The Bombay Chamber Orchestra
About the BCO
A Message from our Founder
“I believe that, with the knowledge of music expressed by amateurs who get together to make music as orchestral groups, there will spring, in the future, an existence of peace and understanding between nations which is unfortunately so lacking at present.
After all, God gave us music that we may pray without words. What is so evident is the lack of spiritual values in our world today. The conflict that exists among different religions and communities can be overcome with love of the Arts.
Let us dedicate ourselves anew to the true spirit of music. In this sad world, let us music makers renew faith and understanding that we can live in peace and harmony irrespective of the faith we believe in.”
Founder and Trustee
Bombay Chamber Orchestra Society
THE BOMBAY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
(Affiliated to the World Federation of Amateur Orchestras)
The Bombay Chamber Orchestra Society was founded in 1962 as an educational trust, primarily to offer free coaching to the young musical talent of the city in the techniques of orchestral playing and its aim is, not only to offer free music education, but also to create an environment and incentive to encourage young talent to continue to work at the instruments of their choice. Several young students who made their performing debuts with the orchestra have established themselves in successful careers as professional musicians throughout the world.
Since its formation in 1962, the BCO and BCO Society has regaled Mumbai audiences with regular performances of a variety of works from the vast Western classical repertoire. The orchestra performs 5-6 concerts a year in Mumbai, often in collaboration with international guest conductors and soloists, and has also performed in Sri Lanka and several other cities in India. The BCO has the distinction of being the oldest symphony orchestra in India that performs regularly to a concert standard of performance. The orchestra’s concerts have been received with acclaim from audiences and critics wherever it has performed. Visiting musicians are regularly welcomed to work with the BCO, and the Society regularly receives requests from overseas musicians and conductors to come to India and perform with the orchestra. Among the many eminent musicians and organizations who have performed with the BCO are: Walter Gieseking (piano); Kendall Taylor (piano); Lord Yehudi Menuhin (violin); Nigel Kennedy (violin); the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company; the Viennese Light Operatic Company. (See Guest Conductors and Soloists for a complete list)
Besides providing Mumbai’s music-lovers the opportunity to enjoy music produced by their city orchestra, the BCO Society serves the dual purpose of filling in, to some extent, the great void created by the lack of a school or academy of music in the city of Mumbai. It offers free coaching to young students interested in studying orchestral instruments. It organises workshops by visiting international musicians so that the students are taught the correct basic techniques of playing their instruments. Instruments are also loaned to students as these are often too expensive for students or their parents to invest in.
The BCO enjoys the support of various cultural organisations, including the British Council, the Goethe Institute and the Alliance Française. These organisations have loaned or donated instruments, provided practice facilities and sponsored visiting musicians and teachers. That so much has been achieved, inspite of the lack of a school of music in the city, has drawn great admiration from the visiting artistes who have performed with the orchestra.