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Indian-American symphony conductors among 2016 Solti Award Recipients



Indian American conductors Sameer Patel (left) and Ankush Kumar Bahl are the recipients of the 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, which supports and promotes emerging young American conductors as they launch their classical careers. (Arielle Doneson; photo)

Indian American conductors Sameer Patel (left) and Ankush Kumar Bahl are the recipients of the 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, which supports and promotes emerging young American conductors as they launch their classical careers. (Arielle Doneson; photo)

SAN DIEGO (Diya TV) — Sameer Patel, assistant conductor of the San Diego Symphony, and Ankush Kumar Bahl, assistant conductor of Washington D.C.’s National Symphony Orchestra, have both been selected as members who will receive career assistance from the Solti Foundation.

The Solti Foundation was established in 2000 in honor of the late Sir Georg Solti, the Budapest-born orchestral and operatic conductor who was the longtime music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Patel and Bahl join the largest class of Solti Award recipients since its inception 12 years ago. The 11 awards handed out this year surpassed last year’s previous record of nine.

“I am honored by the Solti Foundation’s recognition, and I am grateful to my colleagues at the San Diego Symphony whose continuing support made this award possible,” Patel said in a statement.

As assistant conductor, Patel oversees the music and script for the symphony’s Young People’s Concerts, as well as special engagements that include donor concerts. Additionally, he handles public outreach, visits high schools as a guest conductor and speaks to youth about considering a career in music.

Before his arrival in Southern California, Patel previously served the Fort Wayne Philharmonic for three seasons.

“Since joining the Symphony as assistant conductor last year, Sameer has been an invaluable asset to the orchestra,” Martha Gilmer, chief executive officer of the San Diego Symphony, said in a statement. “He is not only a fine musician but he is dedicated to bringing music to our community. Sameer has infused a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into our Young People’s Concerts with his innovative programming — and the students have responded in kind.

“His first performance with the orchestra was last summer’s surprise John Williams’ ‘Star Wars’ concert for 7,000 exuberant fans — what a great way to begin his time with us. We are fortunate to have Sameer as part of the San Diego Symphony family and appreciate the wonderful contribution he has made in such a short period of time. We congratulate Sameer for this prestigious award.”

For Bahl, the association with the Solti Foundation runs deep — he was the recipient of the 2011, 2013 and 2015 foundation award for U.S. Career Assistance, as well as the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. After a four-year tenure at the National Symphony Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, Bahl recently made appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the National Opera Orchestre de Nancy and the Copenhagen Philharmonic.

He was discovered in 2009 by former New York Philharmonic music director Kurt Masur, and soon after was hired as an assistant conductor to Masur at the Orchestre National de France.

Arts & Culture

Donald Trump takes subtle jab at FCC Chairman Ajit Pai during Diwali ceremony



WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump took time to appreciate and honor fellow South Asian members in his administration during a Diwali celebration, but he did also manage to throw a jab at Ajit Pai.

Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, was criticized by Trump earlier this year during the Sinclair-Tribune merger which halted the conservative local news giants.

The decision made by Pai, a conservative, infuriated Trump:

Fast forward to the Diwali celebration at the White House, the president managed to bring it up again. After raving about how “grateful” he was to have numerous Americans of Indian and Southeast Asian heritage in critical roles and who’ve done an “incredible job,” the remark was unfitting.

After singling out Pai, he reflected on some of that “incredible” and said the following:

“”I just didn’t like one decision he made, but that’s alright,” he joked, then he subtracted some of that “alright,” adding: “not even a little bit, but he’s independent.”

Pai, who is of Indian American descent, was designated by Trump in January 2017 — becoming the first Indian American to hold the office.

The Harvard and Chicago Law School graduate previously served as commissioner of the FCC after being appointed by former president Barack Obama.

Though Trump didn’t elaborate much after pointing him out, it has been noted that Pai carries a heavy load in how media is presented.

Pai’s decision to reverse Sinclair’s merger was based on his stance of the people’s interest and keeping media diverse throughout the country.

Along with first amendment best practices, Pai is focusing on issues relating to broadband, public safety and fiscal responsibility.

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Arts & Culture

Bollywood sweethearts Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh tie the knot in Italy



Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there 'Konkani' Wedding Ceremony. Photo:
Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone & Ranveer Singh tie the knot in Lake Como, Italy

LAKE CUOMO, Italy — Bollywood sweetheart couple, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have officially tied the knot at a private villa against the scenic Lake Como backdrop, in Italy. The two-day ceremony included a ‘Konkani‘ style ceremony as well as ‘Sindhi‘ ceremony to bring these two Bollywood stars into matrimony.

The couple released two pictures on twitter, with a simple heart emoji

The newlyweds began their love story on screen, sharing intimate moments in films like ‘Ramleela’,’Bajirao Mastani‘ and Padmavat.

According to the Huffington Post, film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali said ‘cut’ during their kiss toward the end, but they continued their sizzling moment as over 50 crew members mesmerizingly watched. It was the start of a blossoming relationship, forging together a Bollywood power couple with chemistry on and off set.

The much awaited wedding ceremony left no stone unturned to celebrate this star couple in grand style with an intensely private and synchronized affair set against at Italy’s scenic Lake Como backdrop, at Villa del Balbianello.

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there 'Sindhi' Wedding Ceremony. Photo:

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there ‘Sindhi’ Wedding Ceremony. Photo:

An Indian Bollywood wedding without a celeb designer? I think not. The duo opted to go with veteran designer Sabyasachi Mukherji. ‘Sabya‘ as fans often call him, drew inspiration from the wedding ceremony theme and designed decadent outfits in shades of red, pink and all things ‘shaadi‘ for both the ‘Konkani‘ & ‘Sindhi‘ ceremonies. Deepika wore a veil with the words,”Sada Saubhyagyavati Bhava” embroidered along the hem draped over her head. This mantra translates to “be forever fortunate” is often a blessing given to newly weds, wishing them a ‘happily ever after’ life ahead.

Ofcourse no Bollywood wedding is complete without all the ‘Badhaai‘ or well wishes from fellow co-stars, most of who took to twitter to shower the newly minted couple.

A Bollywood wedding, without some ‘filmy’ elements is nearly impossible. According to Filmfare, Singh made his grand entry on Govinda’s hit song ‘Meri Pant Bhi Sexy’, continuing with ‘Chunari Chunari’ and ‘One Two Ka Four‘ as he reached the wedding venue with his family and relatives.

With heavy security for this intensely private ceremony, the couple remained sensitive to the plight of hundreds of fans & paparazzi gathered to capture a glimpse of their special event. They sent gift packs of sweets to the media, thanking them for their wishes.

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Arts & Culture

Trump celebrates Diwali with diya lighting ceremony in the White House



White House Diwali Diya Lighting ceremony.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump took part in a Diwali celebration Tuesday at the White House where he held a ceremonial lighting of the ‘diya‘. The diya lighting ceremony, Trump used the time to discuss the ties between the U.S. and India which he stated were perhaps closer than ever before. He began by saying how thrilled and special it was to be part of the celebration. Shortly after, Trump gave high praise for the contributions Indian Americans have displayed in the country and in his administration. He began the ceremony by first addressing the victims of fires in California.

He continued to introduce several Indian Americans members of his team and then welcomed Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Sarna.

With an attendee list of roughly 20 notable Indian Americans within his administration, Trump added onto the growing number during the event as he nominated Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit.

“We were going to announce that tomorrow and I said, ‘Here we are Neomi — we’re never gonna do better than this’ — I thought it was an appropriate place.”

Rao, born to Indian parents, is a graduate of Yale and University of Chicago Law School. She recently spent time as an associate law professor at George Mason and an administrator in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. She responded by saying: “Thank you very much, Mr. President, for the confidence you’ve shown in me. I greatly appreciate it.”

“Our nation is blessed to be home to millions of hardworking citizens of Indian and southeast Asian heritage, who enrich our country in countless ways. Together we are one proud American family. I’m grateful to have numerous Americans of Indian and southeast Asian heritage who fulfill critical roles across my administration, and they’ve done an incredible job.”

However, President Trump failed to mention the largest group of Indian Americans, the ‘Hindus’, which the twitter sphere was quick to point out.

This is the second year in a row President Trump has hosted a Diwali Celebration in the Oval Office. Here’s Diya TV’s coverage from the year before.

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