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Performers

Ambassador & Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India
Pianist and Music Educator
Organist, Pianist & Sound Engineer

Date & Time

Sunday Sun, 4 Feb 2024

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Diplomat-musician Nirupama Menon Rao traces her journey through song and poetry in a concert that features her favorite musical works. Ambassador Rao has traversed the worlds of diplomacy and the creative arts through many sojourns that have taken her to the far ends of the earth, and her concert will feature songs in English, Spanish, Bengali and Malayalam. In her words, “These songs have accompanied me on my journeys across hemispheres, and have been my faithful co-travellers through the years”. The concert repertoire features songs from musical theatre, jazz perennials, folk music and Rabindra Sangeet. Ambassador Rao is also a published poet and will read from her poetry. She will be accompanied on the piano by Soundarie David Rodrigo and Neranjan De Silva on the keyboard. Soundarie and Neranjan are from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Supported by:

   

Performers

Nirupama Menon Rao

Ambassador & Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India

Nirupama Rao is a former Indian Foreign Service officer. She retired as Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, the senior most position in the Foreign Service, being the second woman to occupy the post (2009-2011). She was the first woman spokesperson (2001-02) of the Indian foreign office. She served as India’s first woman High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Sri Lanka (2004-2006) and to the People’s Republic of China (2006-2009). She was Ambassador of India to the United States from 2011 to 2013.

In retirement she has been a Senior Visiting Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University where she has taught an undergraduate seniors course on “India in the World” and George Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Ambassador Rao was a Fellow at the India-China Institute of The New School, New York in 2016 and a Public Policy Fellow at The Wilson Center, Washington D.C. in 2018 and 2022.

Ambassador Rao is a Founder-Trustee with her husband, Sudhakar, of The South Asian Symphony Foundation a not-for-profit Trust which is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding in South Asia through the creation of a South Asian Symphony Orchestra.

Her most recent book is ‘The Fractured Himalaya: India Tibet China, 1949 to 1962’, published by Penguin Random House.

Soundarie David Rodrigo

Pianist and Music Educator

Soundarie David Rodrigo is a Pianist, Music Educator, Choral Director and Intellectual Property Lawyer. She pursed her musical education at the Royal College of Music, London, and her legal studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she specialized in Entertainment Law, having been a recipient of the Rotary World Peace Scholarship. Soundarie is the Founder of Sri Lanka’s premiere female choral ensemble ‘Soul Sounds’, the first choir in Sri Lanka to perform and win awards internationally. Over the last twenty years, Soul Sounds has given highly acclaimed performances all around the world. She is also the Founder of one of Sri Lanka’s leading Music Academies The Soul Sounds Academy.

Soundarie has directed many music productions and has collaborated with many artists for concert recitals. She is the first Sri Lankan to be appointed as Representative on the World Choir Council for INTERKULTUR the international organisation that hosts several celebrated international choral festivals and competitions. She serves as a jury member at international choral competitions and was one of the judges for the franchised talent show ‘Sri Lanka’s Got Talent’. Soundarie plays an important role in the promotion of culture and arts in Sri Lanka and the region. She was the Deputy Director at the SAARC Cultural Centre based in Sri Lanka from 2010 having set up all its programs from inception, and later on was Director, Programs for the Colombo Cultural Hub till 2018. Her awards include the SAARC Woman of Achievement Award, the Zonta Award, the Bunka Award and recently the Women in Management Award 2019/20 for the Arts and Creative Industry.

Neranjan De Silva

Organist, Pianist & Sound Engineer

Neranjan De Silva stands as a multifaceted musical virtuoso, renowned for his mastery as an organist, pianist, and musician of exceptional caliber. As a chartered engineer from both Sri Lanka and the UK, his expertise extends beyond the realms of music, showcasing a unique fusion of technical precision and artistic expression.

Internationally recognized for his musical prowess, Neranjan has seamlessly woven his talents into the fabric of diverse musical collaborations. His collaborations with multiple choirs and individual singers, both within local communities and on the global stage, bear testimony to his ability to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries through the universal language of music.

In addition to his musical accolades, Neranjan De Silva is also distinguished as a sound engineer and recording engineer. This expertise positions him as rare talent, capable not only of creating captivating live performances but also crafting meticulous and immersive audio experiences through the recording studio.