The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Founder of Chineke! lectures on diversity in orchestras

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE’s upcoming talk Changing Perceptions: A Glimpse Of Tomorrow’s Orchestras takes place on 28 May at City, University of London

City, University of London’s Department of Music will host a talk featuring double bassist and chamber musician Chi-chi Nwanoku in conversation with Head of Music Professor Laudan Nooshin about diversity in music within academia and professional music making.

Both musician and educator, Nwanoku is the founder of the Chineke! Foundation that was launched in 2015 in support of black and minority ethnic classical musicians working in the UK and Europe. The following year saw the launch of its parallel orchestra, The Chineke! Orchestra and sister ensemble The Chineke! Junior Orchestra, a youth orchestra of black and minority ethnic (BME) players aged between 11–18. Senior players also act as mentors and teachers to the younger musicians.

“My aim is to create a space where BME musicians can walk on stage and know that they belong, in every sense of the word,” says Nwanoku. “If even one BME 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!, conducted by Wayne Marshall, made their debut performance at London’s Southbank Centre in September 2015. And earlier this year Chineke! Orchestra performed with Carl Craig at London Royal Albert Hall.

Changing Perceptions: A Glimpse Of Tomorrow’s Orchestras talk will take place on 28 May.