Peace Concerts

Sri Chinmoy playing cello at the State Sports Centre in Sydney in 1989 — one of the nine Peace Concerts he performed in Australia.

At his lectures in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Sri Chinmoy would often play harmonium and sing a few traditional spiritual songs, as well as some of his own original compositions from an ever-increasing repertoire.

Although the variety of instruments Sri Chinmoy has played since then can be numbered in the hundreds, there are two instruments that have become synonymous with Sri Chinmoy’s musical performances over the years – the Indian esraj and the Western flute.

He first began playing esraj in New York on February 17, 1976. And in early March that same year, during a lecture tour of Australia, Sri Chinmoy learnt to play the Western flute.

During his lifetime, Sri Chinmoy gained worldwide recognition as a prolific composer and a consummate musician. In 1984, he offered the first of what he called ‘Peace Concerts’ to an audience of 8,500 people in Cologne, Germany. For the next twenty or more years, he travelled the globe sharing the message of peace through his music. His largest concert was held in the year 2000, when 19,000 people gathered to hear him at the Molson Centre in Montreal, Canada.

When asked how his concerts bring peace to the world, he answered with characteristic humility: “In my case, I feel that when I play soulful music and when I sing my spiritual songs, I can offer whatever peace I have to humanity. So this is my way of offering.”

In total, Sri Chinmoy offered almost 800 Peace Concerts, performing in capacity-filled venues, sharing inspiration with audiences around the world.

“When I offer peace concerts,” he said, “thousands of people pray with me and meditate with me. I play different musical instruments and sing for about two hours. The peace-lovers who come to listen inspire me, and I inspire them. Everything is based on inspiration.”
(An excerpt from Sri Chinmoy Reflections.)


Sri Chinmoy’s first Peace Concert — Cologne, Germany, 1984.

 


Sri Chinmoy playing esraj at a Peace Concert in the Dom Bosco Church in Brasília, Brazil, in 2000.