Goan violinist Ashley Rego grew up listening to the Ode to Joy, a small melody within Beethoven’s ninth symphony. Today, the overwhelmed musician is preparing to play the piece before an international audience in his first foreign performance.
Rego is a member of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), the country’s first professional orchestra which will make its international debut on June 11, four years after it was founded. Owned and run by Mumbai’s National Centre for Performing Arts, the SOI will perform the grand finale at the Fourth Festival of the World’s Symphony Orchestras in Moscow’s renowned Hall of Columns.
“Moscow is known for producing the best string players in the world, so playing there will be a great honour,” said Rego (25), one of the 15 Indian players in the orchestra out of the 109 who will go to Russia.
“My friends are used to me playing for college festivals and local concerts, but they think this trip is pretty cool,” said cellist Bianca Mendonca (19) a commerce student from HR college and the youngest member of the team. “Our orchestra cannot compare with the professional experience of the other orchestras that will perform there, but this festival will open doors us,” said Marat Bisengaliev, SOI director.