The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Glittering launch for Mano Chanmugam Music Foundation


On a recent Sunday night, music lovers and others made their way to Hunter’s End, the palatial Piliyandala home of philanthropist and musician Mano Chanmugam. The genial host had invited his guests to a house concert, featuring leading and upcoming musicians. The occasion also served to launch The Mano Chanmugam Music Foundation, which has been set up to help musically gifted but financially needy young people who seek an education or a future in Western classical music.

Flute quartet: from left, Thilanka Jayamanne, Ruvindra Angunawala, Anouk Obeysekera, and Surekha Amerasinghe

The foundation aims to foster classical music in other ways too, including concert sponsorship.
The evening’s other big announcement was that the Music Foundation will be bringing down the internationally celebrated opera diva Danielle de Neise, who will give two concerts in November, one in Colombo, the other in Galle. The visit will be a first for both local music lovers and the opera star, who will be visiting Sri Lanka for the first time and whose roots can be traced to this country. The charismatic soprano comes from a family of Sri Lanka Dutch Burghers that emigrated to Australia in the ’60s.

For Mr. Chanmugam, 2012 is a significant year – the start of a noble educational and cultural initiative. The beaming faces in the audience and the loud applause and shouts of ‘Bravo’ would have reassured the host that he would have all the support he needed to help The Mano Chanmugam Music Foundation achieve its goals, and grow in strength and scope.

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