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Chineke! Chamber Ensemble pictures

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Chineke! Chamber Ensemble description

First a proactive foundation, then an orchestra, and now a movement, Chineke!, whose name translates as spirit of creation, has captivated the popular imagination, as evidenced by the wild response to every one of their four visits to the BBC Proms in recent years.

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, one of the UK’s finest exponents of the double bass, played in the cream of London’s chamber and period instrument orchestras for over 30 years. Of Nigerian-Irish heritage, her witnessing, in 2014, the revelation of the Kinshasa orchestra from the Congo playing to a typical traditional classical music audience triggered the birth of this unique platform for majority Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians.

A Chineke! concert guarantees three things: excellence, unadulterated joy and the discovery of great new (or neglected old) music. These two outstanding concerts feature the principal wind, horn and string players from the orchestra in every imaginable permutation, with Nonets and Quintets by Schubert (yes, The Trout), Rheinberger, Martinu and Prokofiev, alongside beautiful mini-orchestral pieces by the great British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and African-Americans William Grant Still and Valerie Coleman.

Part of the concerts will be two thrilling new Australian commissions, one from Deborah Cheetham and one from William Barton, who will appear with Chineke! in the World Premieres of his composition.

Coleridge-Taylor’s resurrection is one of many heartwarming effects of Chineke!’s own soaring popularity... The orchestra... set their special electricity in performance flying.


Nwanoku, like her instrument, anchors this remarkable group of musicians with a simple but burning purpose: ”If even one child feels that their colour is getting in the way of their musical ambitions, then I hope to inspire them... and show them that music, of whatever kind, is for all people.” In witnessing Chineke!, in Australia for the first time, you are witnessing history.

Chineke! Chamber Ensembles are offering two different programs of music:

PROGRAM ONE: Wed 16 Mar, 8.30pm
Martinů: Nonet No.2, H.374
Prokofiev: Quintet in G minor, Op.39
Valerie Coleman: Red Clay and Mississippi Delta
William Barton: World Premiere:
          The Rising of the Mother Country
          Composed by: William Barton
          Published by G. Schirmer Australia Pty Ltd
          By kind permission of the Wise Music Group
Coleridge-Taylor: Nonet in F minor, Op.2

PROGRAM TWO: Thu 17 Mar, 7.30pm
Still: Folk Suite
Rheinberger: Nonet in E-flat major, Op.139
Deborah Cheetham: World Premiere
          Composed by: Deborah Cheetham
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D.667
    The Trout



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