The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) will celebrate its 10th concert season at Mumbai’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, and other compositions. The SOI Tenth Celebrity Concert Season will be held from 14-26 February, and will feature many works which are not usually heard live in the city’s concert halls.
Calling the festival’s programme “slightly more esoteric than Mumbai normally favours”, Khushroo N. Suntook, chairman, NCPA, and founder, SOI, says that neither Mahler’s Fourth nor Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto had, to his knowledge, been performed in Mumbai before. Renowned British conductor Adrian Leaper returns for an encore, after conducting the SOI earlier in 2008 and 2009, and will lead them through both pieces in a recital at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre on 17 February.
Maestro Alexander Anissimov conducts the Beethoven 9th Symphony performed at the NCPA on September 26 & 27, 2009
“It shows our confidence in the orchestra’s ability to handle difficult works, something we have consciously done from the first season,” Suntook says.
The SOI, which was established in 2006, has a biannual concert schedule. It has been overseen since inception by the SOI’s music director, Marat Bisengaliev. Bisengaliev, a violinist, will also open the season with a chamber music concert on 14 February, in a duet with Russian violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky.
They will be joined later in the evening by 238 children who are learning the violin according to the Suzuki Method. Since 2008, the NCPA has partnered with schools around Mumbai to offer violin lessons to children from ages 4-7. Children from the programme have been performing at SOI concert seasons since 2009.
Some of the other artistes to perform this season will be Hungarian pianist Marouan Benabdallah, who will play Haydn, Rachmaninoff, Sain-Saëns and Liszt in a recital on 15 February, and Russian soprano Ekaterina Lekhina. Lekhina, who will sing the soprano solo in the final movement of Mahler’s Fourth, will also have a recital that includes arias by Bellini, Rossini, Verdi and Handel on 18 February.
Leaper will return to conduct the SOI in a concert on 22 February that will include music by Brahms, Wagner and Rossini. And the SOI’s conductor-in-residence, Zane Dalal, will conduct the season’s finale, which will feature Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla Overture, as well as music of composers such as Bizet, Ravel and Liszt.
The SOI Tenth Celebrity Concert Season will be held from 14-26 February, at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, NCPA Marg, near Hilton Towers, Nariman Point.