Children from Mumbai NGOs attended an interactive open rehearsal and were invited to join the musicians on stage to observe © NCPA Mumbai

A season to remember

The Autumn 2018 Season of the Symphony Orchestra of India featured enthralling performances of rare as well as popular works by legendary composers.

The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) presented its Autumn 2018 Season at the NCPA from 4th to 16th September, 2018, featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Sibelius, Dvořák, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, to name a few.

Conductor Alexander Lazarev © NCPA Mumbai

The season’s opening concert was led by one of Russia’s foremost conductors Maestro Alexander Lazarev, who was the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre. The concert also witnessed an enthralling performance of the rarely performed Bloch’s violin concerto by violinist Nurit Stark.

The following day, Nurit Stark and pianist Cédric Pescia gave a recital showcasing the works of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. On 8th September, Lazarev conducted a programme of Mussorgsky, Mozart, and Sibelius which featured flautist Katherine Bicknell and harpist Daniela Iolkicheva. The next concert led by SOI Music Director Marat Bisengaliev featured Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, considered one of the masterworks of 20th-century orchestral repertoire.

The concert also featured cellist Sevak Avanesyan performing Dvořák’s ever-popular cello concerto. On 15th September, pianist Alexei Volodin gave a recital featuring works by Schumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Balakirev. The season concluded with a Sunday evening concert with Mozart’s Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio, Rachmaninoff’s 3rd piano concerto performed by Alexei Volodin and Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird conducted by SOI Associate Music Director Zane Dalal.

The SOI conducts open rehearsals every season and this season welcomed around 275 children from various NGOs around the city. Dalal gave three talks around the city, introducing new audiences to Western classical music. Overall, the SOI’s Autumn 2018 Season was a memorable experience for the city of Mumbai and a delight for all music lovers.

Alexei Volodin (Piano) with NCPA Chairman Mr. K.N.Suntook © NCPA Mumbai

This piece was originally published by the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, in the October 2018 issue of ON Stage – their monthly arts magazine.