Music to Bridge Cultural Divide

Uberto Orlando has been touring India to train Indians on Western Classical Music and is currently in the city. City Express catches up with him

Published: 02nd May 2015 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd May 2015 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: Uberto Orlando, a stalwart of western classical music enchanted the audience with his breathtaking music demonstration at Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad on Friday. He will also be performing at different parts of the city during rest of his stay here. His visit to the city is in collaboration with Hyderabad Western Music.

His musical tour began in February 2014 and till now, he has been giving seminars and musical demonstrations in western classical music throughout the country. His journey with music began at the early age because of the musical lineage. “Friends with Puccini family my father decided to become a musician. The disease got passed on to me. Going with my mother’s suggestion, I started with playing piano, but I did not want to take it further. I left music for a while. Later when I was 16, I was inclined towards learning flute,” shares Uberto, who gets inspired by Joan Sebastian Barthes.

Music to bri.jpgAs he has been practising music from a very young age, Uberto Orlando has learnt that music can bridge the class divide in the society. He thinks that this is what is holding Indians behind.

“In my classes I try to bring people from different backgrounds together to play music so that they can interact and find things in common,” he shares.

He has recorded and performed in countries like Europe, Russia, the USA and Central America, Africa, Japan and India. In his career he has taught in several conservatories of music as well as in independent music schools and has given master classes worldwide.

The flautist points out that there is a misconception in India that only westerners can play western classical music, but he informs that anyone who can read the notations can play. “Proper training to read musical texts could help those practising the music to improve,” he shares

As a part of this educational tour in India, Uberto has also performed and taught at the Calcutta School of Music, Kolkata, which was built over 100 years ago by violinist Phillipe Sandre as a school for Western Classical Music. “The school has an orchestra with 25 people. To improve themselves and rise up to international standards, they need to be trained by musicians from abroad. There are limited number of Indian musicians who can teach western classic music. We hope to achieve this through exchange programmes, where a bunch of musicians from abroad could tour the country and educate the local musicians more about the western classics,” says the musician.

Talking about the lamentable situation of music remaining only as a hobby and not a profession for many across the world, Uberto says, “When I played in Kolkata, I noticed that only people with affluent background attended the concerts. I did not like that as music is not meant only for one particular class. They don’t even consider letting their kids take up music as a profession. They think the money they make out of it is very minimal. For example, the musicians in the orchestra are given `120 per rehearsal. Hence, most people have a notion that only the disadvantaged classes play music in the orchestras.”He thinks that if the musicians are trained and paid well, the state of western music in the country could improve.”

He has been visiting the country, with regular intervals, for almost an year now and the Italy-based musician finds Indians and Italians to have something in common. “It is my first trip as a musician. I find people here warm and hospitable. Like in India, people are Family oriented in South Italy too, a little disorganised though,” he laughs. The Professor of Flute at Chamber Music and Music for Wind Ensembles finds India as a country with many talented people.

The musician who is visiting Hyderabad for the first time, has fallen in love with it. “ I have been around to a few places in Hyderabad, I visited Charminar and Chowmahalla palace and I am amazed by the palace’s magnanimity. It is a very wonderful city with mixed culture,” opines Uberto.The stalwart has planned for concerts with a few music groups from India during Diwali. Asked whom he will be performing with he says, “It has not been decided yet as it is still in planning stage.”

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