One is among the world’s ‘youngest’ orchestras, founded in 2002 but already featuring on global Top 10 lists. The other is a world-renowned orchestra that has been touring Europe and winning accolades for 98 years. These are the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR) from Switzerland respectively, and both will be making their India debut in Mumbai this week.
The OSR will be conducted by Osmo Vanska, the Finnish conductor who is currently the music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, and together with them won a Grammy in 2014. The ensemble will also feature the renowned, award-winning French violinist Renaud Capuon.
On Wednesday and Thursday, they will perform compositions by Ravel, Beethoven and Brahms, Debussy, Saint-Saens and Prokofiev at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
The following day will see the China Philharmonic Orchestra, under the conductorship of Xia Xiaotang, perform The Moon Reflected on the Er-quan Spring, a piece of folk music beloved across China, as well as compositions by Mendelssohn and Beethoven.
“The Moon Reflected... is a very touching piece of music. We will use our string section to reinterpret it and bring it to life,” says Xiaotang.
The China Philharmonic Orchestra is a hidden treasure, says Khushroo N Suntook, chairman of the NCPA. “Western music was banned in China until 1972, but after that the Chinese people have taken to it in a big way,” he adds. “This passion and skill is reflected in their orchestra.”