Chineke! Foundation

Company size Size: 6 - 10
Website address

About us

Who we are

Established in 2015, Chineke! aims to transform public perceptions of who classical music is by and for. We are doing this by developing the Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first majority-Black and ethnically diverse professional orchestra. Our founding was described as a “blaze of excitement and hope” (Daily Telegraph) and “the beginning of something culturally inspiring” (The Guardian). Since then we’ve staged 145 concerts and released three full-length commercial recordings, benefitting 350 musicians and reaching a live audience of 90,000 across the UK and internationally. Most recently we delivered our first-ever North American tour, spanning 6 cities and a landmark sold-out performance at New York’s Lincoln Center.

Under the visionary leadership of Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE, our Founder & Artistic Director, Chineke! has become a beacon of innovation and diversity globally in the classical music landscape. Chi-chi Nwanoku’s commitment to excellence and inclusivity is the driving force behind Chineke!'s success and expansion.

Our activities are organised into three primary strands. First, concerts by the Chineke! Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble, and Chineke! Voices, and the new works we regularly commission for the orchestra. Second, the Chineke! Junior Orchestra, which provides development opportunities for ethnically diverse musicians aged 11-22 and comprises courses, rehearsal weekends and concerts. And finally, our Learning & Participation programme in schools and other community settings, also including our new Beginners’ Orchestra.

Chineke! stands as a pioneering force in classical music, dedicated to showcasing the talent of Black and ethnically diverse musicians in the realm of symphonic orchestral performances. Alongside our core focus, we also embrace innovative collaborations that extend our impact and resonate with a wide audience. We've had the privilege of working with notable artists across different genres, such as Stormzy and Max Richter, and partnered directly with the estate of Bob Marley to reimagine Marley’s work in a project released by Island Records. This year, we marked another milestone by becoming the first European orchestra to perform the Black Panther soundtrack live alongside the film, in a special engagement at the Royal Albert Hall. Our current major partnerships include iconic classical music label Decca Recordings, leading cultural centre the Southbank Centre, and emerging arts hub Woolwich Works. In April 2023, Chineke! became an Arts Council England 'National Portfolio Organisation,' further enabling an ambitious expansion of our work across England and beyond.

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Chineke! Foundation Up to £38,000 depending on experience London, Greater London (Hybrid)
Closing 12 June 2024
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