The organisation will also launch a junior orchestra and lobby government to improve music education in schools


British double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku has launched the Chineke! Foundation with the aim of forming Europe’s first all-black orchestra. The organisation seeks to ‘champion change and celebrate diversity in classical music,’ and ‘to be a catalyst for change in the industry’.

Led by concertmaster Tai Murray, the Chineke! Orchestra of around 60 professional musicians will give its first performance on 13 September 2015 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, conducted by Wayne Marshall.

Closely linked to the main orchestra will be a junior orchestra of students aged 11-18 years, drawn from youth schemes, music colleges and specialist music schools, to which senior players will act as mentors. Inspired by America's Sphinx Organisation, the body also aspires ‘to influence government to re-introduce music into the school curriculum, levelling the playing field for disadvantaged youths’.

Nwanoku is principal double bassist and co-founder of the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, and professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

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