A wind quartet consisting of players from the Symphony Orchestra of India has been touring some key academic and cultural institutions across the country. They presented an extensive and highly eclectic repertoire. Well-loved and known pieces like Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca, Bizet’s Habanera and Aragonaise, Beethoven’s Minuet in G and pieces from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite had been skilfully transcribed for the woodwinds and captured audience attention. All the periods of Western art music were presented from a Vivaldi Concerto and a Bach Fugue to Chopin’s dreamily romantic Nocturne in E-Flat Major.
The winds led themselves particularly well to modern and jazz pieces like the standard Fly Me To The Moon, Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe, among others. The ultimate ragtime melody of Joplin’s Entertainer was a favourite with audiences. The quartet performed at the Alliance Française in Bengaluru for the International Music & Arts Society, at Woodstock School in Mussoorie which is known for its very fine music program, Strawberry Fields High School in Chandigarh, Oakridge International School in Hyderabad and one of the country’s premier residential schools, Welham Boys’ in Dehradun. The audience appreciation can be measured by the standing ovations that the recitals received at all academic institutions. And the encores featured popular Bollywood hits which further brought home the global projection of music by the quartet. The schools also benefitted from the workshops and lecture-demonstrations conducted by the musicians.
These highly interactive sessions went a long way in creating an audience awareness of great masterworks among the younger generation. Such concerts are invaluable in helping to create a substantial audience platform across the country. Some 1800 students attended the recitals and workshops.
It is our personal endeavour to bring music performed by artists of such calibre to many other institutions and centres in the near future.