'Art must be entertained at the highest level'

Co-founder of Symphony Orchestra of India, Khushroo N Suntook, says art doesn’t make much news

Twenty-eight artistes belonging to the Symphony Orchestra of India performed at the birth centenary celebration of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, held at Bangalore Palace.

The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), India’s first and only professional orchestra, was recently in the city to perform at the 100th birth anniversary celebrations of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, held at the Bangalore Palace.

Paying homage to the late Maharaja for his contribution to the growth of western classical music, twenty-eight artistes of the SOI presented a concert last month at both the Mysore Palace and Bangalore Palace.

Khushroo N Suntook

Conversing with Metrolife about the group’s performance, Khushroo N Suntook, chairman of National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) and co-founder of the SOI, says, “The Maharaja was one of the major supporters of western classical music during his time. After the World War, he funded and managed many musical groups, including the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra. Performing at his birth centenary celebrations was amazing; the Royal family was a wonderful host and the audience’s enthusiasm was terrific.”  

An avid music lover and promoter, Khushroo, says it is important for the government to patronise the arts much like the Maharaja.

Does social media work better in promoting the arts? “Social media, though useful, doesn’t convey the accurate message as to what the work is about and why one should follow it. Art and culture must be entertained at the highest level,” he answers.

He further says that the government should not stick to promoting only Indian art forms. “We should go international; that is how we succeeded in cricket and that is how we are succeeding in football.”   

Khushroo also observes that the arts don’t get much attention as it is not promoted enough by mainstream media because “there are no people who are educated to write on art.”

“Nowadays, art doesn’t cause news. It is a shame that there aren’t many journalists to write about music, art, dance, sculpting etc. This not only affects the culture but also the people who want to do business with artists,” he signs off. 

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