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In symphony for two decades

The Symphony Orchestra of India's initiative to popularise Western Classical music enters its 20th glorious season

The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) entered its 20th season last Saturday with a performance by its music director, Marat Bisengaliev, pianist Sofya Gulyak and trumpeter Esteban Batallán performing Mozart’s Symphony No 35 at Jamshed Bhaba Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).

This unique journey started at the NCPA ten years ago. For a decade, SOI has brought world-class musicians, artistes, and conductors and scouted for talent across the country to join the orchestra.

Mischa Damev
Mischa Damev

As a significant highlight, last season, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain composed an exclusive musical piece, Peshkar, for SOI. The orchestra has also received invitations to perform at different prestigious events around the world, the most recent ones being Migros Classics series in Switzerland that will see the European premiere of Peshkar and The Abu Dhabi Classics series.

SOI music director,  Marat Bisengaliev
SOI music director, Marat Bisengaliev

Bisengaliev is in high spirits as the shows pick up steam. "Our concerts in February will mark the 20th consecutive season of the SOI, and I am delighted to be opening this season, conducting a programme featuring one of Mozart’s great symphonies and Shostakovich’s concerto for piano, trumpet, and strings," he says.

NCPA chairman and founder of the SOI, Khushroo N Suntook, had a note of thanks for the audience and his performers, "As we enter our 10th year, the journey has been hard but increasingly satisfying. I sincerely hope our orchestra, has presented itself suitably and satisfied our listeners."

This season of the orchestra is also rich with a galaxy of star performers to look forward to and promises to achieve a milestone by completing all nine symphonies of Beethoven.

Our top three picks:

Augustine Dumay
Renowned French conductor and violinist, Augustine Dumay is returning to Mumbai with a unique piece, which will include performances of the Bruch Violin and Viola concerto, the delightful Bizet symphony and more.

Sofya Gulyak
Russian pianist Sofya Gulyak’s music was released on Champs Hill Records in 2013 and received a five star review in Diapason magazine. The Guardian heralded her as ‘a fearless pianist, never afraid to scale the most technically demanding heights of the repertoire and equally proud to wear her heart on her sleeve’.

Mischa Damev
Swiss conductor Mischa Damev will lead a programme featuring the Eroica Symphony of Beethoven. The programme includes the fourth symphony of Robert Schumann. Mozart’s overture to his opera The Magic Flute opens the evening.

On: February 4, 12 and 16, 7 pm
At: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA.
Call: 66223737

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