The origins of the Madras Guitar Society goes back to 1988 when guitar maestro Thangadurai Samuel founded a society with the objectives of getting together people interested in the guitar and western classical music, grooming young talent into performing artistes and conducting periodical concerts. In time, the society evolved to become The Madras Guitar and String Ensemble in 1994 and then The Madras Guitar Ensemble.
Since inception, the Ensemble has staged 21 concerts and recordings have been broadcast over Radio and Television. The Ensemble has co-sponsored performances of renowned soloists and groups such as Christopher Laughlin from the United States of America, the Hans’che Weiss Wnsemble, Hucky Eichelmann, and the Duo Sonare from United Germany.
The group had its last concert in 2002. The long lull ended when Samuel reviewed the group in January, 2010 under a new name The Madras Guitar Ensemble. The ensemble consists of 17 classical guitarists. The members meet every Sunday between 4 and 7 for practice at the CSI Synod, Royapettah.
In 2015, the Madras Guitar Society has re-emerged in a new avatar, with focus on the growth and development of classical guitar in the city. Their first major project is the hosting of the Chennai International Classical Guitar Festival & Competition.