The concert you have been waiting for | Sunday Observer

The concert you have been waiting for

The Gustav Mahler Orchestra and its Chief Conductor Srimal Weerasinghe will return to the stage of Royal College Nawarangahala for another exciting concert to open the 2019/20 season of the orchestra, on Saturday August 24, 2019.

The Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo which is a product of the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo (GMSC), made history in 2018 premièring in Sri Lanka, the Orchestral works of Gustav Mahler, arguably the greatest composer of all time, whose music is difficult to perform due to their highly demanding nature both technically and intellectually.

The Chief Conductor of the Orchestra, Srimal Weerasinghe, is an alumnus of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and Royal College, Colombo-7. He is a conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Sri Lanka and also teaches at the University of Visual and Performing Arts.

Srimal started learning music at the age of 10 studying piano under Mrs. Priyanthi Perera. His musical career began at the Thomian Chamber Orchestra as a descant recorder player. He went on to take up the oboe as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Sri Lanka in 2010.

Srimal was instrumental in reviving the Royal College Orchestra, which performs regularly under his direction through five years after its inception.

Weerasinghe founded the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo in 2018 with his colleagues Vidhurinda Samaraweera, Rachel Halliday and Amanda Halliday, aiming at creating accessible grounds for Western classical music in Sri Lanka, while breaking the barriers that have limited its reach to a few pockets of Colombo. The society has successfully completed its first season despite several obstacles and is now the largest performing orchestra in Sri Lanka.

Rachel Halliday, Mezzo Soprano, already well known for her Mahler performances will return with the Gustav Mahler Orchestra at this concert to perform Gustav Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder.

She currently trains the college choirs of Wesley and Museaus and teaches at the University of Visual and Performing Arts.

Rachel is one of the founders of the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo and is the Chorus Directress of the society as well. She has also performed several times as soloist with the orchestra.

The upcoming concert of the Gustav Mahler Orchestra will take place at the Royal College Nawarangahala, featuring works by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler and three Sri Lankan composers, Sachiththa Fernando, Harsha Makalande and Lalanath De Silva, on Saturday August 24, 2019 at 7.30pm.

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