ‘Vande Mataram’.

Leading the welcome was Vijay Upadhyaya, India’s cultural ambassador to Austria, who lead a choir and orchestra performance for the Prime Minister. Taking to ‘X’, Modi said, “Austria is known for its rich musical heritage and I got a glimpse of this through this excellent rendition of Vande Mataram.”

WHO IS VIJAY UPADHYAYA?

Vijay Upadhyaya is a very well-known conductor in the international music scene. He’s taken forward the Vienna University Philharmonic to the world level and heads an initiative for setting up the India National Youth Orchestra. For him, his concern has always been about cultural exchange through music.

“Vijay Upadhyaya, the maestro from Lucknow, is the pride of India. He has conducted famous orchestras including the Vienna University Philharmonica and founded the India National Youth Orchestra. He has been taking Indian music to the global platform, Grammy-winning music composer Ricky Kej wrote in a post on X.”.

Born in Lucknow, Vijay Upadhyaya started his musical journey pretty early when his mother first taught him to play the piano, followed by Indian percussion and Kathak dance. Conducting happened during his teens, where he led his school choir at the age of 14.

After studying at Lucknow University, Upadhyaya went to Austria for further training at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. He could practice conducting choirs and brass bands in Eastern Styria and participate in Austrian culture as a foreigner, even mastering the dialects.

He settled in Vienna, where he concentrated on composing in addition to conducting. Together with his prize-winning symphonies, “Prayer Flags” and “Chang’An Men – Gate to Long-Lasting Peace,” he combined elements from Indian and Chinese traditions with the Western classical tradition. In the year 2010, he had established the India National Youth Orchestra and Chorus for training young musicians and providing experience in orchestral and choral music.

The effect of his culture spans the globe, for he has conducted and composed for the China National Symphony Orchestra and worked on international projects with both the Austrian Foreign Ministry and European Union. It brought many awards, decorations—particularly in the area of cultural diplomacy and music—to Upadhyaya in the form of a Golden Award of Honour in Austria.

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PM ModiTDGThe Daily GaurdianViennaVijay Upadhyaya