DECCA & CHINEKE! ORCHESTRA RELEASE FIRST ALBUM IN NEW PARTNERSHIP
FROM EUROPE’S FIRST MAJORITY BLACK & ETHNICALLY DIVERSE ORCHESTRA
"Chineke! exists to redress the balance of who plays and does not play classical music.”
- Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE
Press for the 2022 Chineke! Orchestra’s BBC Prom:
“…filled with grace, intelligence and nobility in the very best sense.
It will stay with me for a long time.” ★★★★★ - The i
“Beethoven’s finale was as rousing and joyous as could be.” ★★★★ - The Guardian
“Beethoven’s Ninth should always be as exhilarating as this.” ★★★★ - Financial Times
CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR
RELEASE DATE: 30 SEPTEMBER 2022
30 SEPTEMBER 2022 (TORONTO, ON) – Chineke! Orchestra has released Coleridge-Taylor. The album features music by the celebrated African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with an appearance by award-winning US violinist Elena Urioste, plus a world premiere recording of a work by Coleridge-Taylor’s daughter Avril Coleridge-Taylor.
Coleridge-Taylor is the first release on Chineke! Records, the newly created partnership between Decca and the Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first professional majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra.
The release commemorates the 110th anniversary of the composer’s death (1st September 1912). The album includes the famous Violin Concerto in G minor which was originally written for Minnie “Maud” Powell, a champion of music by African-American and female composers, first performed days after the composer’s death. Another highlight is the 1898 African Suite, based on the ground-breaking poetry of the African-American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, a major influence on Coleridge-Taylor taking inspiration from the ideas of Pan-Africanism.
Executive Producer of Chineke! Records is Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires and encourages Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians working in the UK and Europe, by providing a platform on which to excel.
Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE says, “Chineke!’s debut concert began with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and it could not be more fitting that we launch our first Chineke! Records album in partnership with Decca with music by the same composer whose music clearly comes straight from the heart. Included is a masterpiece by his daughter Avril. Their glorious music has been silent for too long; some of it never heard, and we promise an album that you will return to over and over again.”
Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group, say, “Chi-chi’s vision, energy and ambition are extraordinary. She is a trailblazer with an important mission and, together with Chineke!, she has recorded compositions by some of the world’s most important yet under-represented classical composers. We are committed to spreading the incredible music, talent and message of Chineke! around the world.”
“Othello” Orchestral Suite, Op. 79
Sussex Landscape, Op. 27
African Suite, Op. 35
Ballade in A minor, Op. 33
Petite Suite de Concert, Op. 77
Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in G minor, Op. 80 (with Elena Urioste, violin)
Romance in G major, Op. 39 (with Elena Urioste, violin)
Nonet in F minor, Op. 2
LIVE PERFORMANCES (UK):
LIVE DATES: https://www.chineke.org/upcoming-concerts
Chineke! Orchestra is the flagship ensemble of the Chineke! Foundation, also established by Nwanoku in 2015, with the mission to provide outstanding career opportunities to established and up-and-coming Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s motto is ‘Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music’. The Chineke! Orchestra works closely with its sister ensemble the Chineke! Junior Orchestra, which seeks to increase the representation of Black and ethnically diverse candidates studying music in higher education. This process is already underway with several of the junior musicians having won national competitions, gained places at top music schools or been admitted to study and elite third level institutions.
About Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE
Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE was awarded the CBE for Services to Music & Diversity in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours 2022, the OBE in 2017 and the MBE in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday honours for services to Music.
She was a founder-member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and held the position of Principal double bass there for 30 years. She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music with an esteemed discography of chamber and double bass concerto recordings to her name. As a broadcaster, Chi-chi has presented regularly for BBC radio 3, Classic FM and guest presented for the BBC Proms. She was one of the 100 – Happy List in the Independent on Sunday 2011. In 2016 she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire in recognition of her ‘pioneering contribution to music, in particular the inspiration she provides, the commitment she has shown, and the contribution she has made to addressing inequalities within classical music in the UK, most recently through the Chineke! Foundation’.
Amongst her numerous accolades, Chi-chi was named in the Top 10 of the BBC Woman’s Hour, Women in Music Power List 2018. She was also voted to the Powerlist of Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Also in 2021, Chi-chi was featured in the book Superheroes published by grime and hip-hop artist, Stormzy.