Zubin Mehta, the globally-acclaimed Parsi conductor from Mumbai, Music Director Emeritus of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) and Conductor Emeritus of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is all set to flick that baton again in India.
Mehta will be leading the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), with a strength of over 90 musicians, on August 19 and 21 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai.
“Yes, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) and the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation (MMMF) are elated to confirm that the NCPA Mumbai will be hosting the globally acclaimed conductor and my friend Zubin Mehta on August 19 and 21,” said NCPA Chairman Khushroo N Suntook.
“The two special concerts will include the works of classical giants Schubert (‘Unfinished’) and Mozart (Overture’ from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’). The programme will also feature Mahler’s monumental First Symphony, also called The Titan. The symphony will be performed here with Mahler’s ‘Blumine’, the rarely heard original second movement,” said Suntook.
Incidentally, Mehta was to perform at NCPA last November, but had to cancel as he was suffering from exhaustion.
“Given his punishing schedule and frequent travels, he did need rest and had to reschedule his visit. Ever since, he has been conducting regularly, and has these dates marked for his trip to Mumbai,” said Suntook.
Mehta will be conducting the SOI for the first time, he added.
“Being convinced of the SOI’s quality concerts over the past years, Zubin consented to conduct the orchestra. This is a great honour for the SOI, as Zubin is one of the greatest conductors today,” Suntook said.
The upcoming concert is a high point in the collaboration between NCPA and MMMF, he said.
“Many of the performances the MMMF has presented have been held at the NCPA in the past, including concerts by Zubin Mehta with visiting orchestras. More recently, the NCPA & MMMF have been co-presenting performances by visiting artistes,” said Suntook.
Like NCPA, MMMF, named after Zubin’s father Mehli Mehta who was a pioneer in Western classical music in India, was started with the support of Mehta and his brother Zarin, to work towards widening the audience for Western classical music in India, said Suntook.
“Personally, I am really looking forward to the concert. Zubin and I grew up together, our parents were friends,” he said