Musical evening of note as Rahul Sharma joins the CPO in ‘Symphony of Santoor’
Symphony of Santoor is a world first for Sharma, the santoor and the orchestra, not least because of the melding of two distinctly different musical art forms, but also because the first time they will rehearse together as a unit will be today.
Herein lies the magic, though, as Sharma has rearranged his music for the orchestra, and especially for Brandon Phillips’s guiding baton.
Under Phillips’s watchful eye, the music will be brought to life so that every note, stroke of the bow and sound of the horn, and more, will sooth the soul of everyone listening to the concert on Friday.
Inner Circle Entertainment, whose brainchild this musical performance is, are no strangers to staging world-class concerts, having brought some of the globe’s top music artists to Africa.
As an artist, Sharma is also in an elite bracket almost entirely of his own, though having begun his craft at the age of 13, which is much later than most.
Genetics clearly play a role, as Rahul, whose father is the renowned Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Rahul’s teacher, and his grandfather, also a santoor player of note, has made this humble Kashmiri folk instrument his own.
Rahul has developed his craft to a point where he is reviving traditional folk music but also taking the santoor to new worlds, encompassing classical to folk, rock, new age, EDM and world fusion.
He has worked with artists such as pianist Richard Clayderman and psychedelic chillout pioneers Deep Forest, and has topped the US Billboard charts with his collaboration with smooth jazz artist Kenny G.
Now he will bridge the divide between East and West with this highly anticipated and innovative concert.
We asked Sharma about launching the piece in Cape Town and he replied: “This collaboration is unlike anything I’ve ever done and I’m truly looking forward to debuting the symphony in Cape Town, a city that holds a special place in my heart.
“There’s a certain amount of nervous anticipation in doing something like this for the first time and it’s therefore an honour to be able to perform this groundbreaking 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.
“This symphony is a tangible demonstration of how different philosophies can combine into one seamless and beautiful harmony, and I look forward to connecting people to dreams, musically.”
Louis Heyneman, chief executive of the orchestra, said: “The CPO is looking forward to being involved in Symphony of Santoor. 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.”