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AR Rahman encourages young India-UK musicians at Concert for Friendship

Concert for Friendship – part of the India/UK Together, Season of Culture, British Council’s landmark program to celebrate India’s75th anniversary.

100 young musicians, between the ages of 8-20, brought together by British Council,The AR Rahman Foundation’s Sunshine Orchestra, Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise and KM Music Conservatory performed live in the presence of the Maestro AR Rahman


Chennai, Saturday, 4 March 2023:Chennai witnessed a night of pure musical magic as the highly anticipated Concert for Friendship marked the crescendo of the year-long India/UK Together, a Season of Culture. The event was organised by the KM Music Conservatory in collaboration with British Council and was a celebration of the shared cultural heritage between India and the UK.

The India/UK Together, a Season of Culture, is a landmark program organised by British Council to mark India’s 75th anniversary. The Season of Culture focuses on creating opportunities for emerging artists – connecting them with their UK counterparts and providing the collaborations an unprecedented stage. Concert For Friendship brings together young, talented artists from India and the UK, and underlines the British Council’s commitment to creating opportunities for artists.

The concert, which was held at the Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall in Chennai, saw 100 young musicians, between the ages of 8-20, coming together to perform a wide range of popular works by Puccini, Verdi, Grieg, and Beethoven. The performance also included Scottish melodies, Naga and Tamil folk songs, and Carnatic melodies, all performed by the orchestra and choir.Soprano Divya Iyer also graced the stage with her presence, adding a touch of elegance to the already mesmerising musical experience.


The highlight of the evening was the world premiere of Malabar, composed and performed by guitarist Matt Bacon.The AR Rahman Foundation’s Sunshine Orchestra and Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise were also part of the performance, showcasing their exceptional talent and passion for music.

Janaka Pushpanathan, Director South India, British Councilsaid “The Concert for Friendship is a true celebration of the universal language of music, which transcends borders and brings people together. The Concert is a part of our ‘India/UK Together Season of Culture’ and has brought together over 100 young musicians from Scotland, Nagaland, and Chennai. We are grateful for the support of our Season of Culture ambassador, AR Rahman, and happy to have been able to inspire and enable these talented students to create this unforgettable experience of music and culture. Brought together in partnership with AR Rahman Foundation’s Sunshine Orchestra, KM Music Conservatory and Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise, the concert brings alive our Season’s vision of providing a global platform for young and emerging artists to showcase their talents while linking audiences through the power of music.”


A R Rahman, Brand Ambassador India/UK Together, Founder/Principal KM Music Conservatory, Founding Director, the AR Rahman Foundation, said “I am honoured to be the Ambassador for British Council’s India/ UK Together Season of Culture, and to celebrate the strong friendship between our two countries. Today, creative expression and exchange can nurture young talent and create a global stage for fair and equitable access to arts. The Concert for Friendship was an incredibly heart-warming experience, with the 100 young and talented musicians from Chennai, Nagaland and Scotland, celebrating the universal language of music. My heartiest congratulations to the British Council, KM Music Conservatory, Sistema Scotland for bringing together young artists, enabling an equitable access to arts.”

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