The NCPA has been the torchbearer for Western Classical Music in India, consistently striving to bring the best musicians and performances to local audiences. Notable amongst the many iconic steps the NCPA has taken as a cultural institution was the creation of India's first professional symphony orchestra – The Symphony Orchestra of India. The NCPA has also played host to a number of world-renowned soloists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Zubin Mehta, Yuri Bashmet, Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, Andrei Gavrilov, Michael Collins, Dimitri Sitkovetsky, Boris Berezovsky, Tamas Vasary and Stephen Kovacevich, to name just a few.
The NCPA has also made Chamber Music an integral part of Mumbai's calendar by inviting renowned musicians like the Kodaly Quartet, the Endellion Quartet and the Ebene Quartet. The collaboration with Arties, a group of fine French musicians, brings Mumbai two seasons of high calibre chamber music each year.