The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted an evening of classical music by the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) on Friday, 2 June 2023 at the Lionel Wendt to mark 75 years of Diplomacy.
The event ‘International Harmony’ showcased a mix of orchestral music from famous composers of the best eastern and western traditions to epitomize Sri Lanka’s longstanding and friendly relations with countries near and far.
The concert was also in aid of a worthy cause – a celebration with a mission – to support donations for urgent equipment for pediatric neurosurgery to the Neurosurgical Unit of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo.
The concert left the audience enthralled with renditions ranging from Leroy Anderson’s sparkling “Bugler’s Holiday” with the Trumpet Trio, Bao Yuankai’s evocative “Dialogue on Flowers”, the iconic “Danno Budunge” by Vishwanath Lauji, the grand “Pomp and Circumstance March No.4” by Edward Elgar, A.R. Rahman’s nostalgic “Kadhal Rojave” as well as several other exceptional scores from the East and West. Soprano Dmitri Gunatilake held the audience spellbound with “Habanera” from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”.
With the eastern and western musical instruments blending perfectly, the concert was testimony to the capacity of humanity to transcend barriers and achieve harmony through the universal language of music.
The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka is one of the oldest orchestras in South Asia; and in honour of the event and the humanitarian cause it seeks to promote, the orchestra performed on an honorary basis with a view to channeling all contributions towards the Lady Ridgeway Hospital Neurosurgical Unit. The Foreign Ministry appreciates the contributions by the Diplomatic Missions in Colombo, and well-wishers to this project.
The event was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, Minister of Health Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane, Heads and representatives of Diplomatic Missions, the United Nations and other International Organizations in Colombo, Honorary Consuls based in Colombo, senior officials of the Foreign Ministry, the management of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, and other distinguished guests and artistes.