Berklee to award honorary doctorate to Academy Award-winning composer, songwriter.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Bollywood maestro A.R. Rahman will receive an honorary doctorate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, one of the premiere musical talent schools in the US.
The Boston-based institution announced that Rahman would receive the degree next week,Â on Wednesday, saying that Bollywoodâ€™s most sought-after composer would hold a performance on October 24 at Berkleeâ€™s Symphony Hall, and would also conduct a â€œmaster classâ€ at the Berklee Performance Center on a later date.
â€œA friend from India described A.R. Rahman to me as John Williams and Sting rolled into one â€“ a leading film composer and a wildly popular, brilliant songwriter and performer,â€ said Berklee president Roger H. Brown, in a statement. â€œWe welcome him to Berklee, where the college and our students look forward to paying our respects.â€
Rahman, who is well known for his timidity in public and his humility when receiving praise, released a statement of his own, too.
â€œIâ€™m deeply moved to receive an honorary doctorate from such a distinguished school which has contributed so much to the world of music,â€ said Rahman. â€œIâ€™m especially proud and honored the college is graciously establishing a scholarship in my name for future generations of musicians to follow their dreams.â€
Rahman is best known to international audiences as the composer ofSlumdog Millionaire, which earned him two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (â€œJai Hoâ€). Rahman has also scored numerous other Hollywood productions, includingÂ 127 HoursÂ (which also earned him two Oscar nominations),Â Elizabeth: The Golden AgeÂ (directed by Shankar Kapur), and the recentÂ Million Dollar Arm.
For Indians, Rahman is remembered for having composed some of the most memorable songs and soundtracks of the last 20 years, includingRoja, Bombay, Dil Se, Taal, Lagaan, Saathiya, Swades, Rang De Basanti, Jodhaa Akbar, Delhi-6,Â andÂ Rockstar. His most recent film wasÂ Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, while his next release is scheduled to be the score to the Hollywood filmÂ The Hundred-Foot Journey.