India is considered as a country where various genres of music blends! But despite this fact, the country did not have its own professional symphony orchestra for long. In 2006, a music enthusiast and the chairman of National Centre for the Performing Arts, Khushroo Suntook finally felt the need of it and worked towards the foundation of India’s first fully professional symphony orchestra which was later called the Symphony Orchestra of India. Western Classical music always had very few takers in India. This genre of music got revived and brought back to life by SOI. The orchestra popularised this genre and the music lovers started appreciating the Western classical music so much that today this genre of music enjoys a huge following in the country.
Khushroo Suntook was always inclined towards western classical music. He conceived the idea to found SOI when he attended a concert of Marat Bisengaliev, a violin virtuoso in London. He was so impressed with the maestro that after the show he invited him to perform in India. And to his great fortune, Marat accepted his offer. To take a step further Khushroo asked the musician whether he wanted to set up an orchestra in India. Marat liked this idea and SOI was founded in 2006. Mr. Bisengaliev serves as Orchestra’s music director and Zane Dalal was appointed as the Associate Music Director. Since then, the SOI has been conducting many Orchestra events all over the country with renowned conductors from across the globe. Some of the renowned musicians who have performed for SOI are Evgeny Bushkov, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Simonov, Adrian Leaper, Rafael Payare, Duncan Ward, Johannes Wildner, Augustin Dumay, Karl Jenkins, Lior Shambadal, Mischa Damev, Alexander Anissimov, and Christoph Poppen. World’s best Soloists like Augustin Dumay, Maria João Pires, Cédric Tiberghien, Simon O’Neill, Barry Douglas, Alina Ibragimova, Angel Blue, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain, Béla Fleck, Lena Neudauer and Tamás Vásáry have also performed with the orchestra.
NCPA is the home of SOI. Their concerts are one of the most sought-after NCPA events. In the span of their ten years, the orchestra has performed not only in India but also at several premier musical platforms around the world with many renowned conductors. SOI conducts many concert events in Mumbai, and one of their most popular and famous performances is with the Bollywood ace singer Arijit Singh. It’s always a sheer pleasure to watch SOI and Arijit Singh performing together.