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Two Brothers Establish the Australian Indian Orchestra

 Two Brothers Establish the Australian Indian Orchestra

Last year, Sydney-based brothers Sagar and Suraj Nagaraj were involved in a string orchestra, performing works by great composers such as Tchaikovsky and Mahler. But what caught their audience’s attention were Suraj’s orchestral arrangements of music from Bollywood films. The audience’s love for this blend of music was a revelation for the brothers. As Sagar recalls, “We knew we were onto something.”

Driven by passion and innovation, the Nagaraj brothers have launched “Australia’s first and only symphony orchestra dedicated to performing Indian music.” The inaugural performance of the Australian Indian Orchestra (AIO) will feature a unique ensemble of 60 musicians playing instruments ranging from the sitar and tabla to the keyboard and voice. Bollywood songs will be the highlight, arranged single-handedly by conductor and artistic director Suraj.

Suraj, with his experience as concertmaster of the Sydney Youth Orchestra, brings a unique perspective to the AIO. Sagar, who has performed with the Australian World Orchestra, adds his wealth of experience to the mix.

In a candid conversation with AIO’s general manager, violinist, and co-founder Sagar, we delve into the inspiration behind this groundbreaking venture.

A Symphony of Cultures

The idea for the AIO was sparked by the brothers’ shared love for classical and Indian music. Their combined background in Western and Indian musical traditions created a synergy that allowed them to see the potential of blending these two worlds.

Sagar and Suraj Nagaraj

Their inaugural concert program reflects this fusion, featuring a variety of instruments from the sitar to the tabla, keyboard to voice. Suraj’s ability to arrange Bollywood songs for a full symphony orchestra adds a unique touch to their performances.

A Vision for the Future

The Nagaraj brothers have big plans for the AIO. They envision a future where their orchestra plays an essential role in bridging cultural gaps and fostering understanding between different musical traditions.

They hope to inspire other musicians to explore new horizons and contribute to a global musical dialogue that transcends boundaries.

What’s Next?

The Australian Indian Orchestra, founded by Sagar and Suraj Nagaraj, is a testament to the power of creativity, collaboration, and cultural fusion. Their innovative approach to music has created a platform where Eastern and Western musical traditions can harmonize in a symphony of cultures.

With their inaugural performance on the horizon, the AIO promises to be a remarkable addition to Australia’s musical landscape, offering a fresh perspective and opening new doors in the world of orchestral music.

Mohammad Ali Yasser

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