Maestro Zubin Mehta will return to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) for the SOI Autumn 2024 Season at the NCPA. He will conduct the orchestra in four much-anticipated concerts featuring the compositions of Johann Strauss II and Richard Strauss.

Maestro Mehta conducted the SOI for the first time in August 2023 and expressed, “It is a really very fine orchestra that can be compared with a lot of good ensembles all over the world and I hope that I can come back very soon to India to play again”. The legendary conductor’s return to the NCPA, the home of the SOI, is a true testimony to the orchestra’s prowess.  

Under the guidance of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Chairman and SOI co-founder, Khushroo N. Suntook and Music Director, Marat Bisengaliev, the SOI is preparing for yet another ambitious Season which will offer a world-class orchestral experience. The first two concerts will feature light Viennese music by the great Johann Strauss II, including “Overture to Die Fledermaus” and “Emperor Waltz”, which is loved worldwide and should prove extremely popular.  Bringing this enchanting music to life, the SOI will be joined by soprano soloist Chen Reiss, acclaimed to be “one of the most perfect Strauss voices”. The following two concerts will witness the veritable music of German composer Richard Strauss, best known for his tone poems and operas, superbly interpreted by Maestro Zubin Mehta. The concerts include Don Juan, the India premiere of Ein Heldenleben; and Four Last Songs which will be sung by Krassimira Stoyanova, one of the most sought-after sopranos of our time.

Khushroo N. Suntook, chairman of the National Centre for the Performing Arts and Co-founder of the SOI, said, “It gives us great pleasure to welcome back acclaimed conductor and my old friend Zubin Mehta to the NCPA for the SOI Autumn 2024 Season. The visit of Zubin Mehta has always been much anticipated, however, his performing with an Indian orchestra was met with tremendous enthusiasm last year. During his visit, Zubin was highly appreciative of the orchestra’s quality and promised to return to conduct the SOI soon. He has kept his word, and we are delighted to open our Autumn Season with him conducting the SOI in four concerts of two vastly different programmes. The first two concerts feature the music of Johann Strauss which has been performed under Zubin’s baton at the iconic Vienna New Year’s Concerts on at least five occasions. To have this slice of the Viennese music tradition in Mumbai, conducted by the master himself, is going to be memorable. The final two concerts feature Richard Strauss’s music, of which Zubin is regarded as one of the finest interpreters. The audiences in India shouldn’t miss these rare musical experiences.

The SOI has been presenting concerts at a high international standard at home in Mumbai, across India, and around the world, for the last eighteen years and has reached many milestones. The approaching Season promises to be a musical celebration and we look forward to presenting it to the concertgoers in the country.” 

According to Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, Founder Trustee, Mehli Mehta Music Foundation, “The Mehli Mehta Music Foundation welcomes Zubin Mehta once again to Mumbai to conduct two programmes, in four concerts, of exhilarating and profound music by Johann Strauss and Richard Strauss – two composers of contrasting styles and genres.

The foundation is highly appreciative of Maestro Mehta’s unstinting support and encouragement as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. His unwavering commitment and belief in our mission have been instrumental in reaching this milestone. As we reflect on three decades of achievements, we recognize that his contributions have been pivotal in our journey. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Maestro Mehta for his invaluable partnership and look forward to many more years of shared success and growth.” 

The SOI Autumn 2024 Season promises a spectacular celebration and will be shortly followed by one of the world’s most renowned opera competition, Operalia, coming to India for the first time and to be hosted by the NCPA in September, where the SOI will be conducted by renowned tenor Plácido Domingo during the finale. For the orchestra to be conducted by two celebrated maestros in two consecutive months is a special feat.   

SOI Autumn 2024 season schedule:

August 17 and 18
Jamshed Bhabha Theatre
Zubin Mehta, conductor
Chen Reiss, soprano

An evening of music by Johann Strauss II
Overture to Die Fledermaus
Annen-polka, Op. 117
Wiener Blut, Op. 354 (‘Viennese Blood’)
Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214
Csárdás from Die Fledermaus
Overture to Der Zigeunerbaron
Morgenblätter, Op. 279
Frühlingsstimmen, Op. 410 (‘Voices of Spring’)
Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437 (‘Emperor Waltz’)

August 24 and 25
Zubin Mehta, conductor
Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano

An evening of music by Richard Strauss
Don Juan
Four Last Songs
Ein Heldenleben

September 15 to 21
Operalia – The 31st edition, the first time ever in India 
Quarter-final, Semi-final, Grand Finale  

September 21, Grand finale
Plácido Domingo, conductor