A.R. RAHMAN

A two-time Academy Award winner, A.R. Rahman is known world over as the man who redefined contemporary Indian music and brought Indian music to the international stage.

Rahman humbly began his career in music by assisting leading musicians in India by composing jingles and scores for popular Indian television features. From there, he went on to compose his own music for Indian films. He received national acclaim for his first film, Roja (1991) and was awarded the Indian National Award for Best Composer. Since then he has gone on to win the same award three more times – more than any other composer to date. In addition to these honors, he has been awarded numerous other accolades for his work in Indian film, including the Padma Bhushan award, four Indian National Film Awards, and 26 Filmfare Awards.

In 1997, Rahman was the first artist from South Asia to sign with Sony Records, and in recent years he has since diversified his career by composing not only for film but for theatre as well. In 2002, in collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber, he composed the critically acclaimed Bombay Dreams for London’s West End, and in 2006 he composed the music for the stage production of Lord of the Rings.

Rahman has gone on to receive international acclaim for his work. In 2008 this culminated with two Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Song, a Golden Globe, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA distinction, and over a dozen other accolades, for his work on the hit film, Slumdog Millionaire. He has toured in over 30 international venues around the world, including at the Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl in 2006 and, according to a recent BBC estimate, has sold more than 150 million copies of his music, from more than 100 film soundtracks and albums, in half a dozen languages. He qualified in western classical music with the Trinity College of Music in London and he has also been awarded honorary doctorates from the Aligarh Muslim University, Anna University, and Middlesex University in London.

Empowered by his success and status, Rahman contributes to many philanthropic organisations. In 2001 he created the A.R. Rahman Foundation to help impoverished and underprivileged children; in 2004 he was appointed as a WHO Global Ambassador for the Stop TB Partnership; and currently he serves as the UN Ambassador for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. In addition, his music label, KM Musiq, provides a platform for non-mainstream music artists. In 2008, Rahman announced a new initiative to establish a Western Classical music tradition in India, and he founded the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India.

FATHIMA RAFIQ

Trained in the Hindustani Classical music by Pt Krishnanandji of the Kirana Gharana, Ms Rafiq took to music by composing like her father, the renowned Mr. R.K Shekhar. Having produced a number of voiceovers, commercials and jingles, Fathima also showcased her music for television productions, using her diverse repertoire as a singer, composer and characteristically well defined lyricist. A Graduate in Arts from the highly reputed SIET, Fathima has also sung as a member of the celebrated Handel Manuel Choir.

As Executive Director of the KM Music Conservatory and in her role as manager of AM Studios, Fathima continues to combine her musical   experience with a visionary zeal to fulfill the aspirations of her brother Dr. A.R. Rahman, the founder and principal of KMMC.

JYOTI NAIR BELLIAPPA

Ms Jyoti Nair Belliappa is highly qualified in education and music alike, having studied Psychology, Hindustani Classical Music and English Literature. She graduated with Honours in English Literature from the Government College for Women in Amritsar. Jyoti was also awarded a National Scholarship for post-graduate studies, where she completed her Masters Degree in English Literature at the Punjab University in Chandigarh and finally an M. Phil and PhD in English Literature at Madras University in Chennai. She has also completed a postgraduate course in Teaching of English, from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in Hyderabad.

Prior to joining the KM Music Conservatory, Jyoti served in the public sector as a Personnel Officer in the Rural Electrification Corporation. As a member of the Tamil Nadu Education Service, she also worked as a Professor of English in Queen Mary’s College and the Presidency College, Madras. In addition, she worked as a warden for the 200-strong women’s wing of the Presidency Women’s Hostel. Among her extensive involvement in community endeavors, Jyoti has been a lifelong member of the Joint Action Council of Women and is a founder member and Joint Secretary of Amir Khusro Sangeet Academy, a non-profit registered organization that promotes Hindustani classical music in the South of India.

Jyoti has always loved and been heavily involved in musical activities. As a child she attended youth music festivals and was awarded a silver medal for being the best singer of the year in her teens. Later, whilst studying Hindustani classical voice, she came under the tutelage of Pt. Krishna Nand of the Kirana Gharana and Smt Meera Savoor of the Agra Gharana. She went on to study under Munna Shaukat Ali for Sufi Qawwali and raised money for public performances for Roof for the Roofless and the Association of British Council Scholars. Jyoti has performed herself at many venues, including The Music Academy, Rasika Ranjini Sabha, Hamsadhwani, Bharat Kalachar, Nayaki, Nungambakkam Culturals, the Kartick Fine Arts Society, IWA (International Womens’ Association ), the Chennai Sangamam and at the Apparao Art Gallery in Nungumbakkam.

In her spare time, Jyoti is a regular contributor of articles for The Hindu and Culturama magazine. At KMMC, Jyoti is responsible for the Preparatory programmes and she also has a range of responsibilities for pastoral care, press relations and outreach work.

VIJAYALAKSHMI

Vijayalakshmi has extensive experience in the handling of accounts, having worked as an Accountant for nine years in a private concern before joining the KM Music Conservatory. She also spent three years working as a Student Counsellor at the Networking Institute, Sans Bound Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

With a Masters degree in Public Affairs from the University of Madras and a BSC in Zoology from the reputed SIET, Vijayalakshmi brings a wealth of experience to her role as front office manager and Manager of the Accounts at KMMC.

IRSHAD AHMED

A graduate mechanical engineer and postgraduate in business administration, Syed Irshad Ahmed started his career by gaining over a decade of experience in the field of sales and marketing. His performance and dedication won him accolades from employers and clients alike, in India and overseas.

After this, Irshad went on to take up roles in recruitment, customer relationship management and general administration, over a six-year period. Before joining KM Music Conservatory, Irshad worked at the Great Lakes Institute of Management as manager in charge of all back office administrative support for the Executive MBA programme. Irshad is also a strong believer in lifelong learning and he has pursued an active interest in Western classical music since childhood.

At KMMC, Irshad is responsible for providing administrative support to the Foundation and Diploma programmes.