This is a good month for lovers of western classical music in Mumbai, as they can expect to hear the finest music played to exacting standards. The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), the country’s first fully professional symphony orchestra — founded by the NCPA Chairman Khushroo N. Suntook and international virtuoso violinist Marat Bisengaliev, who serves as the orchestra’s Music Director — will offer its listeners a treat in its 13th year.

Several key works of the symphonic repertoire will be performed during the 2012 Season. Listeners will have a rare opportunity to hear a range of great works, tone poems, overtures and operatic pieces by great composers. Included in the presentations are such enduring masterpieces as Mahler’s 5th, known for its historic tempo and charged emotional content and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Symphony 6 (the Pastoral) known for its great expressiveness of joy, serenity and meditation on the patterns of Nature. Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration is probably being performed for the first time in India by a major orchestra. The third and final concert — conducted by Zane Dalal and featuring baritone Anooshah Golesorkhi — will be dedicated to popular orchestral and operatic favourites and the melodious tunes by Tosti.

In addition, to help create an interest about Mahler’s 5th, Dalal will conduct an NCPA Chalk Talk lecture on September 21, at Little Theatre at the NCPA, providing the background on its composition and an analysis of the movements, so that audiences can better appreciate the performance of this symphony by the SOI four days later.

The concerts will be presented as part of the celebrations commemorating 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic relations titled “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”. Indian audiences will encounter two excellent German artists — the famous conductor Christoph Poppen and Lena Neudauer, the virtuoso German violinist. Poppen started his 11-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra in 1995 and was Principal Conductor of the new German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra from August 2007 until 2011. German violinist Lena Neudauer makes her Indian debut with the Beethoven Violin Concerto in the all-Beethoven concert.

Bottomline: A treat from The Symphony Orchestra of India in its 13th year.

The Symphony Orchestra of India: Season 2012

When: September 20, 25 and 30

Where: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai