Christie Leads New West Symphony in ‘A Tour of India’

Mike Lawson • News • November 9, 2020

New West Symphony (NWS), with conductor Michael Christie as artistic and music director, continues its 2020-21 season of “Global Sounds, Local Cultures” on Sunday, November 15 at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET with A Tour of India.

The digital Sunday concert will be the culmination of a weekend of activities highlighting the impact that Indian culture and lifestyle have had on the greater Los Angeles Region.

“Southern California has long been home to musicians, innovators and educators sharing the storied traditions of Indian culture and Indian classical music,” said Christie. “European and American composers have been drawing on India’s vibrant musical language and engrossing formal structures for well over a century so we are delighted to be able to now share some of this incredible music and the musicians who make it come alive.”

In collaboration with L.A.-based composer Reena Esmail, UCLA’s Rahul Neuman, Hindustani Soprano Saili Oak, and internationally renowned tenor Sean Panikkar, the November 15 concert will explore the influences that Indian and western classical musical traditions have upon each other.

Coinciding with the Indian holiday of Diwali, the November 15 program will also include an interview with Anaheim city Mayor Harry Singh Sidhu who will discuss his experience as an Indian-American elected official and the only current Indian-American mayor in California.

Preceding the concert, on Friday November 13, the New West Symphony will conduct Culture Insights and Entr’Acte. The Insights program will highlight the origins of yoga and include demonstrations of asanas and mudras originating from Bharatanatayam, oldest classical dance tradition in India. The program will culminate with a performance by Arun Mathai, a professionally trained Bharatanatayam dancer accompanied by violinist Kiran Athreya.

On Saturday, November 14 the symphony will sponsor the latest in its Meet the Artist series, presented from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Bank of America Performing Arts Center. The program will include performances by Saili Oak and Sean Panikkar as well interviews with the artists, including Indian-American composer Reena Esmail, who works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, and brings communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. Esmail’s work has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Seattle Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Cost for each “Festival Passport” is $25 per household. Patrons may also select an “All Access Season Passport” for the full season for $160 for all eight festivals. Tickets and memberships may be purchased online.

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