Symphony Orchestra of India

29 November – 10 December 2023

Conductors: Zane Dalal, Alpesh Chauhan, Richard Farnes

Soloists: Mara Bisengaliev (violin), Zakir Hussain (tabla), Pavel Kolesnikov (piano), Niladri Kumar (sitar) and Rakesh Chaurasia (bansuri)

Symphony Orchestra of India is not represented by IMG Artists

Symphony Orchestra of India

 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.

The SOI has worked with such renowned conductors as Carlo Rizzi, Martyn Brabbins, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Simonov, Jacek Kaspszyk, Lior Shambadal, Rafael Payare, Richard Farnes, Laurent Petitgirard, Alpesh Chauhan, Duncan Ward, Karl Jenkins, Mischa Damev, Evgeny Bushkov, Alexander Lazarev, Christoph Poppen, and more. Soloists appearing with the SOI have included Maria João Pires, Augustin Dumay, Simon O’Neill, Cédric Tiberghien, Alina Ibragimova, Stephen Hough, Stephen Kovacevich, Barry Douglas, Benjamin Grosvenor, Pavel Kolesnikov, Angel Blue, Zakir Hussain, Béla Fleck, Tamás Vásáry, and Lena Neudauer, amongst others.

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Zane Dalal, conductor

 Zane Dalal was born and educated in England. An organ scholar at the University of Oxford, he held the position of Choirmaster and Organist at Oriel College Chapel. He holds Masters’ Degrees in Music from the University of Oxford, U.K. and from Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A.

Dalal made his orchestral conducting debut in the USA at Indiana University, becoming one of their most distinguished conducting students. In 1989 he was named Assistant Conductor of the Opera Department and was extensively involved with over twenty productions, including Verdi’s Otello, John Eaton’s Cry of Clytaemnestra, and Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Dalal also attended rehearsals and coaching at the Bayreuth festival, under the auspices of Daniel Barenboim and Wolfgang Wagner. He was a finalist in the 1990 Besançon and Lugano conducting competitions, and has appeared with several orchestras including the symphonies of St. Louis, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Utah, Dallas, Kansas City, Jerusalem, L’Orchestre des Pays de La Loire, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Florida Orchestra.

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Alpesh Chauhan, conductor

British conductor Alpesh Chauhan is Principal Guest Conductor of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Associate Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of Birmingham Opera Company. His most recent collaboration with the latter, Wagner’s RhineGold, was received to critical acclaim: “…The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s sound [was] controlled with an absolutely sure hand by the company’s Music Director Alpesh Chauhan – who was superb throughout.” The Telegraph *****

Highlights this season include debuts with the Seattle Symphony with Hilary Hahn, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Hallé, the Melbourne, Adelaide and North Carolina Symphony Orchestras, Poznan Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Symphony Orchestra of India, as well as returns to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI, Filarmonica Toscanini, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice, BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Antwerp Symphony. Further to this, he conducts several recording and symphonic projects with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, and community projects with Birmingham Opera Company.

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Richard Farnes, conductor

English conductor Richard Farnes is as persuasive in his interpretations of the operas of Britten, Mozart, Verdi and Janáček, as he is when he takes Wagner’s Ring Cycle on the road around the UK.

His connection with Britten runs deep, having performed at Snape Maltings for the elderly composer as a choirboy at King’s College, Cambridge. As Music Director of Opera North from 2004 to 2016, he conducted several of the composer’s operas, including Death in Venice, The Turn of the Screw, Gloriana and an award-winning production of Peter Grimes.  His repertoire ranges far and wide, though. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2002 conducting Simon Boccanegra and has since conducted Il trovatore and Death in Venice there, and was due to return to conduct Don Carlos.

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Marat Bisengaliev, violin

Internationally-renowned violinist Marat Bisengaliev is the founding Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra of India. Described by The Times as a “brilliant violin soloist”, Marat Bisengaliev has also been designated “a latter-day Ysaÿe” by the American Journal Fanfare. The New York Times says that “he has taken to heart a style of playing that was a hallmark of violin virtuosity early in the century”.

In 2019, Marat performed with the Symphony Orchestra of India on their maiden tour to the UK, with critically-acclaimed concerts in London, Edinburgh, Guildford & Cardiff. The Scotsman hailed his “gloriously assertive, chiselled account of Bruch’s First Violin Concerto”, with Classical Source declaring it “without question, the finest live performance of this masterpiece I have heard.”

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Zakir Hussain, tabla

The pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time, Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians. The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Zakir was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of twelve, accompanying India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers and touring internationally with great success by the age of eighteen. His brilliant accompaniment, solo performance, and genre-defying collaborations, including his pioneering work to develop a dialogue between North and South Indian musicians, have elevated the status of his instrument both in India and globally, bringing the tabla into a new dimension of renown and appreciation.

Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution has been unique, with many historic and ground-breaking collaborations, including Shakti, Remember Shakti, Masters of Percussion, Planet Drum and Global Drum Project with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland, CrossCurrents with Dave Holland and Chris Potter, a trio with Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer, and, most recently, with Herbie Hancock.

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Pavel Kolesnikov, piano

In 2012 pianist Pavel Kolesnikov became a sensation at the Honens International Piano Competition when he took home the world’s largest piano prize. The London-based pianist was born in Siberia into a family of scientists. He studied both the piano and violin for ten years, before concentrating solely on the piano. He has studied at Moscow State Conservatory with Sergey Dorensky, at London’s Royal College of Music with Norma Fisher and at Brussels’ Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel with Maria João Pires thanks to the generous support of Mr Christopher D Budden, the RCM Scholarship Foundation and Hattori Foundation.  Pavel is the recipient of the Milstein Medal and is the RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow, and was a member of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists from 2014 to 2016.  

Celebrated for his imaginative, thought-provoking programming which offers the listener a fresh, often unexpected perspective on familiar pieces, Pavel has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, as part of the international Piano Series, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Berlin’s Konzerthaus, the Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.  In recent years he also performed at La Roque d’Antheron festival, the Musiq3 Festival in Brussels, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse, and the Aldeburgh Festival, among others.  

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Niladri Kumar, sitar


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Rakesh Chaurasia, bansuri


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