14th Symphony Orchestra of India to host Zakir Hussain, Jean-Phillipe Collard

Mumbai, Jan 20 (PTI) Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, musician Shankar Mahadevan, and world-renowned pianist Jean-Phillipe Collard are some of the big names performing in the upcoming 14th edition of Symphony Orchestra of India's spring season starting February 16.

The spring season, organised by the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), will present a diverse range of repertoire spanning over four concerts here at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre.

It will begin with famous pianist Maria João Pires playing compositions by Mozart and Beethoven. The opening concert will be conducted by French violinist and conductor Augustin Dumay.

'It is our constant endeavour to present the finest performances across the country and internationally, consistently maintaining high standards of music-making. A lot of thought has gone into curating this season's programme.

'It will offer an interesting line up of performers who are sure to take the audiences by surprise. We are particularly glad to have renowned pianist Maria João Pires return to the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) for the second time. We will also present the India premiere of 'Ameen, Amen, Shanti', a concerto for four soloists composed by Zakir Hussain,' said Khushroo N Suntook, NCPA chairman and co-founder of the SOI.

The second concert in the series will witness a rare musical theatre gala on February 20.

Conducted by famous music director Daniel Bowling, the evening will see vocalists Lucie Jones and John Owen-Jones performing excerpts from musicals including 'The Phantom of the Opera', 'Wicked', 'Les Misrables', and 'West Side Story'.

The next in line, on February 25, will be the India premier of Zakir Hussain's 'Ameen, Amen, Shanti', a concerto for four soloists, conducted by Zane Dalal. The work will feature Hussain on Tabla, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan and mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor as vocalists.

'An Islamic Sufi, a Hindu priest and a Biblical preacher embark on a journey together, convinced that they have nothing in common. As the journey unfolds and thoughts are shared, they realize with boundless joy that they can be friends and that their music and way of life bind them together in the strength of oneness.

'Their common experience of the human condition-from frailty and fear to exaltation and hope-are expressed, as they are sustained by the gifts of our natural world, to arrive at this oneness, beyond appearances and duality,' the Padma Shri percussionist said.

According to the organiser, the work uses the vast musical landscape of an orchestra and combines Indian raag and taal along with sufiyana qalam and church music to experience the unity emerging from what mankind presumes to be an irreconcilable diversity.

The final concert of the season on March 1 will feature an evening of French music with two specialists in the repertoire: pianist Jean-Philippe Collard and conductor Laurent Petitgirard, who will perform Saint-Saëns' 'Le rouet d'Omphale' and 'Piano Concerto No. 5' and renowned French composer Cesar Franck's radical 'Symphony in D minor'. PTI MAH MG MG