Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauds the Austrian orchestra
Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauds the Austrian orchestra for performing the ‘Vande Mataram’ on his arrival in Vienna, on Tuesday. Image Credit: ANI

Vienna: Praising musical culture of Austria, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he got a glimpse of it by witnessing an "amazing" rendition of 'Vande Mataram'.

PM Modi shared a video that shows Austrian artists performing 'Vande Mataram' to welcome him at the hotel in Vienna. In the video, PM Modi can be seen applauding the artists after they performed in front of him.

While sharing the video on X, PM Modi stated, "Austria is known for its vibrant musical culture. I got a glimpse of it thanks to this amazing rendition of Vande Mataram!"

Meanwhile, Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej praised the Indian composer Vijay Upadhyaya, who performed the rendition of 'Vande Mataram.'

"The conductor is an Indian who makes all of us proud - Vijay Upadhyaya, originally from Lucknow. He is the director of the prestigious Vienna University Philharmonic (among other international orchestras) and founded the India National Youth Orchestra. He is a proud Indian and often conducts Indian-styled music internationally," he posted on X.

After landing in Austria, PM Modi arrived at the hotel Ritz-Carlton in Vienna and greeted members of the Indian diaspora. Austrian artists performed 'Vande Mataram' to welcome PM Modi, as he arrived at the hotel in Vienna.

'Phenomenal experience'

Austrian artists who performed 'Vande Mataram' in front of PM Modi have called it a "phenomenal experience" and a "big honour."

Ibrahim, an Austrian artist from the choir and orchestra that performed 'Vande Mataram' in front of PM Modi, said that the orchestra had been preparing for the performance for a few days and called it a "huge opportunity" for Austria and the orchestra.

Speaking to ANI, he said, "It was a phenomenal experience. I really enjoyed it. It's a big honour for me. It's a huge honour. I did prepare quite a lot. With the orchestra, we prepared for a few days. But, also at home, I had to really give my best because this is a huge opportunity for Austria, for us, for our orchestra. It was an amazing experience."

Asked about his interaction with PM Modi, he said, "It was amazing. You can really see that he cares for the people. And I really noticed that feeling. I felt warm next to him, with him."

Vijay Upadhyay, the Musician who headed the choir and orchestra that performed 'Vande Mataram' in front of PM Modi, said he is from Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow. He said that a choir and orchestra with a total of 50 members performed in front of PM Modi.

He said, "I am from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. I came to this college in Austria and I am now directing the music department at Vienna University."

"The first thing I did was to find out what to do two weeks ago. In Western music, the orchestra or the singers have to write everything down. So first I had to write it down in two days, then I had to rehearse it. We decided to perform 'Vande Mataram' in Austria-European Symphony style. A choir and an orchestra with a total of 50 members performed in front of PM Modi," he added.

Speaking about his interaction with PM Modi, Upadhyay said, "We should think that PM Modi is also a human being. He came from Russia. He must have been tired but he has so much energy. I wonder where he got it from. I told him I was from Lucknow and he said he is from Uttar Pradesh. I have been here for so many years, but I should keep my civilization. So, my contact with PM Modi."

Antonia, an Austrian artist from the choir and orchestra, called it an "enormous experience" to have played the song in front of him.

"It was an enormous experience. I never played in front of such a big honoured person. So it was a little bit crazy actually because there are so many famous people here. So, that we can play in front of them is just fantastic. I think we prepared like two weeks or something. So, Vijay wrote the song for us and then we chatted about some rehearsals and then we did this in like, yeah, two weeks or something," Antonia told ANI.

Asked about PM Modi's reaction while the orchestra was performing, she responded, "He looked at us with such big eyes and I also saw a little smile on his face and that was a really beautiful moment for us."

She said that PM Modi also interacted with the orchestra members and called him a friendly person.

Speaking about her interaction with PM Modi, Antonia said, "He was really friendly. He came to us like a friend actually. He entered the group, we took a photo with him. He signed our notes. So he was a really friendly person."

'A special visit'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Austria on Wednesday (local time) after concluding his two-day visit to Russia. He was welcomed by Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. Indian Ambassador to Austria, Shambhu Kumaran was also present at the airport.

After arriving in Vienna, PM Modi in a post on X stated, "Landed in Vienna. This visit to Austria is a special one. Our nations are connected by shared values and a commitment to a better planet. Looking forward to the various programmes in Austria including talks with Chancellor @karlnehammer, interactions with the Indian community and more."

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal took to Twitter and said that PM Modi arrived on his first bilateral visit to Austria and was welcomed by Alexander Schallenberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria.

"PM @narendramodi arrives in the historic city of Vienna on his first bilateral visit to Austria. Welcomed by FM @a_schallenberg at the airport. As the two countries are celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year, this momentous visit will add renewed momentum to India-Austria ties," Randhir Jaiswal said on X.

PM Modi joined the dinner hosted by Austria Chancellor Karl Nehammer. Austrian Chancellor extended a warm welcome to PM Modi.

In a post on X, Nehammar stated, "Welcome to Vienna, PM @narendramodi! It is a pleasure and honour to welcome you to Austria. Austria and India are friends and partners. I look forward to our political and economic discussions during your visit!"

PM Modi thanked Nehammer for extending a warm welcome and said that he looked forward to holding discussions.

In a post on X, PM Modi stated, "Thank you, Chancellor @karlnehammer, for the warm welcome. I look forward to our discussions tomorrow as well. Our nations will continue working together to further global good."

Notably, this is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Austria in 41 years. Indira Gandhi was the last PM to visit Austria in 1983.

Prior to landing in Vienna, PM Modi was on a two-day official visit to Russia. During the visit, PM Modi held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also addressed the Indian diaspora in Moscow.