Fans of Western classical music have reason to celebrate. The Bombay Chamber Orchestra (BCO) is organising a concert tonight to mark 50 years of its existence.
The BCO has made an identity for itself with a versatile repertoire of performances. Though it comprises Indian musicians mainly, they also collaborate with artistes from around the world for concerts and workshops. For their golden jubilee celebrations, the main performers will be Josef Suilen, a veteran conductor from the Netherlands, Hungarian pianist Balázs Fülei and renowned opera singer, soprano Sunanda Rao-Erdem.
The audience will be treated to Fülei’s rendition of Beethoven’s Leonore Overture followed by Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 2 and some popular arias by Rao-Erdem.
“This is my first performance in Mumbai. Over the years, I’ve seen music lovers in India showing great interest in Western music forms such as the opera. Some of the arias that I plan to present are from the operas Giulio Cesare and Samson and Delilah,” says Rao-Erdem.
The programme also includes works from fabled composers such as Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Saint Saëns. Besides the experienced artistes, you’ll also witness young kids playing violins, violas, flutes and other instruments.
“By inviting performers from various countries and genres, our aim is to encourage the young talents of this city and make Western classical music more popular. We encourage students to take up wind and brass instruments,” says Jini Dinshaw, founder and trustee, BCO.
Young Bachs,The BCO, one of the oldest Western classical orchestras in India, conducts free workshops for youngsters.
The sessions are conducted every Sunday, and increase in frequency 10-15 days before the concerts.Trainees also get rent-free instruments from the BCO. Last year, the BCO also trained kids from the Dharavi slums for a month, after which they performed a piece from the musical, The Sound of Music.
The concert is at Sophia Bhabha Auditorium from 7 pm onwards. Tickets are between Rs 160 to Rs 360 (available at Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda).