Suvra Chakraborty (left) and Herman Makerendo with the award-winning Kyiv Classic Orchestra. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai-based Indian expat is making waves in Ukraine for his efforts in keeping the long-cherished tradition of symphony orchestra alive.

Suvra Chakraborty, a food-and-feed products trader, who helped put together the award-winning Kyiv Classic Orchestra in 2001, said: “I started doing business in Ukraine at a very critical time in history. The Soviet Union had just dissolved and Ukraine, which was one of the independent states that subsequently came about, was still finding its bearings. Culture was not exactly a priority at the time and highly talented musicians and ballet performers of an era gone by were now looking for other jobs to make a living. One conductor of a symphony orchestra, Herman Makerendo, happened to be friend. I had seen him create his art and decided to offer my support to sustain it.”

The result was the birth of Kyiv Classic Orchestra which Makarenko strung together with Chakraborty’s help.

“It is the first non-government symphony orchestra in Ukraine. We have 25 highly acclaimed musicians and a 100 piece symphony.”

The orchestra held three premier concerts to mark the 60th, 65th and 70th anniversaries of the United Nations where music from different continents was incorporated. Image Credit: Supplied

Chakraborty, who speaks Russian fluently, said the orchestra, which has performed all over the world, created history in 2016 when Makarenko received the coveted Artist for Peace title by the Unesco.

“This was a first for Ukraine. Our orchestra held three premier concerts to mark the 60th, 65th and 70th anniversaries of the UN where music from different continents was incorporated.”

Chakraborty said Kyiv Orchestra has consciously drawn from different genres to ensure it has a diverse appeal. He said, “The aim of the symphony is to unite people. Different musical instruments played by different musicians create a wonderful harmony in symphony orchestra. Why then do we use diversity in the world to disunite us? Can’t we like the symphony orchestra, use it to come together and live in harmony?”

He said the orchestra, which has been mandated by Unesco to hold peace concerts, hopes to make a beginning in Dubai. “The reason is simple. UAE too has a mix of people from different nationalities and backgrounds. Thanks to the vision of the Rulers, they all coexist and come together to build the beautiful country.”