Evolution of Tamil music

Commemorating the centenary of the treatise on Tamil music written by Abraham Pandithar, "Karunamirthasagaram", aims to explore, document and restore the nuances of Tamil musical genealogy, that is believed to have lost its lustre in modern times. As a prolific researcher, Abraham Pandithar detailed the history of ancient Tamil music and the opulence of Tamil musical assonance. The influences of our musical heritage on culture and aesthetics have reflected over time on the path that Tamil music has taken in the international scenario.

This project, spear-headed by noted lyricist and poet Kutti Revathi, details the evolution of Tamil music over the last three thousand years. It investigates the creative arena across history, the meaning of the raga, its classical ancestry, the innuendo of Tamil music from folk music to film songs, and to new age music, through the lives of Tamil musical scholars.



We are creating amazing musicians in our school,
who are now performing in the U.S. and England,
but they have no place to perform back home. The
Foundation's dream is to create a center for the arts
in Chennai, on par with the Broadway Theater in
New York or the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
- A R Rahman, Founder, ARRF

Chennai Global Center for
the Arts

Chennai Global Center

for THE arts

Art, in any form in a great unifier. The Chennai Global Center for the Arts will be a physical space in Chennai (Tamilnadu, India), that will host performing and visual art forms from all over the globe - dance, music, craft, theatre, folk art, painting, etc. The space will represent the natural state of all beings - to live in harmony with one another and celebrate life through the expression of art. We hope to build this centre with contributions of partners from all over the world.

The Center will have a) workshops - to learn and share, b) performances and exhibitions - to express and enjoy, c) scholarships - to promote excellence.

The Center will provide an opportunity to watch, interact and learn from the best performers and artistes in the world. These experts will also be part of an eminent panel that will oversee the eligibility and selection process for scholarships, factoring in talent and economic criteria.

A quality arts center is a landmark for any city... an icon.



Socially and economically deprived children with an aptitude in music are provided free musical training. Once equipped with the requisite skills, endowed with confidence, they can explore opportunities to build a career in music, as teachers or as performers. Eventually this valuable community asset will expand to include other areas of music training.

The children get a better understanding of their own cultural identity through the exploration of Indian musical traditions. They benefit from the exposure to global cultural trends through their interactions with eminent international musicians and learning from them. Music, as a subject, imbibes a strong focus on time management and builds key educational skills like numeracy and literacy. The practice routine required to study an instrument fosters a sense of responsibility that aids in all areas of the child's development.

Most importantly, the Sunshine Orchestra is a stepping stone to building harmony, unifying people, diluting communal and cultural differences.


Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.
- Helen Keller, Author, Activist

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
- Bob Marley, Singer-Songwriter


When you reach for the stars, you are reaching for the farthest thing out there. When you reach deep into yourself, it is the same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you reach in both directions, you will have spanned the universe.
- Vera Nazarian, Author, Musician, Philosopher




This program focuses on identifying students who have a strong desire to pursue higher education, beyond high school, but are unable to, due to economic constraints. This endeavor provides educational opportunities to children who have a passion to pursue a specific course of study. This adds to the country's overall competency base - irrespective of the field they wish to pursue.

Students are identified and shortlisted based on requests from other organizations and schools. Preference is given on the basis of their academic performance and verified family economic status.



This program will focus on youth and women, primarily from the underprivileged community, but not exclusively. The aim is to kindle and nurture leadership qualities in individuals with potential. The focus will be on developing and supporting entrepreneurship by leveraging loans, while exploring internship and shadowing opportunities with industry leaders.

On the cards is an annual leadership development programme. It is aimed at unlocking latent potential and enable people to achieve and uphold high performance.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has
- Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist


Our Partners

Our work would not have been possible without the active support and participation of our partners.