© Zen Grisdale


Chineke! Orchestra
  • Tue 15 Feb ’22
    Grote Zaal
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Social justice, innovation and quality: this orchestra is changing the face of classical music


Chineke! Orchestra was founded by double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku in 2015 and is a part of the Chineke! Foundation, which aims to provide outstanding career opportunities to established and up-and-coming Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians. 

Their commitment to their motto, “championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music”, is obvious not only from the orchestra’s ethnically diverse make-up, but from their repertoire, too. It includes works like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Othello Suite, led by conductor Kwame Ryan. British conductor and composer Coleridge-Taylor was a big name in the United States during the early 20th century. After largely having been forgotten, his work has been enjoying something of a revival since the 90s. 

The promising young piano talent Amiri Harewood will be performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto. As for more contemporary work, there’s the composition by the young American composer Carlos Simon. His work Fate Now Conquers is a kind of ‘John Adams meets Beethoven’, with a driving rhythm and some atmospheric elements. The evening ends with a performance of Beethoven’s well-loved Pastoral Symphony.

‘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!’

Sir Simon Rattle

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Coleridge-Taylor Othello Suite | Grieg Pianoconcert in a | Simon Fate Now Conquers | Beethoven Symfonie nr. 6, ‘Pastorale’   


Chineke! Orchestra | Kwame Ryan dirigent | Amiri Harewood piano 

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