Following its inception in 1928, the Music Academy functioned from various premises and held its annual conference and concerts at several venues. The registered office of the Academy was from 1928 to 1935 at Gana Mandir, Thambu Chetty Street, the clinic of its first president Dr U Rama Rau. It later moved to No 8, Philips Street (1935-1938), 306, Thambu Chetty Street (1939), Kasturi Buildings, 100, Mount Road (1940-1942) and Kesari Kuteeram, Royapettah (1942-1946). During this period, the venue of the annual conference and concerts too kept changing. Thus it was the Senate House in 1929, Mani Iyer’s Hall, Triplicane in 1930, a special pandal behind Ripon Buildings at People’s Park between 1931 and 1935, ‘The Funnels’, a garden bungalow on General Patters’ Road in 1936, Lodd Govinddos Garden, General Patters’ Road in 1937, Woodlands Hotel, Westcott Road in 1938, the Senate House between 1939 and 1941 and the Sundareswarar Hall, RR Sabha from 1942 to 1954.
In 1946 “Sweet Home” in Mowbrays Road was acquired by the Music Academy. Honourable Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India laid the foundation for the present auditorium on 5-10-1955. Seven years later, on the eve of the 36th Conference H.H. Maharaja Shri Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, Governor of Madras, declared the new building open. Such a major milestone was achieved by the Academy, largely due to the sustained interest and dynamic initiative of Late Shri Kasturi Srinivasan, and Shri TT Krishnamachari. During the period of construction, 1955 to 1961, the annual conference and concerts were held at the PS High School premises.
The main auditorium, completed in 1962, was air-conditioned by 1966 and it was named after Shri TT Krishnamachari in 1974. It has been repeatedly modernized in keeping with the times. The last decade has seen a sustained programme in upgrading the facilities. Between 2007 and 2008, the seats in the auditorium were all brought on par with international standards. It may be pointed out that seating capacity of around 150 numbers had to be sacrificed at the balcony level to provide for better legroom and space. Adequate floor-level lights were provided and an efficient air-conditioning system was provided. A world class Bose acoustic system was also installed at the same time.
The Academy’s main auditorium now boasts of world-class seating and air-conditioning. It is also completely suitable for the elderly and the differently abled. Its stage, following a complete refurbishment that included enhanced light fittings, lighting systems, installation of energy efficient LED lights, is suitable for performances of international standard. Apart from Indian classical music and dance performances, we have hosted internationally famous orchestras, dance troupes and other performers. The western side of the Auditorium, at the rear, has been developed as a permanent location for the cafeteria. The Academy now has separate entrance and exit gates that help reduce congestion and traffic hold-ups within and outside our premises. The historic foyer of the Music Academy, has had a facelift. A convenient walkway now surrounds the entire auditorium.
It is our dream to provide vastly improved infrastructure and ambience for the comfort and listening pleasure of our members and rasikas. This has found enthusiastic support from various sponsors. Donors have been extremely generous and spontaneous in the cause of this great institution. We are in particular grateful to the following individuals/institutions that have contributed to the improvements in the main auditorium since 2006:
- Ashok Srinivasan
- HCL Technologies Limited
- Kalpathi Investments Pvt. Limited
- Kasturi & Sons
- Mallika Srinivasan
- PT Krishnan (Architect, for all services rendered pro bono)
- R Chinnakannan
- R Jayachandran
- R Srinivasan
- Sundram Fasteners Limited
- Tata Consultancy Services Limited
- Trichy Distilleries Limited
- TVS Motors Limited
- Veeyes Charities