Sound of harmony | Daily News

Sound of harmony

Orchestra in action
Orchestra in action

The theme of the evening of October 2, was power. It was the 150th birth anniversary of one man who changed the course of history and the lives of millions of people – Mahatma Gandhi. It was the launching of a project by a hotel chain that is creating history right now – ITC Hotels. It was the day of a Musical Extravaganza featuring world-renowned legendary violinist Dr L. Subramaniam accompanied by the Liepajas Symphony Orchestra from Latvia with over 60 musicians that encapsulated the transformative power of music.

To influence the course of history is power and today in the 21st century providing luxury is power. Providing luxury to those who have the power to buy it, is power. On October 2, the launch of Sapphire Residences in Galle Face, a project of ITC Hotels, was celebrated by the musical extravaganza. Daily News visited Nelum Pokuna to see history in the making.

The Indian High Commissioner, Taranjit Singh Sandhu who attended the launching of Sapphire Residences and the ITC One Hotel delivered the most powerful speech he had ever made in Sri Lanka when he spoke of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Today the world celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, October 2, as the International Day of Non- Violence. This year is even more special as the government of India is commencing the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. We are paying tribute to a great leader through a series of events spread over two years across the globe. We are honoured to have such distinguished guests from all walks of life in Sri Lanka to celebrate this special occasion. There are very few leaders in human history who have been able to proclaim to the world – ‘My life is my message’. Mahatma Gandhi is the one and he belongs to the whole world. He has been the icon for non -violent movement and social changes across the globe,” said Sandhu.

Non- violence was the essence of Gandhi’s movement. This is true power - influencing leaders down through the ages - Nelson Mandela, Dr Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Desmond Tutu and many more. Gandhi is an inspiration for young people. The world we live in can be a cruel world. But young boys and girls all over the globe have someone to look up to. He is especially important to children because his life is a light that lights up the path for those walking in darkness.

“Even under oppressive conditions and in the face of insurmountable challenges Gandhi did not move away from the path of non-violence. His words, thoughts and ideas and actions have inspired millions and millions of people around the world. He became the source of inspiration for many. Albert Einstein said of Gandhi – ‘Generations to come will hardly believe that such a man in flesh and blood walked upon this earth’. Gandhi rose above his circumstances through his sheer conviction and actions. Gandhi was deeply influenced by Lord Buddha and his teachings. Gandhi said – ‘When I became acquainted with the teachings of Buddha, my eyes were opened to the limitless possibilities of non-violence’. Gandhi acknowledged that Sir Edwin Arnold’s book the Light of Asia had a profound influence on him. It was a book focused on the life and times of Gautama Buddha,” explained Sandhu.

Sandhu commented that he felt privileged to be in the presence of the master of violin Dr L. Subramanian and the National Latvian Orchestra to celebrate this momentous occasion – the Launching of Sapphire Residences.

Chairman WelcomHotels Lanka, Nakul Anand pointed out that the world is changing. The landscape of Colombo is being rapidly transformed. Life in Sri Lanka is keeping up with the rest of the world.

“We are very proud to introduce two major landmarks in Colombo today. The Sapphire residences and the ITC One Hotel that is both located at Galle Face. We thought very hard about the suitable date when we could celebrate the addition of such a significant landmark to Sri Lanka. We thought that the Nelum Pokuna would be a fitting venue to launch this landmark.

The Sapphire Residences are an exclusive collection of magnificent apartments and penthouses with interiors meticulously designed. The residents’ will have privileged access to the neighbouring five star ITC One Hotel and all its services. The Hotel ITC One will have luxurious facilities. Both these two landmarks will have the standard of hospitality provided by luxury Indian Hotelier ITC hotels in Sri Lanka. Each ITC luxury hotel is certified with a LEED platinum rating, endeavouring towards green building, using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient. It is the largest LEED platinum building in Sri Lanka,” said Anand.

The musical extravaganza was beautiful. It was very glamorous and it was obvious that tremendous effort had been put into the organization and preparation. It was most enjoyable and it was music at its best. The power of music was really felt by the audience who enjoyed every moment of it. The audience experienced a beautiful blend of music by the little master and the Orchestra.

The musical extravaganza was supported by the High Commission of India in association with the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival.



* The hotel will consist of Uber Luxury apartments.

* This new US$400 million development comprises a majestic 224-meter tall residential tower set alongside a 140-meter high ITC One Hotel.

* Sapphire residences will consist of 132 uber luxury apartments, elegant offices and other amenities

* It is scheduled for completion in 2021

* There will be a high profile visit of the genius French Designer Philippe Starck to Colombo on October 18, who has designed the interiors of Sapphire Residences.

* This development in Sri Lanka is done by WelcomHotels Lanka (Pvt) Limited, a 100 per cent subsidiary of ITC limited India.

* ITC is committed to its clients in offering luxury experiences guaranteeing outstanding luxury residential development with five-star hospitality services created around its unwavering principles of ‘Responsible Luxury’ and ‘Enduring Value’



* He has performed/ recorded Carnatic Classical Music, Western Classical Music and also composed for and conducted Orchestras, scored for films, collaborated with all-time music greats like Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Ruggiero Ricci, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, John Handy and George Harrison.

* The audience had the opportunity to experience the wonderful sounds of the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the Baltic States. It was established in 1881 and became a national orchestra in 2010, performing across the globe and winning many awards globally.

* The little master has a special bond with Sri Lanka. His father was a great violinist and was based in Sri Lanka, in the 1930’s. He has spent his early childhood in Sri Lanka and having a strong emotional bond with Sri Lanka, it is one of his personal dreams to find a violin recording of his father here in Sri Lanka. 

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