The Music Academy, Madras

In the 1920s erstwhile Madras, a group of music lovers who believed in the power of music to transcend language and bring people together, founded an academy to foster talent and provide a haven for all classical music enthusiasts. Later, in 1946 the academy found a new home at the ‘Sweet Home’ bungalow on Mowbrays Road which is still where the academy is located; only today it is known as The Music Academy, Madras. Over the years the academy has established itself as one of the foremost names for Carnatic music lauded and loved by artists, musicians and rasikas from all over the world.

The Academy’s focused efforts to perpetuate culture and music has been vital in promoting Carnatic music in the country and internationally. The Music Academy library with its valuable archive of rare books, manuscripts and music tapes, takes these efforts to the next level. Solely maintained and growing due to the generous support from prominent donors these archives are also in the process of being digitized for the benefit of future generations. The Academy’s modern Listening Archives comprising the digitized music recordings are accessible to any individual musician. The Academy’s collection of in-house journals and publications has significantly contributed towards musical research and are regularly used as reference points to put forward Carnatic music theories.

The Academy also houses an Advanced School of Carnatic Music with distinguished faculty members, offering youngsters an advanced and comprehensive education in music. Expanding its horizons, the Academy has signed MOUs with organisations like the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) in Singapore, and Kalakruti School of Music, in Melbourne, for academic affiliation and support. Reinforcing its position as a premium institute for Carnatic music is the Academy’s recognition as a Research Centre from the University of Tumkur.

The Academy plays host to events like conferences, an annual ten-day youth festival of music and dance, a series of monthly concerts and an annual dance festival, throughout the year. Concerts - promoting music are regularly held at the academy thanks to endowments initiated by patrons. The highlight event on The Music Academy, Madras’s calendar is The Annual Music Festival held in the month of December. It is a prestigious gathering of musicians, composers, musicologists and rasikas from around the world.