The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), based in Mumbai, unfurls the melody and charisma of its renowned performances in the bustling city of Bengaluru with the initiative NCPA@thePark Bangalore. Not just an ordinary event, this endeavor serves as a cultural crossover, bringing live performances to the verdant expanses of the city’s prime outdoor locales. And the most striking chord? It’s gratis, according to a proud Khushroo N Suntook, the esteemed Chairman of the NCPA and the Co-founder of the Symphony Orchestra of India.

Khushroo N Suntook, a stalwart in the Indian performing arts scene, illuminated the purpose behind NCPA@thePark during a telephonic interview from his Mumbai residence. Launched three years back, the initiative aims to resuscitate live performances following the gloom of pandemic shutdowns. “Alongside the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), we’re invested in heralding the revival of live entertainment into public spaces,” he asserts.

The Symphony Orchestra of India, now in its 18th year, is powered by an unwavering commitment to music education, utilizing the rigorous and renowned Russian method of instruction. The orchestra has since burgeoned in strength, spreading its harmonious influence around the globe, gracing esteemed venues from Moscow to Oman, even performing in the United Kingdom.

Historically, the orchestra’s melodies have resonated within the regal chambers of Mysuru’s monarchy, serenading the Maharani of Mysore and echoing through the grandeur of Bengaluru Palace. Khushroo reminisces about these concerts with a hint of pride, “We must be the only professional symphony orchestra in India, contrasting with the world’s 1,500. Yet, our mettle was proven by the success at both venues.”

With NCPA@ThePark, there’s a passionate thrust to proliferate the wonders of grand music. “There’s this myth that Indians won’t align with a Western orchestra,” contemplates Khushroo. “Yet, look at Africa, Japan, and China, which had outlawed Western music until as recently as 1972. Fast forward 50 years, and you witness thousands of proficient musicians from these nations embellishing the finest orchestras worldwide.”

The integration of Indian and Western musical traditions isn’t novel but continually evolving, as evidenced by joint tours with musical virtuosos such as Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia. “We are crafting a melodic tapestry that began unfurling four centuries ago, now encompassing every genre imaginable across the globe,” Khushroo notes.

The fusion of cultural melodies is reminiscent of the collaborations sparked over six decades ago by Pandit Ravi Shankar, an innovator bridging Eastern and Western musical sensibilities. Such inspirations have underscored the untapped potential of an Indian orchestra: “As Western literature with Shakespeare, so is Western music—universal in its teaching and reach. Great art is boundless.”

Khushroo’s affinity for music isn’t hereditary; he deviated from a legacy of jurisprudence, with both his grandfather and father serving notable legal roles, to immerse himself in the performing arts—a shift catalyzed by his tenure with the Tatas and bonds with legendary musicians.

Looking ahead, Khushroo is buoyant about the upcoming event in Bengaluru, reminiscing about his athletic past while recognizing the city’s rich musical patronage and intellectualism. Bengaluru, to him, is an eclectic and welcoming hub for international arts and endeavors.

NCPA@thePark emerges as a free cultural feast, set to enchant the people of Bengaluru for two consecutive evenings at Freedom Park. On March 30th and 31st, from 6 pm onwards, the soul of live music entwines with the city’s heartbeat, affirming that the performing arts know no boundaries, charging the air with symphonic grace as a priceless gift to the city’s diverse and voracious music aficionados.

By IPL Agent

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