Worldwide release of symphonic recording conducted by Miami University professor

This month marks the recording release of the latest composition by Indian music sensation, A.R. Rahman, a symphonic work entitled, “The Flying Lotus.” This is the first composition by A.R. Rahman commissioned by a major symphony orchestra, and was premiered last May at the Seattle Symphony’s ninth annual “Celebrate Asia” concert that took place on May 12, 2017. It was conducted by Miami’s own Ricardo Averbach, Director of Orchestral Studies and conductor of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra.

Commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, "The Flying Lotus" is Rahman’s first composition solely for orchestra and features Seattle Symphony’s Second Assistant Concertmaster Simon James as the violin soloist. Averbach led the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Symphony Chorale, and Seattle Girls' Choir Prime Voci ensemble during the world premiere event. 

"'The Flying Lotus' is an impression of the rise of India... The music is an optimistic approach and also a journey of what we have been through…It is not about personal agenda or religion. It is about uplifting the poor. It's about making our nation the best in the world," said the composer. The emotionally charged composition is interspersed with a few lines from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on demonetisation along with others stressing on "digital economy," the country going "cashless" and "dhan dhana dhan" (wealth).

A.R. Rahman has spent his two-decade career redefining contemporary Indian music. The BBC estimates that he has sold more than 150 million copies of his work which spans more than six languages and more than 100 film scores. Rahman is perhaps best known in the U.S. for winning two Academy Awards® in 2008 for his score for the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Averbach stated, “what impresses me most is AR Rahman’s ability to shift constantly among the most diverse musical languages. His music has a visceral quality that appeals immediately to the listener, and I am thrilled to have performed the world premiere of his first composition written specifically for a symphony orchestra and not a movie. It was a unique opportunity to be part of the creative process and work with the Seattle Symphony.”

'The Flying Lotus' is available worldwide on physical and digital formats exclusively on Universal Music Group.