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Back in the chamber of classics

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 20:28 IST

Western classical music is coming, served straight up. Mumbai’s three-day annual chamber music festival, Sangat ’06, returns, from December 15.

Organised by the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation, the western classical music festival has attracted a loyal following for over 10 years. Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Rossini and Shostakovich are on the itinerary – played only through string instruments this year.

The rehearsals are on. In fact, right now it isn’t just about bats, balls and cricketing banter at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), which serves as home and practice ground for musicians from different corners of the world. In one of the club’s rooms, cello player Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt and violinist Julia Fischer join viola player Jennifer Michiko Gilbert to practise Mozart’s Divertimento.

Post-lunch, the Schostakovich Octet comprising Sangat veterans Indira Koch, Harvey and Ralph D’Souza and Fischer gather in the same hall to straighten out errant melodies.

Saker Mistri, committee member of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation, says, “It is an opportunity to play with other perfectionists that attracts these musicians from different parts of the globe to the festival.

Chamber music allows them to play off one another while blending with the rest of the group.” Mistri states that the musicians are top-of-the-line soloists, who put their engagements on hold to come here to participate in this festival, free of cost.

Besides rehearsing together, the musicians conduct classes and workshops for local students and teachers. “The idea is to increase awareness of Western classical music in the city,” concludes Mistri.

E-mail author: ameta.bal@hindustantimes.com

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