Meet Chineke!

Discover the orchestra who are championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music

Chineke! Orchestra Inaugural Concert (2015-09-13) by Zen GrisdaleChineke!

The Chineke! Foundation

The Chineke! Foundation was created in 2015 by Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE. Chineke! - which means 'the spirit of creation' in Igbo - provides outstanding career opportunities for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse classical musicians. The organisation aims to be a catalyst for change by increasing the representation of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse musicians in British and European orchestras. 

Introduction to the Chineke! Foundation/en (2017-04-28) by Zen GrisdaleChineke!

An introduction to the Chineke! Foundation

Chi-Chi Nwanoku OBE - Founder of Chineke! Orchestra (2019) by Ntando BrownChineke!

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE

"My aim is to create a space where Black, Asian and ethnically diverse musicians can walk on stage and know that they belong, in every sense of the word. If even one Black, Asian and ethnically diverse child feels that their colour is getting in the way of their musical ambitions, then I hope to inspire them, give them a platform, and show them that music, of whatever kind, is for all people."

Chineke! Orchestra Inaugural Concert (2015-09-13) by Zen GrisdaleChineke!

Chineke! Orchestra

Chineke! Orchestra is the foundation’s flagship ensemble. As Europe’s first majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra, it brings together musicians from across the continent. 

Chineke! Inaugural concert
13 September 2015
Southbank Centre, London

Chineke at Royal Festival Hall (2020-09-28) by Mark AllanChineke!

Errollyn Wallen, Concerto Grosso I - Chineke! Orchestra

Chineke! Orchestra champions works by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers both past and present as well as performing standard orchestral repertoire. Since its inaugural concert in 2015, Chineke! has performed across the world, twice at the BBC Proms, and is now an Associate Orchestra of the Southbank Centre. 

Seth Woods on the motivation behind the Chineke! Orchestra (2015-09) by Chineke! OrchestraChineke!

Seth Woods on why Chineke! matters

Speaking on the eve of Chineke! Orchestra's inaugural concert in 2015, American cellist Seth Woods talks about seeking role models, his motivation for joining Chineke!, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in classical music.

2019 RPS Gamechanger Award

Chineke! was awarded the first ever Gamechanger Award at the 2019 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.
RPS Chairman John Gilhooly OBE said:
"In every facet the Chineke! Foundation is an example to us all of the change we can achieve if we set our heart on it. Moreover, it is a collective of musicians showing the relevance of classical music to the world and boldly saying: Look what can be achieved through music."

Chineke at Royal Festival Hall (2020-09-28) by Mark AllanChineke!

Sir Simon Rattle

"Chineke! is not only an exciting idea but a profoundly necessary one. The kind of idea which is so obvious that you wonder why it is not already in place. The kind of idea which could deepen and enrich classical music in the UK for generations. What a thrilling prospect!"

Credits: Story

Elizabeth Boyce

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