| 14 Aug 2022
Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) commissions tabla maestro Zakir Hussain to create new piece for the orchestra

MUMBAI: The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) announces its first commission of an orchestral piece by the internationally-renowned tabla virtuoso, Zakir Hussain. The upcoming autumn season of the SOI in September-October 2015 will enthrall the audience with the world premiere of Peshkar, performed by the maestro himself along with the SOI. Hussain is the first composer to be commissioned to create a new piece by the SOI.

Ustad Zakir Hussain is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the contemporary world music movement, and his career has seen several historic collaborations including two previous works for orchestra. Peshkar, however, will be Hussain’s first concerto for tabla and orchestra. It is a unique melodic piece that retains the improvisational expression of the tabla, with structured layering of varied instruments, all culminating in an overwhelming experience.

Symphony Orchestra of India, NCPA Chairman and Founder, Khushroo N. Suntook, on collaborating with the table maestro said, “As the SOI nears its tenth anniversary, we felt the time was ripe to make a contribution to the orchestral cannon by undertaking our first commission. As the Symphony Orchestra of India, we felt it was important that our first commission be from an Indian composer. Zakir Hussain is one of the great musicians of our time, and we are delighted that he accepted the commission and will be premiering the work with us in September.”

Ustad Zakir Hussain, on being commissioned as the first Indian composer of SOI said, "The first commission by an orchestra is an important milestone and I am delighted to be the first composer commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of India. I hope our audiences in India and abroad will enjoy and appreciate this unique musical experience."

The world premier performances of Peshkar will take place on Friday, 25 - 26 September 2015, at the NCPA, conducted by SOI Associate Music Director, Zane Dalal. The programme will also feature Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Box office opens on 6th August for Benefactors and Friends of the SOI, 9th August for NCPA Members and 12th August for public

In one of its many firsts, the SOI will embark on a landmark journey as Zakir Hussain and the orchestra, together, will travel to Switzerland in January 2016, on a special invitation by the Migros Kulturprozent Classics series. This will mark the first performance in Europe by the SOI, as well as the European premiere of Peshkar. The three-city tour will take the SOI to Zurich, Geneva and St. Gallen. The prestigious Migros Classics series has featured legendary orchestras, famous conductors, and star soloists from around the world, with an aim to make classical music available to a broad audience throughout Switzerland.