Conductor Charles Hazlewood’s British Paraorchestra of disabled musicians

Posted on: June 29, 2012

In Thursday’s (6/28) Guardian (London), musician Charles Hazlewood writes about the British Paraorchestra, an ensemble he has formed of eighteen disabled musicians, who will perform this weekend at Hazlewood’s Orchestra in a Field festival in Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset, U.K. “The orchestra’s story is a personal one. I am lucky enough to have four wonderful children, the youngest of whom has cerebral palsy.… It suddenly became glaringly odd that there were virtually no disabled musicians in any of the orchestras or groups I played with anywhere in the world. Where was the talent with disability? As soon as I started looking, I encountered amazing musicians of all sorts—and the founder members of the Paraorchestra began to appear.… We all come from different musical backgrounds, but what binds us is a fierce musical bravery…. Not everyone has been pleased with the idea. Some feel that a ‘disabled’ orchestra somehow patronises the disabled community. But until the paralympics, no one took disabled athletes seriously. These people deserve to be seen and heard not because they are disabled, but because of their talent.” Watch a video of Hazlewood and some of the British Paraorchestra on SymphonyNOW.

Posted June 29, 2012