Symphony of Santoor featuring Rahul Sharma and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is another Inner Circle Entertainment event that combines international musicians with South African artists. This world premiere takes place on Friday, 21 February, 2020, at the Artscape Opera House.

Here award-winning santoor player Rahul Sharma and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Brandon Phillips collaborate for a confluence of the rich traditions of Indian and western classical music. This world-first concert will journey through Indian classical ragas, folk, and light classical music compositions, rearranged for orchestra by Sharma, with the 100-stringed santoor as the star of the show.

Rahul Sharma appears in Symphony of Santoor in Cape Town
Rahul Sharma appears in Symphony of Santoor in Cape Town

Ensemble from India

“This collaboration is unlike anything I have ever done before and I am truly looking forward to debuting the symphony in Cape Town, a city that holds a special place in my heart” says Rahul.

“There is a certain amount of nervous anticipation in doing something like this for the first time and it is therefore an honour to be able to perform this ground-breaking work with the confidence of having an orchestra, such as the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra under the respected guidance of Brandon Phillips, right behind me.”

Rahul Sharma learnt from his father Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, beginning his training at 13.  Father and son are recognised for their skill on the santoor – a trapezoid shaped 100-string wooden instrument. Transforming it from a simple Kashmiri folk item to a respected instrument in Indian classical circles and around the world, Rahul, has made it his own. His music spans many genres from classical to folk, rock, new age and world fusion, working with artists such as pianist Richard Clayderman, psy-chillout pioneers Deep Forest, and topping the US Billboard with his collaboration with smooth jazz artist Kenny G.

Louis Heyneman, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, is equally eager to see this musical melding come to fruition commenting: “Our previous collaboration with Indian classical music, Symphony of Ghazal, was a great success. Widening our scope to include music from other genres is a thrilling new avenue for the orchestra and being at the forefront of something this exciting, gives meaning to our motto of being an orchestra for all seasons.”

For novices to the genre, Indian music is largely improvised, with the artist gauging the audience’s mood before embarking on the main event. Therein lies its mystique and magic. Orchestral music is of course more structured, and Rahul has scored the pieces to take account of the different styles.

Aside from the 46-piece Cape Town Philharmonic orchestra, Rahul Sharma will be accompanied by a team of musicians from India.

More in the Cape Town gig guide.

What: Symphony of Santoor Rahul Sharma and CPO
When: Friday 21 February 2020
Where: Artscape Opera House Cape Town
Book tickets:  R200 – R600 Computicket
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