Between 1984 and 2007, Sri Chinmoy offered 777 Peace Concerts at venues across the world. During these concerts of prayerful and meditative music, Sri Chinmoy sought to offer an experience of inner peace to the audience. His first major Peace Concert was given in Cologne on 24 March 1984, where over 8,000 people attended.
Sri Chinmoy typically began each Peace Concert with a short meditation and then during the concert, he would sing and play several instruments, such as the flute, esraj, cello and synthesier/piano. Apart from a few Sanskrit mantras, Sri Chinmoy mostly performed his own compositions. Sri Chinmoy was not a trained musician but self-taught and often performed extemporaneously.
Question: Could you talk about the concert that you will be giving?
Sri Chinmoy: It is a Peace Concert. This world of ours has everything save and except one thing: peace. And this peace has to start from within. If I have peace of mind, then only can I be of help to you. If you have peace of mind, then only can you be of help to me. This peace of mind we can get from our peaceful meditation and our prayerful life, not from political talk. Not by talking, but by praying and becoming something good can we offer peace to others. So I play quite a few instruments and offer soulful music — not the music that stimulates our vital, but the music that increases our inner hunger, which is love of God. 1
After experiencing a concert in Paris, a reporter for the French newspaper Le Monde wrote: "One had the feeling that the audience had come not only for the music, but also for what was between the compositions, that is, the inner peace that the sounds only served to prolong."
Sri Chinmoy's concert venues have included the Royal Albert Hall of London, New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, San Francisco's Davies Hall, Tokyo's Nippon Budokan, and the Sydney Opera House. The largest audience for one of Sri Chinmoy's concerts was 19,000 who attended the Molson Centre Montreal, Canada on 23 Sep 2000. Thirty-five of Sri Chinmoy's Peace Concerts had an audience of 5,000+.