Chineke! founder Chi-chi Nwanoku’s new radio show, spotlighting wider range of classical composers

Posted on: October 5, 2020

Double-bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of the U.K.-based Chineke! Orchestra, “is optimistic about diversity in classical music,” writes Rosie Pentreath in Thursday’s (10/1) Classic FM (U.K.). “ ‘I think classical music is suddenly going to become much more diverse,’ she [says], ahead of the start of her new radio show, ‘Chi-chi’s Classical Champions.’ … ‘Our Junior Orchestra are winning places at the conservatoires, and we’re seeing more children of multi ethnicities going into the conservatories across the country,’ … she says.… Chineke! Orchestra and Chineke! Junior Orchestra … ‘have been championing music by composers of ethnicity for the last five years, and other orchestras and conductors are beginning to [introduce] them back to their own orchestras to play,’ Nwanoku confides…. With the new show, which champions Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers and performers, Nwanoku hopes to open our ears and eyes to wonderful new music…. ‘There’s an amazing Brazilian composer, José Maurício Nunes Garcia,’ says Nwanoku. ‘The Requiem that he wrote is just off the scale. When I think that I spent over 35 years playing the same three requiems—Mozart, Faure, and Verdi, all fantastic pieces—to discover that there’s another incredible Requiem Mass is mind-blowing.’ ”