Denmark`s royal choir on first India visit

Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 17:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Joyful music heralding the spring and summer seasons after a biting cold European winter forms part of the repertoire that the elite Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir brings on its first visit to India this May.

The visiting choir in cooperation with the Danish Embassy is set to perform here on May 10.

"We have never been to India before and I am under the impression that not many people in the country are familiar with the choir tradition. I hope people will love it," Ebbe Munk, director and chief conductor told reporters.

Cathedral choirs and their choir schools are among some of the oldest musical traditions in Europe and presently the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir CRCC is the only representative of this tradition in Scandinavia- a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Having performed at concert halls, cathedrals and festivals in China, South America, Australia, Japan

and other countries, what the conductor says they have missed till now is a concert in India as well the opportunity to collaborate with musicians from the country.

"We were hoping to play along with Balamurali Krishnan but the maestro schedule was packed this time and we were not able to get matching dates," says Munk.

The conductor says he had attended a concert by Pandit Ravi Shankar but does not get to listen to enough of Indian music.

"We have bought to India a mix of our music. We have popular Scandinavian gypsy hymns for summer, some music by German composers, a little bit of Danish music and some Russian music. It has been very challenging for me to select the range of music," says Munk.

The conductor who was himself a choir boy at CRCC who later went on to become the director says the future of music in another two decades or three is going to be a wait and watch one.

"Globally there is a lot of change. India and China are part of growing influential countries and what is to be seen is whether in the next say 20 to 30 years we are looking at a world where there is an assimilation of culures and music or one where there is no intermingling," says the conductor.

He says he has been surprised at his experiences of audiences in different countries.

"In Brazil and South America I was pleasantlty surprised to see a very sophisticated and critical audience with an understanding of traditional European music. In China the audience was extremely foreign to us and we could not make out. In Japan too we had an audience who was well informed," says the conductor.