Ghent Festival celebrates a first with the appearance of The Chineke! Orchestra in the St Bavo's Cathedral: the members of Europe’s first professional majority Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra are in their daily lives members of European, American and South African professional orchestras. Several times a year they join forces and form The Chineke! Orchestra.
Chi-chi Nwanoku, a celebrated double bass player with Nigerian roots, launched the orchestra in London two years ago. She hopes that her initiative can be a catalyst for change and diversity on the classical stage.
Chineke! also focuses on diversity in its programme choice.
Are you already familiar with Chevalier de Saint-Georges? Nicknamed ‘The Black Mozart’, for good reason, his overture L’amant Anonyme could have been an operatic creation by Mozart himself. The Englishman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is another black composer who we’d like to introduce to you, with his highly romantic Ballad for Orchestra.
Chineke! will also play Elgar’s famous and spectacular Enigma Variations. And, as the icing on the cake, we present one of the laureates from the 2017 Queen Elisabeth Competition for cello, playing the Cello Concerto in C major by Joseph Haydn.