Conductors Mischa Damev, Rafael Payare and More Among Symphony Orchestra of India's Feb 2014 Lineup

Conductors Mischa Damev, Rafael Payare and More Among Symphony Orchestra of India's Feb 2014 Lineup

With four orchestral concerts and two solo recitals, from February 10th to 26th, the National Centre for the Performing Arts presents the 16th season of the Symphony Orchestra of India, India's first fully professional orchestra, at the NCPA's Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, Tata Theatre and Experimental Theatre.

Featuring two renowned guest conductors and two critically acclaimed soloists, the February season of SOI is a power-packed celebrity season. Swiss conductor Mischa Damev and Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare will each be working with the SOI for the first time.

Pianist Barry Douglas and guitarist Xuefei Yang will be performing solo recitals on Monday 10th and Friday 14th February respectively, in addition to performances with the SOI of popular concertos by Tchaikovsky and Rodrigo on Tuesday 11th and Sunday 16th. The recitals present an excellent opportunity to hear one of the foremost interpreters of romantic piano repertoire and the beautiful soothing tones of the classical guitar performed by one of the best young players in the world. As well as conducting a concert on Wednesday 26th, SOI Resident Conductor Zane Dalal will give a Chalk Talk on Thursday 6th February to introduce some of the key musical works of the season.

Mr. Khushroo N. Suntook, NCPA Chairman and Founder of SOI, says, "With each passing season, my dream to have a full Indian orchestra is moving closer to fruition. We have many Indians who are part of the orchestra and of a suitable calibre to perform on the same platform as conductors like Mischa Damev. I am proud to present the February 2014 season of SOI. With this season begins the western music extravaganza at the NCPA. We have the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, amongst others, coming to the NCPA in the coming months."

Barry Douglas (piano soloist) has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule. Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland in 1999 to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In recent seasons, he has made successful debuts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Indianapolis Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Romanian National Radio Orchestra at the Enescu Festival, Bangkok Symphony, I Pommerigi di Milano, Moscow Philharmonic, and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Moscow. Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year's Honours List for services to music.

Xuefei Yang (guitar soloist) is the first guitarist to give a recital in Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, and the first Chinese guitarist to launch an international professional career. Ms. Yang then became the first Chinese student to be awarded a full postgraduate scholarship to study at London's Royal Academy of Music. In recognition of her distinguished career, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music in June 2012. Ms. Yang records exclusively for EMI Classics. Her debut album, Romance de Amor, won a gold disc in Hong Kong, and her second, 40 Degrees North, was selected as "Editor's Choice" by Gramophone magazine. Since she premiered Equipoise by Timothy Salter, commissioned for her by the Park Lane Group, Ms. Yang has committed herself to expanding the guitar repertoire, with a particular interest in adding Chinese music to the repertoire.

Mischa Damev (conductor). Formerly a concert pianist, Damev took up conducting in 1991 on the advice of his mentor Mariss Jansons. After studying intensively with the Prof. Karl Österreicher he spent several years working as an assistant to Georges Prêtre and Vladimir Fedoseyev. He has conducted many leading orchestras around the world including the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra (Principal Guest Conductor), the Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna and the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia Roma.He has recorded with Decca, is a successful record producer (Musiques Suisses) and has participated in numerous radio and teleVision Productions for Swiss television, Bulgarian radio and Russian radio. In 2007 he was appointed Head of Music of the Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs of Migros Cooperative Federation in Zurich, where he arranges Swiss tours for a wide variety of internationally renowned orchestras, ensembles and soloists, whilst simultaneously maintaining his successful conducting career.

Rafael Payare (conductor) is a product of the country's pioneering El Sistema music training programme and a successor to the hugely popular conductor Gustavo Dudamel. He has won the prestigious Malko Conducting Competition in 2012 and has worked with, amongst others, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Gothenburg Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Future plans include debuts with the London Symphony, Munchner Philharmoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Oslo Philharmonic.He was recently named chief conductor of the Ulster Orchestra and will be conducting part of Krzysztof Penderecki's 80th Birthday celebrations in Warsaw. Ha has conducted all the major orchestras in Venezuela including the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, both in Caracas and in Toronto as part of their 2009 Canadian tour. As an assistant conductor he worked under Gustavo Dudamel, most recently for his staged production of Marriage of Figaro with the LA Philharmonic, and served as assistant conductor to the late Claudio Abbado for his performance of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. In September 2012, Daniel Barenboim personally invited Rafael to assist in his production of Wagner's Siegfried at the Berlin Staatsoper.

Zane Dalal (conductor) has been Resident Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of India since 2007, building the skills of the orchestra's resident Indian players through the SOI's Orchestral Training Programme and undertaking the musical preparations for each SOI concert season. Zane Dalal was born and educated in England. Awarded an Organ Scholarship to the University of Oxford, he held the position of Choirmaster and Organist at Oriel College Chapel. Dalal made his debut in Orchestral Conducting in the United States at Indiana University. He became one of their most distinguished conducting students, performing a wide range of contemporary works, as well as major concerti and symphonic repertoire.

The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) is 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 attract new and young audiences around India.

Players are recruited from an international field, with a core of instrumentalists drawn from Kazakhstan and many other countries of Europe and the UK. Many of the principal players are also teachers, and the orchestra places 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 SOI has recently expanded our search for talent to include players from Kolkata and Darjeeling, adding to our already diverse group of performers from Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kerala.

On June 11, 2010, the SOI made history as it became India's first fully professional orchestra perform internationally when it made its 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. For further information please visit: www.soimumbai.com

Opening its doors to the world in 1969, the NCPA became the first multi-venue and multi-purpose cultural centre to be built in South Asia. Vibrant and diverse, the NCPA today is recognized by artistes, patrons and media alike as India's premier performing arts institution. The Centre provides a fine showcase for India's rich performing arts traditions, all thanks to the institution's training and research initiatives.

The NCPA presents over 600 events each year across all major art forms, most notably Indian Music, International Music, Theatre and Film, Dance, Literature, Visual Arts and Photography. There are Heads of Programming for each of these art forms who curate innovative events and festivals; representative of everything from classical to contemporary throughout the year. The NCPA produces its own programmes as well as collaborates with leading cultural promoters from around the world. For further information, visit: www.ncpamumbai.com.

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