News Articles


Gustav Mahler Orchestra Of Colombo To Open 2019/20 Season With Concert On August 24

The Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo, which comprises 70 of the best orchestral musicians in Sri Lanka, had its 2019/20 Season Opening Concert at the Royal College Nawarangahala on Saturday 24th August. The concert, conducted by Srimal Weerasinghe, featured a programme of Beethoven, Mahler and works by Sri Lankan Composers Harsha Makalande, Sachiththa Fernando and Lalanath De Silva.
Rachel Halliday, Harsha Makalande, Ravibandu Vidyapathy and Jithendra Vidyapathy performed as soloists.

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Christmas with Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker

The GMSC orchestra and Chorus, premiere excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Op.71, along with seasonal favourites at its upcoming concert “Christmas with Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker” with the Associate Chief Conductor making his debut with the orchestra. This concert will be held on Saturday 15th of December 2018, 7.00 pm at the Defence Services College Auditorium, Malay Street, Colombo-02.

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Two Years of Musical Achievement

Four young Sri Lankan musicians joined hands to form the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo in 2018 to promote, offer opportunities for Sri Lankan music lovers to enjoy the music of Austro-Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler and to develop the widely overlooked Western Classical Music sector in Sri Lanka. They completed two very successful years on the backbreaking work put in by the four founder members Srimal Weerasinghe, Vidhurinda Samaraweera, and sisters Rachel and Amanda Halliday paid off handsomely

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From the Vault

Sir Edward Elgar, Enigma Variations - Nimrod

28th August 2018

Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo
Srimal Weerasinghe. Chief Conductor
Recording from the Inaugural Concert of the GMSC
August 2018

Excerpt from Lalanath de Silva's Christmas Oratorio.

11th December 2019

Rachel Halliday, Mezzo-Soprano
Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo
Oktave Choir & The Piccolinis
Lalanath De Silva, Conductor
St. Paul's Church, Colombo-08

Harsha Makalande,Svarasanga Vannama -
Concert Piece for Piano, Sri Lankan Drums and Large Orchestra

24th August 2020

Srimal Weerasinghe, Chief Conductor
Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo

Harsha Makalande, Piano
Jithendra Vidyapathy, Sri Lankan Drums
Nupathi Nilambara, Sri Lankan Drums

2019/20 Season Opening Concert
Navarangahala, Colombo-07.

Mahler: Symphony No. 3 (Excerpt)

11th April 2020

This sublime movement heard at the end of the colossal third symphony which by the time has covered everything from the Universe, Earth to angels in heavens, was titled as "What Love Tells Me" by Mahler. The Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo dedicated this performance to all officials/professionals battling Covid-19 around the world, including Healthcare Professionals and staff, Armed Forces of Sri Lanka and all who are working tirelessly to ensure our safety.

V. Laoji arr. Manilal Weerakoon,
Danno Budunge

13th May 2020

‘Danno Budunge’ is a well-known Sri Lankan classic that describes the prestige and grandeur of the ancient city of Anuradhapura. As far as the legend goes, the original tune was composed by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) on commission by the then British Governor to colonial Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The tune is said to have been passed down from generation to generation among the Ceylonese community. John de SIlva (1857-1922), a veteran Sri Lankan stage director in one of his musicals namely, “සිරිසඟබෝ” (Sirisangabo), used the tune which became an instant hit. It is also believed that the oriental arrangement of the song was influenced by the Indian musician V. Laoji. The arrangement for orchestra and choir was first done by Deva Surya Sena (1899-1981) in 1950 set for words of a well-known Sri Lankan Hymn, ‘Hymn for Ceylon-Sri Lanka’. This arrangement performed by the musicians of the GMSC was cleverly written by the Mentor of the Society for the Gustav Mahler Orchestra. The performance was well-received by both local and foreign audiences and claimed praise for its innovation.

Bach/Gounod, Ave Maria

23rd May 2020

The French composer, Charles Gounod (1818-1893) improvised the melody heard in this performance to the famous Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846 composed by J.S.Bach (1685-1750), from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier, published in 1722. It was transcribed by Gounod’s father-in-law and was later arranged for Piano and Violin/Cello.

Lalanath De Silva, Virindu RA33

16th December 2020

Sachiththa Fernando, Concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo collaborated with Stephen Czarkowski, Principal Cello of Maryland Lyric Opera and Music Director of Apollo Orchestra – USA, virtually performed Sri Lankan composer, Lalanath de Silva’s “Virindu” for Violin and Cello.

Mini Concert
featuring compositions by Lakshan Perera

06th June 2020

Works by the up-and-coming Sri Lankan Composer, Lakshan Perera performed by the members of the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo were featured in this mini-concert. An archived recording from the World premiere of Lakshan's C major mass along with a couple of his chamber works never heard before

Christmas from Home
Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Colombo

23rd December 2020

Having introduced the art of virtual performance to the Sri Lankan orchestral community through #GMSCPlaysOn, the first-ever platform of its kind, the Gustav Mahler Society of Colombo (GMSC) along with the GMSC Chorus and affiliated Choirs brings "Christmas from Home", an online celebration of Christmas, with the determination of continuing with tradition amid dangerous and uncertain conditions prevailing all over the world

The concert programme is lined up with some of the favourite seasonal tunes also featuring arrangements and compositions by our own Sri Lankan composers making it special and unique. It is noteworthy to mention that this program features a rarely heard composition, Lo! Christ the Lord is Born by Sir Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934).