Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto is a cultural organization that was founded in 1981 by a small group of dedicated individuals who were passionate about shastriya sangeet (Indian classical music).
Raag-Mala literally means “a garland of raags”. A raag is loosely translated into English as a “melodic form”, but in fact, it encompasses an entire modal pattern and mood. In Indian culture, a garland is usually an offering made of flowers out of respect and affection.
The idea for creating Raag-Mala Toronto emanated from Canada’s ideal of multi-cultural harmony. The founding members had a vision of weaving shastria sangeet in the fabric of other art forms in Canada. Raag-Mala would provide a platform for artists to share art and music with audiences, and the artists would, in turn, receive the love and affection from appreciative and diverse audiences. This idea of mutual offering is one of Raag-Mala’s founding principles and continues to be its inspiration.
When Magan Ambasana (the Founding President), Raya Bidaye, Govind Pachapurkar, Krishna Persaud, John Campana, Rudy Wall and Eric Parker (who designed the Raag-Mala logo) came together during those early years, little did they imagine that the organization that they founded would also become the custodian of a venerable cultural tradition in Canada.
Raag-Mala Toronto has had many other dedicated volunteers since its inception, including Tapas Mookherjea (who took over as President from 2006 to 2012), Dinesh Gandhi, Utpal Mitra, Razia Rais, Aparna & Debanjan Mookherjea and many others.
Over the years, the group of volunteers that cherishes and shares the Raag-Mala ideals has grown and works tirelessly to present the very best of Indian classical music to Toronto audiences.