People of color still face many hurdles when trying to practice art forms such as ballet and classical music.
British double bassist Chichi Nwanoku, the founder of Chineke! Orchestra, a 60-piece orchestra made up entirely of people of African descent and other ethnic minorities, hopes that the organization will help to add balance to the field of classical music.
The ensemble is lead by Berlin-based, African-American concertmaster, Tai Murray with British conductor Wayne Marshall.
“…I’m not launching this orchestra to create jobs,” Nwanoku tells Sinfini. “It’s more politically motivated. People of colour are used to being written out of history, and to having other people telling our stories for us: portraying us as poor black people being helped out by white people who take all the credit. That’s what we have to work our way out of. I want the Chineke! orchestra to be radical and to affect real systemic change by levelling the playing field. I want to change people’s perceptions by having an orchestra of BME musicians visibly playing at the very highest level.”
The Chineke! Orchestra’s will make their grand debut with a performance at London’s Southbank Centre on Sunday September 13th — as part of the Africa Utopia Festival.