Chineke! Chamber Ensemble and William Barton

Date 12 August 2022
Time 11:00am (GMT)
Location The Queen’s Hall, 75th Edinburgh International Festival
Date: 12.08.2022 Time: 11:00am (GMT)

Part of the 75th Edinburgh International Festival

William Barton Didgeridoo
William Grant Still Folk Suite
Valerie Coleman Red Clay and Mississippi Delta
Deborah Cheetham Ngarrgooroon – Woven Song
William Barton The Rising of Mother Country (European Premiere)
Mendelssohn Piano Sextet in D, Op 110

Founded in 2015, the Chineke! Foundation provides opportunities for established and emerging Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians. Its aims are to celebrate diversity, and to champion change. Since 2015, the Chineke! Orchestra has taken the musical world by storm, with its exhilarating energy, its infectious enthusiasm, and its gathering of exceptional musicians from across the UK and Europe.

Showcasing the orchestra’s finest musicians, the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble brings together five brilliant but intimate works by Black and Indigenous musicians, from William Grant Still’s celebration of African American experience to the blues energy of young US composer Valerie Coleman. The Chineke! musicians give premieres of two brilliant new works by Australian Aboriginal composers. Deborah Cheetham weaves together threads of imagery and history in her tapestry-inspired Ngarrgooroon, while William Barton draws on his virtuosity as a didgeridoo player in his The Rising of Mother Country.

The warmth and touching melody of Mendelssohn’s Piano Sextet, effectively a chamber concerto for piano and strings written when he was just fifteen, brings the concert to an uplifting close.

Part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22, supported by the Australian Government and the British Council.

About the Performers

  • Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s mission is: ‘Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music’.

    William Barton is widely recognised as Australia’s leading didgeridoo player as well as a highly esteemed composer, instrumentalist and vocalist. He has composed works for didgeridoo and orchestras, string quartets, jazz and rock bands as well as collaborative contributions with some of Australia’s leading composers. Throughout his diverse career William has forged a path in the classical musical world, with major Commissions include writing for members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and the Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra as well as for contemporary dance companies and dancers such as the Leigh Warren and Dancers, which the work Breathe was premiered at both Womadelaide and at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012.

    Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”.