London, 27th April 2022. Decca Records is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first professional majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra. The trailblazing ensemble’s music will be released on the newly-launched label, Chineke! Records. This news comes on the day of Chineke! Orchestra’s return to London’s Southbank Centre for a special performance as recently-appointed Resident Orchestra.
Executive Producer of Chineke! Records is Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, the 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 OBE says, “We are thrilled to begin this partnership with Decca. Chineke!’s mission of championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music shines throughout the extraordinary range of repertoire we have discovered and brought to life; music that has been either hidden or unheard for too long. We exist to break down barriers and unleash classical music’s full potential. Decca shares our mission of inclusion and with their worldwide reach will ensure this music is heard in every corner of the globe.”
Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group, say, “We are delighted to welcome Chi-chi and the fabulous Chineke! Orchestra to the Decca label family. 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.”
The first album on Chineke! Records will be of music by English composer, conductor and political activist Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Released in August, it commemorates the 110th anniversary of the composer’s death (1st September 1912) and includes his famous Violin Concerto in G minor, here recorded with rising star Elena Urioste, and his Ballade in A minor. It also features a world premiere recording of a work by his daughter, Avril Coleridge-Taylor.
Seven years of critically-acclaimed performances at major European concert halls and festivals, and four previous celebrated albums, have established Chineke! Orchestra as one of the most exciting new forces in British classical music today. The orchestra won the Royal Philharmonic Society inaugural Gamechanger Award in 2019.
Touring with Chineke! Orchestra this summer is Decca’s Sheku Kanneh-Mason, an alumnus of both the Chineke! Orchestra and Chineke! Junior Orchestra. Sheku made his Southbank soloist debut with Chineke! in 2016 as well as his BBC Proms solo debut with Chineke! in 2017. Decca violinist Randall Goosby, who released his debut album on Decca Classics last year, has also performed with the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble, as have countless other exceptional soloists.
Chineke! will perform live with pioneering Decca composer Max Richter in June this year. Having previously worked together on his 2018 score ‘Waltz with Bashir’, the orchestra and Richter collaborate on his ‘Recomposed’ work in an exclusive UK summer show, Live at Chelsea. Richter describes Chineke! as “a beacon, lighting the way within classical music for how an ensemble can reflect the reality of the world we’re living in”.
Tonight, Chineke! Orchestra take to the stage of the Royal Festival Hall for their ‘Symphonic Celebration’ concert (with music by Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’). And there is much to celebrate, as the extraordinary ground-breaking work of Chineke! Orchestra continues to be a unique force for good in contemporary classical performance.
LIVE AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, SOUTHBANK, LONDON:
CHINEKE! ORCHESTRA: SYMPHONIC CELEBRATION
Thursday 28 April 2022
QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL, LONDON
With DAME EVELYN GLENNIE
Thursday 19May 2022
LIVE AT LONDON ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA
MAX RICHTER & CHINEKE! ORCHESTRA
‘RECOMPOSED: VIVALDI – THE FOUR SEASONS’
Thursday 16 June 2022
ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON
PROM 61: CHINEKE! PERFORMS BEETHOVEN’S NINTH SYMPHONY
Friday 2 Sep 2022
FOR FURTHER LIVE DATES: https://www.chineke.org/upcoming-concerts