Musée Musical was started by a Portuguese man named Misquith, in 1842 on Mount Road mainly for servicing pianos and organs. He named the business Misquith and Co. and it grew so popular that he within a short span had opened about 16 branches all over the south, in the Nilgiris, Bengaluru and other places. When he fell sick, he had to shut them all down, but he kept the Chennai branch open.
The present-day office, tucked into an innocuous corner off the main road, was once an elephant stable of the nearby Parthasarathy Temple. Musée Musical relocated into this building sometime in the 1930s.At that time Amy de Rozario was in charge. She was a pianist and a piano teacher here who eventually became the director of the company after Prudhome.
Mr. Giridhar Das who was one of the directors of the company since 1920, took over the company from Amy de Rozario in 1942 as Amy wanted to go back to England. Until then, there was a joint management by Indians and the British.
In 1956, M. Haricharan Das, took over the company from his father, Mr. Giridhar Das and is the current Chairman, Even though the management has changed hands many times, Musee Musical even today and serves its clients with the same principles and service-oriented mentality as Misquith.
Musee Musical, only dealt with pianos and organs until Mr. Giridher Das took charge of the company. He expanded the business and took up the manufacturing, service, and sale of violins, guitars, and drums. And later, introduced Indian instruments.
With their pianos adorning Rajaji Hall, Raj Bhavan, and most churches, Musée Musical is intrinsically linked with Chennai’s western classical music scene. Their tie-up with the Trinity College of Music, London, which began in 1901, has seen annual enrollment grow from just two students to the 10,000 odd who appear for exams today.
Manufacturing instruments since the 1950s, preserving a library of vintage music, starting a School of Music, becoming a center for music examinations and being a part of Madras Musical Association, a 118-year-old initiative that promotes music, the business of music has come a long way.
A.R. Rahman, G.V. Prakash, L. Subramanian, Veena Balachandar, Karaikudi Mani – the list of celebrities that Musée Musical has fostered over the years is endless.