The NCPA unveils the SOI Autumn 2023 Season featuring the world premiere of Zakir Hussain’s Triple Concerto

Mumbai, July 19, 2023 – The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), the country’s only full-time professional orchestra, is delighted to announce its Autumn 2023 Season, featuring a diverse range of captivating performances including a concert that showcases the amalgamation of Indian classical music with Western orchestral traditions. The season will culminate in the highly anticipated world premiere of an SOI-commissioned triple concerto for sitar, bansuri and tabla, composed by tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, which he will perform with acclaimed sitarist Niladri Kumar and bansuri player Rakesh Chaurasia and the SOI.

Under the expert guidance of NCPA Chairman and SOI founder Khushroo N. Suntook, Music Director Marat Bisengaliev and Associate Music Director Zane Dalal, the season will commence on September 10th, promising an extraordinary line-up of concerts. Esteemed guest conductors Richard Farnes and Alpesh Chauhan OBE, and pianist Pavel Kolesnikov will return for yet another season while Steven Isserlis, one of the finest cellists performing today, will make his India debut, promising a unique musical experience with their exceptional artistry. The SOI Autumn 2023 Season includes concerts featuring a wide range of repertoire from the symphonies of Tchaikovsky to John Williams’ music from Star Wars.

The season will conclude on a high note with two performances of the triple concerto, which will be a celebration of the rhythmic and melodic intricacies of Indian classical music with the grandeur of a symphony orchestra. Zakir Hussain will perform alongside acclaimed sitarist Niladri Kumar and celebrated bansuri player Rakesh Chaurasia, creating an unforgettable experience.

Khushroo N. Suntook, Chairman of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, shared his thoughts on the SOI Autumn 2023 Season, stating, “The SOI has been presenting concerts at a high international standard at home in Mumbai, across India, and internationally, for the last seventeen years. After the visit of Maestro Zubin Mehta, where our orchestra will perform with him in two concerts on the 19th and 21st August, our season will commence on the 10th of September with a special treat for our music lovers. Ustad Zakir Hussain has composed a Triple Concerto for tabla, sitar and bansuri, especially for the SOI. This will be the second work he has written for us and this time no less than Niladri Kumar and Rakesh Chaurasia will be involved in this wonderful adventure. There is a fine amalgam of Indian composers and artists together with celebrated international stars making it a true collaboration to rejoice for audiences both in India and the UK.”

Speaking on his collaboration with the SOI, Zakir Hussain expressed, “The NCPA has been an incredible bastion of art and culture unlike anywhere else in the world. My special thanks go to Mr. Khushroo N. Suntook for having helmed this ship for the last twenty-five years and the SOI for its seventeen magnificent years. The responsibility of the Symphony Orchestra of India which has its own demands and needs, is an amazing feat.

For the SOI-commissioned Triple Concerto, composed by me, which will be part of the season’s last two concerts, we have maestro Rakesh Chaurasia and maestro Niladri Kumar, the two of the finest flagbearers of Indian art. For them to have agreed to this is a great feather on the SOI’s cap. Their help is precious to enable this piece to come to fruition.”

The Symphony Orchestra of India, residing at Mumbai’s prestigious National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), has earned global recognition for its artistry and contribution to India’s cultural legacy. Comprising a core group of resident musicians who excel as the SOI Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble continuously enriches its performances by collaborating with exceptional international players and conductors.

The SOI Autumn 2023 Season promises a spectacular celebration of music and culture only at the NCPA.

SOI Autumn 2023 Season Schedule:

September 10, 2023
Zane Dalal, conductor
Marat Bisengaliev, violin

Rossini: Semiramide Overture Khachaturian: Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

September 15, 2023
Richard Farnes, conductor

Pavel Kolesnikov, piano

Williams: Imperial March from Star Wars

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
Wagner: Parsifal Suite (arr. Gourlay)

September 20, 2023
Alpesh Chauhan, conductor
Steven Isserlis, cello

Strauss: Rosenkavalier Suite Schumann: Cello Concerto Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947)

September 23 & 24, 2023
Alpesh Chauhan, conductor Zakir Hussain, tabla

Niladri Kumar, sitar
Rakesh Chaurasia, bansuri

Hussain: Triple Concerto (world premiere, SOI commission) Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

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