Listen to compositions by maestros at a festival helmed by young Indians

Updated: Jul 17, 2018, 08:05 IST | Snigdha Hasan

Who says the music of Mozart, Bach and Haydn is the domain of international artistes alone?

Listen to compositions by maestros at a festival helmed by young Indians
Chelsea de Souza performs at a concert

For eight years, Con Brio - The John Gomes Memorial Piano Competition & Festival - has given a platform to budding musicians from across India to showcase their training in Western classical music. Under the mentorship of eminent musicians, Marialena Fernandes, Mark Troop, Patricia Rozario and Paul Stewart, young artistes have brought to life the music of classical maestros on stage.

But this year, the four pillars of the festival, as director Parvesh Java calls them, had prior engagements to take care of - Rozario and Troop, for instance, are preparing for an opera they will be presenting in Mumbai next month. That's when Java decided that it was time to let young musicians shoulder the responsibility of the festival all by themselves. The three-day festival will be dedicated to music from three watershed movements in art history, namely Enlightenment, Romanticism and Modernism.

Chelsea de Souza
Chelsea de Souza

"Given the demanding nature of chamber music, it is assumed that only senior international artistes can [do justice to the genre]. But over the years, the development of western classical music in India has become palpable, and we have a long list of very capable musicians in the tradition, who have taken up their passion full-time," says Java, adding that most musicians at the festival are under 30 years and are performing particularly complex pieces.

Nitya Thomas
Nitya Thomas

"It has taken us long to get here, but it is really inspiring that we are finally at a stage where an all-Indian ensemble can pull off the festival," says soprano Nitya Thomas, who specialises in sacred music in the classical and crossover genres. She will perform Brahms' New Love Song Waltzes from the Romantic movement as a soloist. Mumbai's Chelsea de Souza, who has completed her masters in music from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and will be performing a Haydn concerto, agrees. "This year's line-up speaks of how much the scene has expanded in India, and that is exciting."

FROM: July 20 to 22
AT: Experimental Theatre, NCPA.
CALL: 22824567
ENTRY: Rs 500

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