KM Music Conservatory Press Conference with Berklee College of Music and Harman International Pvt Ltd

KM Music Conservatory press conference with Berklee College of Music and Harman International Pvt Ltd.

Annual Event 2015:

 1) Background on Annual Event

Fast becoming a standard in Chennai's cultural calendar, the annual event by KM Music Conservatory comprises three performances that showcase the talent of Chennai's premier institution for Western and Hindustani classical music and Music Technology. With past performances in Music Academy, Museum Theatre and Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, the KM Annual Event has now found its home in the KM College of Music and Technology auditorium in Arumbakkam and will occur this year from the 2nd-4th of April.

2) Overview of Shows for 2015
Harman presents KM Day '15: 2nd April, 7pm

This is the conservatory's annual concert featuring our resident ensembles: Sufi Qawwali Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Hindustani Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble; as well as solo performances from the top students of each of our faculty. The sheer diversity of genres, styles and music during this event reflects the nature of the institution as a cultural hub for the development of traditional and contemporary art forms, a merging point between India and the west, and having a never ending drive for artistic excellence.

Harman presents KM Gala Night '15: 3rd April 7pm [VIP, Invite Only], Including Exclusive Press Meet

The KM Gala Night is a specially crafted programme for VIP guests and industry specialists hosted by our founder and principal, Dr AR Rahman and our Executive Director, Fathima Rafiq. During this concert we take the highlights from KM Day and Opera Scenes and present these for an audience of musicians, industry specialists and special guest friends of the institution. This concert incorporates our outreach project, The Sunshine Orchestra, in a rare public appearance. This string orchestra is made up of children from an under-privileged background who have been musically adopted by the institution and the AR Rahman foundation (with support from Harman International Industries) We are honoured to have Harman International Industries as title sponsors for our events this year, and furthermore to welcome M. Lakshminarayan (Managing Director, Harman India) as one of our guests of honour for the evening.

   In 2009, in a bid to increase availability of music education to those who may not normally be able to have access to it, KM Founder AR Rahman under the auspices of The AR Rahman Foundation and KM Music Conservatory initiated The Sunshine Orchestra project. This outreach project aims to keep alive the acoustic orchestral tradition by nurturing a new-wave of young musicians in the arts of orchestral instrument performance, training them to play together as a single ensemble, and then sustain them for their future as a professional ensemble. 

The initial stages sees the string section take shape, with currently over 60 students being trained. A core group of 15 players who have been with the project since its inception have already started to record and perform regularly together, and are currently training full-time at the KM College of Music and Technology campus, having just completed their school education. The Sunshine Orchestra is generously supported in its endeavours by Harman InternationalIndustries, long term supporters of many KM projects, who sponsor international faculty to work with the students ensuring that they receive the best training available. The Sunshine Orchestra will make a rare public performance during the Gala Concert to show appreciation and thanks to our Founder and to acknowledge the support from Harman.

In 2015, we are also honoured to have as one of our guests of honour for this event Roger H. Brown, President of Berklee College of Music, Boston, United States. Part of a unique tour of India, Roger H. Brown is visiting KM to further connections between KM Music Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, a relationship already cemented through the awarding of an honorary degree to DR AR Rahman in 2014.

In a statement Berklee say: Over the last ten years, the number of Indian students on campus has grown by 650%. After President Brown shares brief remarks on the global power of the Indian music industry, he will announce the launch of a scholarship in Rahman’s name. Available only to a student from India, Berklee will seek a recipient in the next admissions cycle to join the 2016 entering undergraduate class. 

“After having welcomed A. R. to our campus where he collaborated with the Berklee Indian Ensemble at a sold-out show at Boston’s world renowned Symphony Hall, I’m delighted to be here at KM Music Conservatory to announce the launch of a scholarship in A. R.’s name.,” said President Roger H. Brown. “Attending Berklee offers musicians from India the opportunity to share their unique perspectives with fellow students from over 100 countries and to prepare for careers as songwriters, performers, sound designers, music therapists, film composers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals leading the global music industry.”

Harman Presents KM Opera Scenes '15: 4th April 7pm

A unique element within the annual event is the Opera Scenes performance. Presented within a fully immersive visual and aural environment, each of our international vocal faculty present a dramatised scene with their students in the western operatic tradition. In 2015, there will be three short scenes presented:

The Favourite directed by Hratsjuhi Aramian
Inspired by the opera La favorita (1840) by Gaetano Donizetti, this scene presents an impossible love story. The heroine, Leanora is the mistress ('the favourite') of wealthy man Alfonso, but she is also involved with another man, her lover Fernando, who is a novice in a monastery. The tale unfolds on this fated love triangle, but how will the story end.

Comeuppance by Cynthia Smith
Comeuppance is an adaptation of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (1923). The Donati family’s patriarch has just passed away and the family, hoping to find they are now rich, discovers that all of the family’s great fortune has been left entirely to charity. The local conspirator, Gianni Schicchi, is called in to find a solution to this situation to great comic effect. Originally set in 13th-century Florence, Italy, this performance occurs outside of any one time or place. The Donati family lives simultaneously in Italy and India while elements of the past 100 years pop-up throughout the action. Will the Donati family be rewarded for their creativity or will they get their comeuppance? 

iktsuarpok by Gilles Denizot
urban flow of acoustic operatic voices impeded in magmatic rush hour traffic empty silent dark or agitated some come out to hunt others to wistfully wait why so solitary so starry so mournful & still the pleasant night is over do not know i am the true star of love & they keep away from love
namaskar vrscikasana mozart schubert rossini bhairavi hanumatodi rafi

3) Guests of Honour
Roger H. Brown [President, Berklee College of Music, Boston]
Roger H. Brown is Berklee's third president in the institution’s history. Under his leadership, the college has expanded scholarship support by 400 percent; created an international campus in Valencia, Spain; built its first ground-up custom facility boasting 173 residence hall rooms, a state-of-the-art recording complex, and a dining hall/performance venue; and established a suite of institutes including the Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the direction of jazz pianist Danilo Pérez. The college has expanded its global reach to attract students from 105 countries, markedly improved gender diversity, dramatically increased admissions selectivity, and created the world’s largest online music education system. During his tenure, the City Music Program, which offers educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged young musicians, has expanded outside of Boston, now serving more than 20,000 young middle school and high school-aged young people. Before joining the college, Brown cofounded Bright Horizons, the largest provider of worksite childcare in the world, with his wife, Linda Mason. Brown has also been a leader in humanitarian initiatives in Africa and Southeast Asia. He is an avid drummer.

Brown has been recognized for his humanitarian, educational, and entrepreneurial achievements by the government of Valencia, Spain with the Cruz de Honor; by the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award; and by being named, along with his wife, as a Visionary Social Entrepreneur at the 2012 Social Venture Network’s Hall of Fame Celebration.
M. Lakshminarayan [Managing Director, Harman India]

M. Lakshminarayan is the Country Manager and Managing Director of HARMAN International (India) Pvt. Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of HARMAN International Industries Inc. USA. Lakshmi was first appointed to this role in 2009 and he established the foundation for tapping the Indian market for growth and market share. Having spearheaded HARMAN's foray into the Indian market, Lakshminarayan continued his association with HARMAN India as the Non Executive director, post June 2012, responsible for overseeing the strategies to broaden HARMAN's engineering footprint for developing audio and infotainment solutions across the automotive, consumer, and professional market. He was also responsible for ensuring that the company’s sales & marketing efforts in India are aligned to the global brand directives and guidelines of HARMAN International. Beginning April 2013, Lakshminarayan reassumes the role of Country Manager and Managing Director of HARMAN India focussed on further enhancing the mindshare and market share for HARMAN in India across the lifestyle (consumer), audio and infotainment (automotive) and professional audio segments. In addition, he will be responsible for building a strong engineering and development team to drive cutting-edge technology work, out of India, for the domestic and international markets. India has emerged as a key and one of the fastest growing countries for HARMAN globally, the largest contributor among emerging markets for patent disclosures/filings and the fastest growing development center within the HARMAN family. 

4) Background on KMMC
KM Music Conservatory first opened its doors to aspiring musicians in 2008. Originally located adjacent to AM Studios in the cultural centre of the Tamil Film Industry the institution became the first of its kind within India to offer international standards of music and music technology education to all ages and abilities. The name KM has spiritual origins from the Sufi faith. Although KM is open to all religious and spiritual beliefs, the founder and directors model the ethos of the institution in the Sufi tradition.

The original dream grew and in August 2013 KM found a new home within the KM College of Music and Technology campus in Arumbakkam. This custom-designed facility brought KM Music Conservatory, The Sunshine Orchestra and KM Studio under a single roof; an artistic hub created to cultivate individual excellence, collaborative spirit, cultural exchange and creativity.

On the 9th of August 2013, in the presence of the esteemed guests of honour Shri Mukesh Ambani and Smt. Nita Ambani the KM College of Music and Technology was inaugurated in a ceremony hosted by Founder AR Rahman and Executive Director Fathima Rafiq.

The new premises was custom-designed to provide KM with the facilities and space to continue to flourish and develop. The campus includes the industry-level KM Studio; an indoor Auditorium; an outdoor amphitheatre; two audio technology suites fitted with Apple technology; two lecture halls with full AV capabilities; purpose built performance-teaching studios; two piano labs; a percussion suite; a library and resource centre and multiple individual practice booths. The building is surrounded by a garden environment creating a positive and unique learning environment.

The campus was designed with creativity at its core creating an atmosphere suited to nurturing future artistic generations. This can be experienced on a daily basis while walking through the facility, constantly alive with the sound and spirit of students pursuing their goals of musical excellence.

5) Background on Harman
HARMAN International (India) Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of HARMAN International Industries Inc, was legally incorporated in 2009 as an R&D centre providing support to the company’s global businesses. The India Development Centre was set up in order to broaden HARMAN’s engineering footprint for developing audio and infotainment solutions for automotive, professional and consumer lifestyle markets. Since then, it has evolved into a fully fledged organization, with a strong focus on India, from a market and a Research and Development point of view. Headquartered in Bangalore, the company today has a rapidly growing employee base, a strong distributor and sales network, an evolving service network and a robust clientele in India.

HARMAN India has made significant investments in the India market to offer India customers with customized audio and infotainment solutions. HARMAN has established two large development centers in Pune and Bangalore, the fastest growing within the HARMAN family. The India Development Centers primarily consist of engineering, product development, competency centres for the three HARMAN divisions. With over 100 IDR’s filed in FY 2013, these centers are key drivers of Innovation at HARMAN . In addition, the company has established a manufacturing facility in and a state of the art Acoustics lab in Pune. The first Phase of the manufacturing facility will focus on production of next generation audio and infotainment systems for Tata & Fiat projects.

At HARMAN we are committed to developing and delivering solutions that embrace innovation, superior value and a unmatched customer experience. We achieve this by fostering a culture of employee empowerment and creativity, blended with integrity and accountability. We are committed to continuous improvement in delivering new value to every HARMAN stakeholder.

6) Background on Berklee
Berklee College of Music, a non-profit educational institution, was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For 70 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college’s first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in 48 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. This program uses the PULSE Music Method, a collection of online lessons and materials to support guided teaching and learning of popular music through the innovative use of interactive online technologies. With a student body representing over 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 300 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow.

7) What's on at KMMC
KM Summer Schools run in two blocks during the summer months, May 18th-June 6th and June 15th-July 4th. These short term intensive courses run Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm and are ideal for those who are wanting a chance to have the KM Experience, work with our international faculty, brush up on music skills or try a new subject area. Suitable for beginners through to advanced level musicians, courses run in piano, western and Hindustani voice, electronic music production, audio engineering, composition, world music and more.

KMMC full-time education programme in music, the Foundation Certificate in Music is currently open for admissions. This 1 year, internationally validated certificate validated by Middlesex University in London is ideal for those who are considering a professional career in music. Providing an comprehensive introduction to performance, composition, audio technology, music theory, western staff notation, sight-reading, and professional skills for musicians this course covers all areas needed for a healthy development in the music industry. On completion of this course students are eligible for our 2 year Diploma Programme in Music which leads to an international Bachelors degree after completing 1 further year of study in London, UK.

Applications are currently open for Audio Engineering and Electronic Music Production courses, with the next new batch starting in April. These 6 month or 1 year programmes are geared towards those wanting to advance their skills in all areas of studio craft, and music production.