The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) is India’s first and only professional orchestra. Based at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, it was founded in 2006 by NCPA Chairman Khushroo N. Suntook and internationally-renowned violinist Marat Bisengaliev. The SOI regularly performs with today’s leading conductors and soloists, including Charles Dutoit, Martyn Brabbins, Maria João Pires, Augustin Dumay, and many more. International tours have taken the SOI to Russia, Oman, the UAE and Switzerland.
The SOI is seeking musicians playing symphonic instruments to join the orchestra. The minimum age limit to apply is 18 years at the time of application.
Performing in the Symphony Orchestra of India and the SOI Chamber Orchestra
Participating in chamber music performances, as required
Participating in the SOI’s educational and outreach programmes, both at the NCPA and other venues
Please note that all applicants must be legally eligible to work in India.
Symphony Orchestra of India
Khushroo N. Suntook, Chariman
Marat Bisengaliev, Music Director
Zane Dalal, Associate Music Director
Mikel Toms, Resident Conductor
The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), based at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, is India’s first and only professional orchestra. It was founded in 2006 by NCPA Chairman Khushroo N. Suntook and internationally-renowned violin virtuoso Marat Bisengaliev, who serves as the Orchestra’s Music Director. Zane Dalal was appointed Associate Music Director of the SOI in September 2014, following serving seven years as Resident Conductor. Evgeny Bushkov serves as the Resident Conductor, taking up the role in January 2017.
The SOI has worked with renowned conductors including Charles Dutoit, Martyn Brabbins, Carlo Rizzi, Augustin Dumay, Yuri Simonov, Lior Shambadal, Rafael Payare, Adrian Leaper, Johannes Wildner, Evgeny Bushkov, Duncan Ward, Karl Jenkins, Mischa Damev, Alexander Anissimov, and Christoph Poppen, and more. Soloists appearing with the SOI have included Maria João Pires, Augustin Dumay, Simon O’Neill, Cédric Tiberghien, Alina Ibragimova, Barry Douglas, Angel Blue, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck, Tamás Vásáry, and Lena Neudauer, amongst others.
International tours have seen the SOI perform in the Hall of Columns, Moscow; the Royal Opera House, Muscat; and the Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi, to open the 2015-16 Abu Dhabi Classics season. In January 2016, presented three sold-out concerts in Switzerland—at the Tonhalle, Zurich; Victoria Hall, Geneva; and the Tonhalle, St. Gallen— on invitation from the Migros Kulturprozent Classics series. Le Temps hailed “the commitment, the enthusiasm, and the discipline of this ensemble, which played with ferocious energy and appetite.”
Apart from the mainstays of the symphonic repertoire, the NCPA and SOI have also presented large-scale productions, including fully-staged operas. In 2017, the SOI premiered a highly-acclaimed, innovative new production of La Bohème, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, featuring an international star cast.
The Orchestra’s core group of musicians is resident at the NCPA all year round and forms the SOI Chamber Orchestra, which performs a regular series of concerts through the year. Additional players are recruited from a talented pool of professionals from around the world.
The Orchestra places great emphasis on education and many of the SOI musicians are also teachers, working to develop the musical potential amongst young people in India. Chief amongst the Orchestra’s educational initiatives is the NCPA Special Music Training Programme, which brings a professional level of teaching, previously not available in India, to gifted young musicians, with the aim of growing the number of Indian musicians in the SOI in the future.
“The ensemble tackles the different works with extreme composure, and proffers a fresh and striking vision of the overture to The Bartered Bride by Smetana, as well as the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartók.” – Bachtrack
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, is India’s premier cultural institution. Inaugurated in 1969, it was the first multi-venue, multi-genre cultural centre in South Asia. The NCPA is committed to preserving and promoting India’s rich and vibrant artistic heritage in the fields of music, dance, theatre, film, literature and photography, as well as presenting new and innovative work by Indian and international artists from a diverse range of genres including drama, contemporary dance, orchestral concerts, opera, jazz and chamber music. Today, the NCPA hosts more than 700 events each year, making it India’s largest and most holistic performing arts centre.
The NCPA was the brainchild of JRD Tata and Dr. Jamshed Bhabha, two visionaries who saw India’s need for an all-encompassing world-class performing arts centre. Luminaries from various fields have contributed towards lending the NCPA the iconic status it now enjoys, with such artists as Satyajit Ray and Yehudi Menuhin as its earliest mentors. Built on land reclaimed from the sea, the NCPA campus houses five theatres (including the innovative Tata Theatre, designed by the postmodernist American architect Philip Johnson), as well as galleries, libraries, restaurants, and numerous reception spaces. Boasting the best-appointed auditoriums in India in terms of equipment and expertise, the NCPA frequently attracts major events from overseas and is ideally suited to host large productions, including fully-staged operas and ballets.
As India’s role on the international stage expands, the NCPA has been investing in the country’s cultural future. The Centre regularly presents performances and workshops by leading artists from around the country. As the national performing arts centre, the NCPA must also have an eye towards the international arts. The NCPA presents several international groups, and has collaborated with arts organizations and theatres around the globe including the Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, National Theatre (London), the Edinburgh Festival, and the Metropolitan Opera (New York). The NCPA Mumbai also regularly welcomes some of the leading orchestras from around the world, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Bavarian State Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and London Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. The NCPA places great emphasis on education and is developing a reputation as a major centre for training and education in all genres, building on an already well-established programme of workshops, seminars, and special events for families and children.
In 2006, the NCPA established the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), the country’s first and only professional orchestra. Founded by NCPA Chairman Khushroo Suntook and violin virtuoso Marat Bisengaliev, who serves as the Music Director, the SOI regularly performs with some of the world’s leading conductors and soloists.
The NCPA Library is the only specialized performing arts library in the city of Mumbai, and as part of its mission to preserve India’s cultural heritage, the NCPA has built up extensive archives of more than 6,000 hours of music and film recorded at the NCPA since its inception. In 2011, the NCPA partnered with Sony Music to release the first set of eleven original recordings of renowned Indian Music artists from the NCPA Archives. The NCPA libraries also hold more than 20,000 books about the performing arts and other cultural spheres including film, painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, television and fashion. The addition of the Stuart-Liff Collection in 2010, gave the NCPA a treasure trove of sought-after books, recordings, and musical scores that is truly unique in the world of Western vocal and operatic music.
Now approaching the fiftieth year of its existence, with an ever-expanding list of performances, educational projects, exhibitions, and much more, the NCPA continues to build on its reputation as one of the leading arts centres in Asia.
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