Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DD's Golden jubilee celebrations with Rahman concert

The Golden Jubilee celebrations of Doordarshan got off to a grand start here with a live concert featuring the Oscar-winning A R Rahman apart from popular singers Hariharan and Kailash Kher. ‘A R Rahman Unplugged’ was meant to be a curtain-raiser for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations which will commence on 15 September and continue for a full year. Doordarshan had commenced telecasts on 15 September 1959 with a one-hour daily transmission.

Speaking on the occasion, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said after the first landmark in 1959, Doordarshan had grown to become the world’s largest terrestrial television network. It had gone colour in 1982 on the occasion of the Ninth Asian Games, and will adapt to High Definition Television (HDTV) to coincide with the Commonwealth Games next month. She noted that Doordarshan was being seen in 3500 million households in the country. She also felicitated Rahman, who won two Oscars for the music in the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, with a shawl and a memento.

Earlier, Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma told a news conference that the opening event will be in Mumbai on 15 September and programmes will be held in different Kendras. There will also be a concert in Delhi . In addition, there will be several discussions looking back at the growth of Doordarshan, and the final one on 15 September 2010 will examine sports evens, in view of the Commonwealth Games. She claimed that with the help of DTH and satellite TV, Doordarshan was reaching the entire country. Rahman announced that he would shortly be doing a reality show based on music with Doordarshan. K R Harish, Managing Director of Phat Phish India which put the concert together for Doordarshan, also spoke on the occasion. Kher had the nearly-full auditorium at the Sirifort Complex swinging to his songs as he rendered some of his own numbers and some which had been originally sung by others for Rahman. He was accompanied by his group Kailasa. Some of the numbers rendered by him included ‘Mangal Mangal Ho’, ‘Chak de Phatte’, ‘Maula’, ‘Yeh jo des hai tera’ and ‘Rang de basanti’.

He was followed by Sivamani, who enthralled the entire hall with his magical performance with percussion instruments, moving his hands from one percussion instrument to another and producing foot-tapping music. Rahman performed on the piano as Hariharan and Sadhna Sargam sang some of the songs composed by him including numbers from ‘Roja’ and ‘ Bombay ’. Students of Rahman’s K M Conservatory in Chennai also performed on the occasion in choral singing of both Hindustani and western music. The recorded programme will be telecast exclusively on Doordarshan later.

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