iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Nirmika Singh, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 20, 2013
Ever since its inception in 2006, the Symphony Orchestra Of India (SOI) has given lovers of western classical music in the city many reasons to be happy. Firstly, the fact that it is India’s first professional orchestra gives it a unique standing and secondly, not only does it play music from the symphonic repertoire, but it also includes pieces from ballet, opera and chamber music collections.

Performing two seasons every year, in September and February, SOI is back with a fresh offering this time around. As part of the ongoing seventh season, which has seen three concerts in the past week, on Friday, you can catch yet another fascinating performance, featuring reknowned tabla player Zakir Hussain. It will feature a triple concerto, Melody of Rhythm, performed by the trio Zakir, Edgar Meyer (double bass) and Béla Fleck (banjo).

“We wrote a symphony piece for SOI. It’s nice that the SOI is expanding its repertoire of presentation to include freshly written Western classical pieces, including those involving an Indian composer,” says Hussain. About his co-musicians, he adds, “Béla is one of the greatest musicians ever. He has the most nominations in different categories at the Grammys and has won 14 of them. And Edgar Meyer is one of the most sought after composers and players for symphony orchestras.”

The trio had also performed at the barsi (death anniversary) concert of Ustad Allarakha Khan earlier this month. “We are like family. Zakir and Béla are great musicians and when we are on stage, it’s impossible not to gain from each other’s energies,” says Meyer.

The concert will also feature a solo violin piece by Marat Bisengaliev. Catch the concert on February 22 from 7 pm onwards, at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA. Call 2282 4567 for tickets.