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NCPA moves ahead

Thursday, March 15, 2018

At present the Chairman of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, Mr Khushroo Suntook had a distinguished career. Having graduated in Law, Mr Suntook was one of the founders of Bisleri  (India) Pvt Ltd, which was an innovative idea of selling mineral water and a daring attempt to sell a product which, in India, was considered unnatural element.  Not to exploit the success of the venture is history, but Mr Suntook had already sold his investment  and then joined the Tata Group of Companies, where he ended his executive career in the group as President of Tata Services Ltd.   He continued as an independent Director in several Companies until very recently when his involvement in the NCPA took up all his time.

Mr. Suntook was President of the prestigious Council for Fair Business Practices.

During his career Mr. Suntook conducted business relationships with Russia, Japan, Italy, UK and several other countries too numerous to mention.

His sporting career, both as a tennis player and sports administrator, was distinguished. Mr Suntook, a National Standard Tennis player, was the winner of several prestigious titles, including a Triple Crown winner twice of the Bombay University Intercollegiate tournament. Also played internationally and was the youngest Hon Sec of the International Lawn Tennis Club of India, served on the Council of the Bombay Tennis association.

He was the President of the Tata Sports Club for several years, which had several Olympians, National Sportsmen, Test players etc,  as their members.

He represented the Tata Group as their representative for a long period, on the prestigious Cricket Club of India and during his stay organised A Davis Cup Challenge Round between the USA and India. and three ATP tennis tournaments.

He was the Chairman of the Sports Committee of this Club, and served on several prominent committees.

During his entire life from childhood his great passion was music. An acknowledged authority particularly on Western Classical Music, he was chosen by the founder and creator of The NCPA Mumbai,   Dr Jamshed Bhabha as his successor.

Mr.Suntook was the founder of the  first ever fully professional orchestra in India the Symphony Orchestra of India. This daring move was received with scepticism, but has proved a great success. Apart from 20 seasons in Mumbai, it has started touring, and has already performed in Russia, Oman, Abu Dhabi,   etc.

In 2015 he planned and arranged a unique tour of Switzerland for the orchestra The Symphony Orchestra of India as a part of the prestigious Migros Series of concerts in Zurich, Geneva, and St Gallen. He commissioned a tabla concerto to be composed by Zakir Hussain and played in the same concert along with the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra. This  was a great success on the tour in Jan 2016. It premiered in London  at the Royal Festival Hall in May  2016.

The orchestra has received fulsome praise from the conservative Swiss press.  It has also attracted top class musicians internationally.

Another initiative is the establishment of an advanced school of music which receives only talented young musicians taught in the Russian method which has proved a success under the direction of its  Musical Director, Marat Bisengaliev. Under  Mr Suntook's stewardship, the seasons of all genres presented at the NCPA experience a resurgence as never before in the city.

A rare combination of both knowledge of Western Classical music and his wide connections in the world of the performing arts allied to sound business sense is a rather rare combination.

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