The Chineke! Orchestra

Europe's first majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra

By Chineke!

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

Origins of Chineke! Orchestra

Chineke! Orchestra was founded in 2015 by double-bass player Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE. The orchestra gives outstanding career opportunities to Black, Asian and ethically diverse musicians and aims to increase diversity in the world of classical music. 

Chineke! Orchestra Inaugural Concert

Chineke! Orchestra is Europe’s first majority Black,  Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra, and the Chineke! Foundation's flagship ensemble. It is an international orchestra, made up of musicians from all over Europe. 
They performed their first concert at Southbank Centre in September 2015 during the Africa Utopia festival. Watch their rousing performance of the fourth movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, conducted by Wayne Marshall. 

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

Founder, Artistic and Executive Director Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE discusses the aims of Chineke! and the orchestra's inaugural concert in 2015. 

Black Legacies - Royal Festival Hall (2020-10-19) by Southbank Centre / Mark AllanChineke!

As well as performing standard orchestral repertoire, Chineke champions the works of Black, Asian and ethnic minority composers. 

Chineke!'s world premiere performance of Remnants, by composer James B. Wilson and poet Yomi Sode. 
Commissioned by Southbank Centre, the piece was inspired by Dylan Martinez’s photograph of protester Patrick Hutchinson carrying an injured counter-protester to safety during a Black Lives Matter protest in London.

19 October 2020, Royal Festival Hall

Chineke! European Tour November 2019 (2019-11-08) by Gert JochemsChineke!

Chineke! in Bruges - European Tour 2019

Chineke! has performed across the world and collaborates internationally with artists and organisations who share its mission to champion change in classical music. Chineke! rehearsing with violinist Elena Urioste at Concertgebouw Bruges during Chineke!'s first European tour. 

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

Chineke! Orchestra - Antonin Dvořák Symphony No.9, ‘From The New World’, IV: Allegro con fuoco
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Associate Orchestra of the Southbank Centre

Now an Associate Orchestra, both the Chineke! Orchestra and its sister ensemble, Chineke! Junior Orchestra, perform at Southbank Centre in every season. Since its inaugural concert in 2015, Chineke! has performed every year at the Southbank Centre's Africa Utopia festival. 

Chineke!'s founding Principal Timpanist Paul Philbert MBE tells us what Chineke! means to him.

Rehearsing at the Proms (2017)Chineke!

Rehearsing for the BBC Proms

In 2017 Chineke! made its debut at the BBC Proms at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall. 
Having been founded only two years before, Chineke! became the youngest ever orchestra to perform at the Proms. 

Chineke! Orchestra conducted by Kevin John Edusei for the 2017 BBC Proms perform George Walker's Lyric for Strings (Prom 62) (2017) by BBCChineke!

BBC Proms 2017

Continuing their tradition of championing Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers, Chineke! performed George Walker's Lyric for Strings

Black Legacies - Royal Festival Hall (2020-10-19) by Southbank Centre / Mark AllanChineke!

Black Legacies

Chineke! Orchestra performing a socially distanced concert, conducted by Kevin John Edusei, as part of the BBC Radio 3 residency for Black History Month. 

19 October 2020
Royal Festival Hall

Credits: Story

Elizabeth Boyce

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