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India/UK Together, a Season of Culture, reaches a high note with the Concert for Friendship

  • Concert for Friendship is organised by the KM Music Conservatory in collaboration with British Council to celebrate the ability of music in cultivating friendship.
  • Concert for Friendship is a part of the ongoing India/UK Together, a Season of Culture, British Council’s landmark program to mark India’s75th anniversary.
  • 100 young musicians, between the ages of 8-20, brought together by The AR Rahman Foundation’s Sunshine Orchestra, Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise and KM Music Conservatory.
  • Featuring popular works by Puccini, Verdi, Grieg, and Beethoven, there will also be Scottish melodies, Naga and Tamil folk songs, and Carnatic melodies, all performed by the orchestra and choir
  • The concert will also feature soprano Divya Iyer and the world premiere of Malabar, composed, and performed by guitarist Matt Bacon.


Concert details- 

Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, 7, Shenstone Park, # 13, 1, Harrington Rd, Chetpet, Chennai

Saturday, 4 March, 2023, 7.30 pm.

Tickets at Rs. 499, Rs. 350 and Rs. 250.

Booking details https://www.britishcouncil.in/events/concert-friendship


The highly anticipated Concert for Friendship is set to mark the crescendo of the year-long India/UK Together – a Season of Culture. This mesmerising musical extravaganza will bring together renowned artists from India and Scotland for an unforgettable evening of music and culture. Organised by the KM Music Conservatory in collaboration with British Council, the Concert for Friendship is a celebration of the shared cultural heritage between India and the UK. The concert will take place on Saturday, 4 March and promises to be an unforgettable experience for music lovers.

The aim of the collaboration is to explore musical ideas and provide an opportunity for the exchange of cultures.

AR Rahman Foundation’s Sunshine Orchestra, Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise, and KM Music Conservatory

have been working remotely to listen to and learn each other’s music in advance of the India visit. The groups will be working together in person a week before the actual performance. The concert that brings together young and emerging artists from India and the UK, not only aims to celebrate the rich musical traditions of both countries but also opens opportunities on global platforms for these talented students who mostly have limited access to resources. Bringing together students, especially at a young age, can be a life-changing experience that leaves an indelible mark on them and promotes deeper learning. This programme has been carefully curated, keeping in mind the sensibilities and life experiences of these young artists.


During the upcoming residency week in India, a wider outreach programme will take place alongside the main concert, involving young musicians and their teachers, holding workshops for schools in Chennai, in association with Rhapsody Music Education. In addition to the workshops, there will be a special open-access performance presented before the main concert, allowing those who would otherwise not have access to experience the music and appreciate the skills of the young musicians. The initiative aims to promote the positive benefits of music education and its transformative abilities to a wide audience and encourage more young people.


A R Rahman, Brand Ambassador India/UK Together, Founder/Principal KM Music Conservatory, Founding Director, the AR Rahman Foundation, said “As an artist, it is my absolute pleasure to support such an important cultural landmark, enabling creative excellence, shining the spotlight on diverse artists, and bringing diverse audiences together to appreciate the arts and culture”.


Janaka Pushpanathan, Director South India, British Council said “The Concert for Friendship is the crescendo of the India/UK Together Season of Culture and celebrates the universal power of music across borders. With over 100 young musicians from Scotland, Nagaland and Chennai, the performance promises to be a treat and we are delighted to be able to have this show for audiences in Chennai. We are grateful for the support of AR Rahman, our brand ambassador for the Season of Culture, in helping create this symphony of art and entertainment. The concert will feature three symphonic performances brought together by our wonderful partners – AR Rahman Foundation’s Sunshine Orchestra, Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise and KM Music Conservatory. Music unites people and it is wonderful how these artists have come together to create beautiful music and appreciate and celebrate each other”

Dr Adam J. Greig, Artistic Director KM Music Conservatory, said “Bringing young people together to make music is a transformative experience, especially when this happens across country and culture boundaries. We are excited to be able to host our guests from Scotland and Nagaland here in Chennai and look forward to creating an exciting concert together, building new friendships and celebrating the India/UK Together season”.


Nicola Killean OBE, Director and CEO, Sistema Scotland, said “We are delighted that our Big Noise young people have been invited to take part in the Concert for Friendship in India, celebrating friendship through music and the wonderful bonds between our vibrant cultures. Big Noise is all about improving lives and strengthening communities. The opportunity to travel internationally, representing their communities, is a major milestone for the young people and is testimony to their hard work and dedication over many years. We are overjoyed that our young people are embarking on this exciting journey and unforgettable experience, and we are most grateful for the support from the British Council, KM Music Conservatory and the AR Rahman Foundation to enable this to happen.”


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22, we reached 650 million people. britishcouncil.org


About India/UK Together, a Season of Culture


India/UK Together, a Season of Culture is a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK. Marking India’s 75th anniversary, the Season of Culture will see a vast programme of creative collaboration, education and cultural exchange take place online, and in cities across both countries. Working with a number of partners and institutions in the field of Arts, Education and English, the British Council is developing a programme of cultural activity which will bring together people in both countries, raise awareness around key real-world issues, and strengthen and celebrate the UK and India’s educational and cultural ties. For more information on India/UK Together, a Season of Culture, please visit www.britishcouncil.in


About Sunshine Orchestra


The marquee project of the AR Rahman Foundation, the Sunshine Orchestra provides free musical training to socially and economically underserved children who show an aptitude for music. A symphony orchestra in the making, it has adopted over a hundred students who are trained both online and offline in orchestral instruments. Recently a wing of the orchestra was launched in Nagaland in association with TaFMA, which has now completed three years of running. The orchestra is a career pathway, with the senior players regularly engaged for recordings and concert performances.


About Big Noise


Big Noise is delivered by the charity Sistema Scotland, which was created to improve lives, strengthen communities and help children and young people to realise their potential. They use music and nurturing relationships through the Big Noise orchestra programmes to give children an invaluable range of life skills and experiences. Big Noise focuses on early years’ intervention and long-term delivery working with children at a very young age and throughout their entire school journey. The programme now works with over 3,500 children and young people across five cities in Scotland, United Kingdom. The young musicians taking part in the concert are from Big Noise Govanhill in Glasgow and Big Noise Raploch in Stirli’.


About KM Music Conservatory


KM Music Conservatory was founded by AR Rahman in 2008. Primarily located in Chennai with a specialist branch in Mumbai, it offers courses in Hindustani and Western music and technology. The institution prepares students for the international industry as musicians, with many going on to graduate and postgraduate studies abroad. Alumni are noted in the Indian film industry as performers, composers and engineers, many working directly with AR Rahman in his studios.


For Concert for Friendship media information, please contact:

Surangama Roy | Communications Manager | KM Music Conservatory | surangama@kmmc.in | +91 8122987826


For India/UK Together, a season of culture media information, please contact:

Shonali Ganguli | Senior Communications Manager India | British Council| shonali.ganguli@in.britishcouncil.org | +91 983 656 9944


Atreyi Goswami | atreyi.goswami@archetype.co | +91 971 70

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