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Symphony Orchestra of India

Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI)
File:SOI colour.jpg
Official logo
Founded 2006
Location National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, India
Music director Marat Bisengaliev

The Symphony Orchestra of India is an symphony orchestra based in Mumbai, India. It was founded in 2006 by the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, which is also its home.[1]

The first and current Music Director is Marat Bisengaliev. Zane Dalal is the Associate Music Director.

The orchestra's season includes not only works from the symphonic repertoire but also opera, ballet and chamber music performances.

About the Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) is India’s first and only professional symphony orchestra, and is housed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai. The SOI was founded in 2006 by NCPA Chairman Khushroo Suntook and internationally renowned violinist Marat Bisengaliev, who has since served as Music Director. The SOI currently offers two series of concerts–in February and September–every year, and over the past eight years, has performed around India and internationally, as well. Apart from the mainstays of the symphonic repertoire, the NCPA and SOI have also presented some large-scale productions, including fully staged operas. The Orchestra’s core group of musicians is resident at the NCPA all year round; additional players are recruited from a talented pool of professionals from around the world. Zane Dalal is the Associate Music Director, a position he has held since 2014, following serving over 6 years as Resident Conductor.

Since its inception, the Orchestra has worked with such internationally renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Lior Shambadal, Mischa Damev, Rafael Payare, Karl Jenkins, Adrian Leaper, Johannes Wildner, Alexander Anissimov, and Christoph Poppen, amongst others, and soloists including Barry Douglas, Michael Collins, Stephen Kovacevich, Tamas Vásáry, and Lena Neudauer. Recently, the SOI presented the India premiere of the Triple Concerto Melody of Rhythm with Zakir Hussain, Béla Fleck, and Edgar Meyer, as well as presenting the piece on tour at the Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. Internationally, the SOI has also performed in Moscow, Russia, in the historic Hall of Columns, where a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony drew a ten-minute standing ovation from an audience comprising the highest echelons of Russian society, and critical acclaim in the Russian media. At home, the SOI also serves as the pit orchestra for the NCPA’s opera and ballet productions.

The SOI features a growing number of Indian players, representing the finest home-grown talent, which provides a solid foundation for the future of orchestral playing in the country. Many of the SOI musicians are also teachers as the orchestra places great emphasis on teaching and developing musical potential amongst young people in India. One of NCPA’s educational initiatives is the Special Music Training Programme, which brings a professional level of teaching to gifted young musicians.

Guest Conductors

List of guest conductors who have conducted the Symphony Orchestra of India:

  1. Fuat Mansurov
  2. Alexander Anissimov
  3. Johannes Wildner
  4. Adrian Leaper
  5. Karl Jenkins
  6. Vag Papian
  7. Anne Randine Øverby
  8. Tamás Vásáry
  9. Evgeny Bushkov
  10. Antonello Allemandi
  11. Christoph Poppen
  12. Charles Dutoit[2]
  13. Lior Shambadal
  14. Mischa Damev
  15. Rafael Payare
  16. Duncan Ward
  17. Augustin Dumay
  18. Yuri Simonov

Guest Artistes

  1. Agnieszka Zwierko, mezzo soprano
  2. Aleksandra Urbanska, viola
  3. Amir, violin
  4. Anando Mukerjee, tenor
  5. Andrei Gavrilov, piano
  6. Annamaria Dell’Oste, soprano
  7. Anooshah Golesorkhi, baritone
  8. Anton Zidaru, Spoletta
  9. Assel Jexembekova, viola
  10. Atham Tashmatov, cello
  11. Atsuko Sahara, violin
  12. Barry Douglas, piano
  13. Bekezhan Rakishev, double bass
  14. Béla Fleck, banjo
  15. Benjamin Frith, piano
  16. Boris Baraz, cello
  17. Borislav Strulev, cello
  18. Cavalleria Rusticana:
  19. Chantal Juillet, violin
  20. Colin Alexander, cello
  21. Danielle Perrett, harp
  22. Dauren Anuarbekov, cello
  23. Denis Shapovalov, cello
  24. Devid Cecconi, bass
  25. Dmitry Sitkovetsky, violin
  26. Edgar Meyer, double bass
  27. Ekaterina Lekhina, soprano
  28. Elena Kelessidi, soprano
  29. Elmira Veda, soprano
  30. Elzbieta Mrozek, viola
  31. Filippo Adami, tenor
  32. Galya Bisengalieva, violin
  33. George Hlawiczka, violin
  34. Gevorg Hakobyan, Alfio
  35. Gustavo Porta, Cavaradossi
  36. Helen Tudor, flute
  37. Iano Tamar, Tosca
  38. Ilya Itin, piano
  39. Irina Krikunova, soprano
  40. Jania Aubakirova, piano
  41. John Lenehan, piano
  42. Lena Neudauer, violin
  43. Malcolm Messiter, oboe
  44. Manuel von Senden, tenor
  45. Marc Heller, tenor
  46. Maria Zhakarova, viola
  47. Mario Malagnini, tenor
  48. Marouan Benabdallah, piano
  49. Maureen Francis, soprano
  50. Michael Collins, clarinet
  51. Mikhail Senovalov, piano
  52. Natalija Raithel, violin
  53. Olga Lyapina, violin
  54. Paulina Grondys, cello
  55. Randi Emilie Dahlen, child soprano
  56. Raphael Wallfisch, cello
  57. Sabina Cvilak, Nedda
  58. Silvio Zanon, Tonio
  59. Stephen Kovacevich, piano
  60. Tadasuke Iijima, violin
  61. Tamás Vásáry, piano
  62. Temirzhan Yerhanov, piano
  63. Tone Kvam Thorsen, contralto
  64. Vag Papian, piano
  65. Valentina Kutzarova, mezzo-soprano
  66. Vuyani Mlinde, bass baritone
  67. Xuefei Yang, guitar
  68. Zakir Hussain, tabla

International touring

  • Moscow: June 2010
  • Muscat: February 2013

Music Directors

File:NCPA building, Nariman Point, Mumbai.JPG
NCPA building, Nariman Point, Mumbai, home of SOI

NCPA Special Music Training Programme

The NCPA Special Music Training Programme was launched in 2012, to offer advanced string instrument tuition to talented young children. The programme offers a holistic music education that is inspired by the Russian Conservatoire method. Students receive substantial one-to-one tuition on their primary instrument, second-study piano lessons, group-singing teaching via the Solfeggio method, Music Theory classes and History of Music lectures. Apart from the string instruments and piano, the Programme currently offers lessons on select woodwind and brass instruments, with hopes to considerably expand in the near future. The Tutors of the NCPA Special Music Training Programme are all professional musicians from Eastern Europe and the United States. They have a wealth of international teaching and performing experience between them and each one of them is a member of the Symphony Orchestra of India and performs in the orchestral and chamber music performances.

Press Coverage

Pitch Perfect I 11 July 2014 I DNA
India’s Only Symphony Orchestra I 20 Sept 2012


  1. ^ "Symphony Orchestra of India". NCPA Mumbai. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Treat your ears to a symphony orchestra". The Times of India. Sep 11, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 

External links