In 2006, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) was credited with founding India’s first and only professional symphony orchestra rightly called the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI). It was founded in Mumbai which also happens to be its home. The orchestra not only plays symphonies from its repertoire but also performs opera, ballet and chamber music. The SOI was formed by NCPA Chairman Khushroo Suntook as well as its first and only music director, renowned violist Marat Bisengaliev.
The SOI currently offers two series of concerts, one in February and the other in September every year, since the past eight years. From the time of its inception the Orchestra has performed with internationally renowned artists like Lior Shambadal, Charles Dutoit, Mischa Damev, Adrian Leaper, Johannes Wildner, Karl Jenkins, Rafael Payare, Alexander Anissimov, and Christoph Poppen, amongst others, and soloists including Barry Douglas, Michael Collins, Stephen Kovacevich, Tamas Vásáry, and Lena Neudauer.
Source – HearThisTrack WordPress
The Symphony Orchestra of India has presented some large scale productions including fully staged operas like Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci. In 2017, the SOI premiered an innovative new production of La Bohème, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. The SOI often recruits additional performers from around the world depending on the needs of their show.
Internationally, the SOI has performed in Muscat (Oman) in 2013 as well as in Moscow (Russia) in 2010 at the historic Hall of Commons (where Beethoven’s Ninth symphony drew a standing ovation) and have also opened the 2015-16 Abu Dhabi Classics season, performing at the Emirates Palace Auditorium. Apart from these places the SOI has presented three concerts in Switzerland.
Source – Hindustan Times
Many of the SOI musicians are also teachers as NCPA encourages the musicians to bring in new talent and show them the way forward. They also teach at the NCPA’s own Special Music Training Programme which encourages budding musicians to build on their potential.
The upcoming Autumn 2017 season of SOI to be held in a series of four programmes in September will feature popular classics as well as contemporary music. The main draw for audiences is going to be performances by eminent Polish conductor Jacek Kaspszyk and István Várdai who is a renowned cellist on the 13th of September as well as Chinese violinist Dan Zhu on the 17th of September. On the 22nd and the 23rd of September Welsh born popular composer Sir Karl Jenkins as well as SOI very own Marat Bisengaliev are set to perform. Lastly one of today’s most interesting conductors and violinist Evgeny Bushkov along with pianist Stephen Hough are set to perform on the 28th of September.
All the above performances are to take place at the NCPA’s Jamshed Bhabha Theatre beginning 13th to the 28th of September.