Symphony Orchestra of India, Switzerland Tour, 2016

Tour Dates: 19th - 22nd January, 2016

In August 2006, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) formed The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), the country’s first fully professional symphony orchestra, offering a series of concerts in Mumbai over the course of two seasons each year...

Tour Dates
  • 19th - 22nd January, 2016

19th January, 2016, Zurich Tonhalle
21st January, 2016, Geneva Victoria Hall
22nd January, 2016, St. Gallen Tonhalle

In August 2006, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) formed The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), the country’s first fully professional symphony orchestra, offering a series of concerts in Mumbai over the course of two seasons each year, in September and February. The orchestra has also begun to tour nationally and to take music into communities in order to enthuse new and young audiences around India. The SOI was founded by the NCPA Chairman, Khushroo N Suntook, and international virtuoso violinist, Marat Bisengaliev, who serves as the orchestra’s Music Director. Players are recruited from an international field, a core of instrumentalists who are resident at the NCPA all year round. Many of the principal players are also teachers, and the orchestra places a great emphasis on developing musical potential within India.

There are a growing number of Indian players representing the finest local talent and providing a solid foundation for the future of orchestral playing in this country. The orchestra has recently expanded its search for talent to include players from Kolkata and Darjeeling, adding to the already diverse group of performers from Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kerala. The NCPA is proud that the SOI is taking on a truly national spirit and honouring its commitment to promote the education of the arts.

The SOI has worked with internationally renowned soloists, including Michael Collins, Stephen Kovacevich, Tamas Vasary, Raphael Wallfisch, John Lenehan, Andrei Gavrilov and Dmitry Sitkovetsky. It has also collaborated with eminent conductors including Karl Jenkins, Adrian Leaper, Johannes Wildner, Evgeny Bushkov and Alexander Anissimov. Over the course of twelve seasons, the SOI has presented great masterworks including Strauss’ Don Juan, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, showcasing the virtuosity of the Orchestra. The NCPA and the SOI have also presented large-scale productions including Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary and Operas such as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Tosca. In its twelfth celebrity concert season in February 2012, the NCPA presented two Operas back-to-back in the form of the classic duo, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. The SOI also performed a concert version of Carl Orff’s powerful and elemental Carmina Burana in the same season.

In June 2010, the SOI made history as it became India’s first fully professional orchestra to perform outside of the country. It made its international debut at the Fifth Festival of the World’s Symphony Orchestras in Moscow. The SOI played on the concluding night as part of the Grand Finale, in the presence of the highest echelons of Russian society.

Besides presenting orchestral and chamber music concerts, the SOI is available as a prestigious accompanying ensemble for soloists as well as for ballets, operas and musicals. It will also offer its services internationally as a resource for making recordings.

As India continues to establish itself as a global economic power, the creation of first-rate cultural institutions working towards international recognition will be a vital component of the nation’s growing prestige on the world stage. In creating the SOI, the
NCPA is leading the initiative to develop India’s international cultural profile alongside countries such as China, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, all of which have established symphony orchestras. Moreover, the SOI is fulfilling an important educational role within India itself. The NCPA will continue to build on the aim to become a centre of musical excellence, developing international standards of professionalism among its players and thereby addressing the aspirations of young musicians and music-loving audiences throughout India.

Zane Dalal Conductor

Zane Dalal was born and educated in England. He holds two Masters Degrees in Music from both the University of Oxford, U.K and from Indiana University, at Bloomington.

Dalal was Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra at the University of Oklahoma and Conductor of the University Opera Theater from 1991 to 1993. He has conducted, in rehearsal or performance the Symphonies of Cincinnati, Jerusalem, L'Orchestre des Pays de La Loire and the Florida Philharmonic. Dalal was invited to assist the Dallas Symphony acting as a cover conductor for selected concerts with Maestro Andrew Litton and guest conductors. He also conducted the Chicago Civic Orchestra in a special conductor’s preview, by the invitation of Daniel Barenboïm and conducted the Florida Orchestra during their search for a Resident Conductor. From 2007, Mr. Dalal has been the Resident Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of India at the National Centre Performing Arts in Mumbai.

Dalal has participated in several music festivals and competitions including the international conducting competitions in Besançon and Lugano in 1990 and the first competition named for Leonard Bernstein in 1995, placing as finalists in all three. In 1994 his performance of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony with the American Youth Symphony, at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, prompted an enthusiastic endorsement from Maestro Zubin Mehta.

Music Director: Marat Bisengaliev

Born in Kazakhstan, USSR, in 1962 and making a startling debut at the age of nine, Marat Bisengaliev later studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow with two of the legendary names in violin tuition: Boris Belkin and Valery Klimov.

Bisengaliev was a prizewinner in 1988 at the Leipzig International Bach Competition, and in 1991 he won first prize at the International Nicanor Zabaleta Competition in Spain, also receiving the special virtuoso prize for the most outstanding performance of the competition. In 2000, Bisengaliev received the 1st independent "Platinum Tarlan" Award and the Government "Medal of Honour" in Kazakhstan.

In 1989, Bisengaliev founded the Kazakh Chamber Orchestra with whom he toured as a soloist throughout Europe. In 2006, Bisengaliev became Artistic Director of the Symphony Orchestra of India (Mumbai), the first professional full time Symphony Orchestra in India.

Bisengaliev’s recording of the Mendelssohn concertos with the Northern Sinfonia became Gramophone Critic's Choice of the year in 1998. Fanfare nominated his recording of the concerto by the British composer Havergal Brian with the BBC Scottish S.O. "Elgar - Re-discovered works for violin - Vol. 1" (Black Box) was nominated for the 1999 "Gramophone Award". The "Elgar - Re-discovered works for violin - Vol. 2" (Black Box) has been released to great critical acclaim and is one of five recordings recently highly recommended by Classic FM. Marat Bisengaliev was awarded a Gold. Disc from Sony BMG for the latest release Tlep premiered in Albert Hall.

Soloist: Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have not only established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, but gained him worldwide fame. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study. The favorite accompanist for many of India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, he has not let his genius rest there.

Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations, including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Remember Shakti, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, YoYo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Mark Morris, Rennie Harris, and the Kodo drummers.

His music and extraordinary contribution to the music world were honored in April, 2009, with four widely-heralded and sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Artist Perspective series.


"Zane Dalal is an extremely gifted conductor who possesses a good command over the orchestra, as his stick technique is very clear and communicative and his musical ideas substantive and well thought out. I think he is on the verge of embarking on a good career."



Overture Smetana: Bartered Bride
Zakhir Hussain: Concerto for orchestra, Peshkar
Bartok Concerto for Orchestra