Ross Goldberg
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New West Symphony’s “Global Sounds, Local Cultures” Season

Continues with “A Tour of India” November 15


(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – November 4, 2020) — The New West Symphony’s groundbreaking and reimaged season of “Global Sounds, Local Cultures” continues on November 15 with “A Tour of India.”  The digital Sunday concert will be the culmination of a weekend of activities highlighting the profound 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 New West Symphony Artistic and Music Director Michael 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 LA 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.  Under the direction of Maestro Christie, the program will include:

Philip Glass | Evening Song, from the opera ‘Satyagraha
Elgar | Sospiri
Debussy | Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun
Reena Esmail | Magan Rehna (Be Merry)
Shane Cook | Ajapa Jaap
Turina | La Oración Del Torero (The Bullfighter’s Prayer)

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 featuring the origins of yoga, including demonstrations of asanas and mudras originating from Bharatanatayam, the 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 highly-acclaimed Meet the Artist series which, 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.

“A Tour of India” is the second in a season of eight festivals being held October 2020 through June 2021 designed to spotlight the vivid cultural influences that have shaped classical music and Southern California itself.  The season premiered with “A Tour of Japan” which is now available on demand at

Each tradition—with Japanese, Indian, South Korean, Mexican, Persian or Chinese cultural influences; Violins of Hope; or Black History Month—has strong connections to symphonic music of the past and present. The season’s repertoire  includes works composed by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar, Gershwin, Mahler, Mozart, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, Scott Joplin, Florence Price, Toru Takemitsu, George Walker and more. Contemporary composers will include Valerie Coleman, Reena Esmail, Shinichi Yuize and others.

Cost for each “Festival Passport” is $25 per household. Patrons may also select a “All Access Season Passport” for the full season for $160 for all eight festivals. Tickets and memberships may be purchased online at or by phone at 805-497-5880 or 866-776-8400. Any time on demand viewing is available.

Community partners and advisors who have collaborated with New West Symphony on the development on the 2020-21 season include the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; Hirokazu Kosaka, Japanese American Cultural Community Center; Composer Reena Esmail; and Mark Kligman and Supeena Adler from UCLA’s Department of Ethnomusicology. The concert is sponsored by the New West Symphony League and Kathy Jeffers-Volk in memory of her husband Charles H. Volk, PhD.  Season sponsors are Home Helpers Home Care, Karen and Dr. Paul Finkel, Susan Burgos, and Fern and Dr. Arnold Heyman. New West Symphony has also received grants to support this season from Barbara Barnard Smith World Music Fund at Ventura County Community Foundation,  the Colburn Foundation, California Arts Council, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Neiman Marcus Foundation, TOArts, City of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Women’s Club, Meadowlark Service League, Bank of America Foundation, and others.

Now in its 26th season, the New West Symphony draws its players from the rich talent pool of accomplished Los Angeles-area musicians. Its mission is to inspire passion for symphonic music through live performances and education initiatives that engage and enrich its diverse audiences. For more information, visit; or connect on Facebook and Instagram.


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