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A.R. Rahman's music school launched in Chennai
PVS  [ Thu, Mar 13, 2008 ]
A.R. Rahman's music school launched in Chennai

  • Music maestro A.R. Rahman's "KM Music Conservatory" was formally launched in Chennai on March 12 in the presence of renowned musicians from across the country and abroad.

    The school is temporarily located in Rahman's studio in the City. It will shift to a three to five-acre campus on a quiet environment. The campus will have class rooms, a concert hall, a recording studio and residential accommodation for the faculty and students. The project is expected to be completed in two years.

    The school would offer three important courses: a part-time two-times-a-week preparatory programme for anyone with no age limit; a foundation course for beginners and a two-year diploma course for advanced study after the foundation course.

    The first batch will start in June 2008 with 150 students. ( About 200 applications have already been received). All admissions are through auditions.

    The fee structure is being finalized. Indian students will be charged a concessional fee. A 50 percent scholarship from Rahman's Foundation will be offered to students considering their talent and economic background.

    T. Selvakumar is the managing director of KM Music Conservatory. Besides Rahman, others present on the occasion included Ms.Vendy Paar (violin trainer), Pushkar (composer-cum-conductor), and violin maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam (hon. adviser), Gulam Mustafa Khan (Hindustani vocalist), Randel Giles (composer from US), Lendis Lav (violinist from Czechoslovakia), Srinivas Krishnan (professor) and Murtaza Khan.

    Rahman's objective is to create an authentic Indian orchestra or symphony that not only sounds distinctly Indian but also blends various aspects of Indian culture and bhakti, which "is at the heart of orchestral symphony".

    Rahman said the KM Music Conservatory is the first step and that it would serve as a bridge between music, technology and culture. "We want our Hindustani and Carnatic musicians to be able to read Western notations and adapt to playing with other musicians."

    Explaining why the school is called "KM Conservatory", Rahman said these initials are spiritually close to him and have brought him good luck. A project like this is a necessity for a country of 1.4 billion people who do not have their own national symphony orchestra when even small countries have their national orchestra, according to him. He observed that orchestral sound is probably the future of film music.

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  • Asked if this project would not affect his career in the film industry, Rahman said, "Not at all. I am doing just two films a year, so I guess I should have all the time."

    Dr. L. Subramaniam said, "It is a courageous and brilliant start. It's going to give a lot of opportunities to groom our own talent and give them adequate exposure to other cultures through a holistic approach to music."