The Parliament Blog

Premiere of Vivekananda Oratorio 150

Shown is composer Atmaqvidyananda and CPWR Chair Emeritus William Lesher at the Vedante Center after the performance. Photo submitted by A. Jean Lesher.

by A. Jean Lesher

Swami Atmaqvidyananda, composer and musical director, led a 20 voice choir in a performance of his “Vivekananda Oratorio 150″ created in honor of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, one of the founders of the Parliament of Religions in 1893.  The premier was held at the Vedante Society of Southern California headquarters in Hollywood Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.  The Oratorio lyrics repeat words from Vivekananda’s speeches and writings; it was a 90 minute performance to an interfaith audience in the Vedante Society’s main worship area.

Composer Atmaqvidyananda (born as William Scott) has been active in the Society since 1954.  Other major works include “Mountain Journey,” an interfaith opera; “Claudia and Alexander,” a mystical operetta; the oratorio “Ramakrishna and His Teaching” and “Ram Nam Symphony.”  He is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order of India posted to the Hollywood center where he is organist-choir director, treasurer and gardener.  He is a campus minister at the University of Southern California where he also lectures.

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