concept of Parallel Music was an inspiration derived from former President Dr.Abdul Kalam. When he was invited to preside over the platinum Jubilee of the Music Academy in December 2002, following his address as the Chief Guest, he surprised the audience as well as dignitaries on stage by bringing on to the stage a troupe of differently abled artistes from DRDO who performed to the poem he had penned on the flowers in his Moghul garden – his famed official residence the Rashtrapathi Bhavan taking everyone by awe.
2005 the year in which visually challenged Carnatic Violin Maestro Dr.M.Chandrasekaran was nominated by the Music Academy as its Sangita Kalanidhi Designate -the highest honour a classical carnatic musician can hope to get in his life time, things fell in place and Rotary Club of Madras Coromandel which has been empowering the visually challenged for higher education and employment opportunities for over two decades through its “Karna Vidya” –education through ears – commenced its first Parallel Music Fest to show case him as a role model for our visually challenged Karna Vidya students and offering a platform for differently abled musicians young and old to perform on stage along with main stream artistes. Subsequently Rotaract Club of Dhrishti a rotaract club exclusively formed by RCMC for the visually challenged also joined as a co-host of PMF.
At parallel Music Fest we have followed the unbroken tradition of Sangita Kalanidhi Designate of the year inaugurating that years edition of Parallel Music Fest at the Music Academy along with the President of the Music Academy at the famed Academy hall coinciding with “International day of Persons with Disabilities”(IDPWD) falling on 3rd December or within that week and we have been fortunate in this respect year after year.
Shri N.Murali, President of the Music Academy has been graciously accepting our request to be the Chief Guest for the Parallel Music Fest year after year honouring the Sangita Kalanidhi Designate of the year and the awardees of PMF along with Sangita kalanidhi Designate of the year from the time he has donned the mantle at the Music Academy.
PMF is an inclusive event keeping up with theme of IDPWD viz: Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. The objective is to show case the talents of the differently abled musicians along with main stream artistes to indicate “Sky is the Limit” for reaching the pinnacle in one’s career by singular focus on one’s area of passion & hard work not withstanding any physical disability.
What better way than show casing the classical music talents through our Parallel Music Fest in Chennai the city recognised by UNESCO in the creative cities network for its rich musical tradition and its famed December Season concerts where over 2000 plus concerts are held over 100 plus different locations in the Chennai city making it the biggest classical music Fest in the world. In this Chennai December Music Season, Parallel Music Fest stands unique as a jewel in the crown where both the performing musicians and the differently abled audience require to be cheered.
The medium term objective of Parallel Music Fest committee is to continuously identify and provide platform for the differently abled classical musicians of all genres viz: Carnatic, Hindustani & Western Classical from all over India to perform on stage and spot light their achievements to eventually perform along with main stream artistes and run it in parallel with the main December music season making it a fortnight long music festival. Long term objective is to feature internationally acclaimed differently Abled classical musicians of different genres from across the world making Parallel Music Fest unique and unparalleled and an inspiring role model for differently abled. After all as humans aren’t we all differently abled and unique in the real sense of the word?.