Image by Chris Christodoulou



Date 16.03.2022 - 17.03.2022
Location Adelaide Town Hall 128 King William Street, Adelaide


First a proactive foundation, then an orchestra, and now a movement, Chineke!, whose name translates as spirit of creation, has captivated the popular imagination, as evidenced by the wild response to every one of their four visits to the BBC Proms in recent years.

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, one of the UK’s finest exponents of the double bass, played in the cream of London’s chamber and period instrument orchestras for over 30 years. Of Nigerian-Irish heritage, her witnessing, in 2014, the revelation of the Kinshasa orchestra from the Congo playing to a typical traditional classical music audience triggered the birth of this unique platform for majority Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians.

A Chineke! concert guarantees three things: excellence, unadulterated joy and the discovery of great new (or neglected old) music. These two outstanding concerts feature the principal wind, horn and string players from the orchestra in every imaginable permutation, with Nonets and Quintets by Schubert (yes, The Trout), Rheinberger, Martinu and Prokofiev, alongside beautiful mini-orchestral pieces by the great British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and African-Americans William Grant Still and Valerie Coleman.

Part of the concerts will be two thrilling new Australian commissions, one from Deborah Cheetham and one from William Barton, who will appear with Chineke! in the World Premieres of his composition.

Nwanoku, like her instrument, anchors this remarkable group of musicians with a simple but burning purpose: ”If even one child feels that their colour is getting in the way of their musical ambitions, then I hope to inspire them… and show them that music, of whatever kind, is for all people.” In witnessing Chineke!, in Australia for the first time, you are witnessing history.

Chineke! Chamber Ensembles are offering two different programs of music:

Martinů: Nonet No.2, H.374
Prokofiev: Quintet in G minor, Op.39
Valerie Coleman: Red Clay and Mississippi Delta
William Barton: World Premiere
Coleridge-Taylor: Nonet in F minor, Op.2

Still: Folk Suite
Rheinberger: Nonet in E-flat major, Op.139
Deborah Cheetham: World Premiere
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D.667
The Trout

About the artist

Chineke! has been at the forefront of contemporary practice in the UK since 2015. It has been in great demand throughout the UK with concerts at leading festivals including the BBC Proms, Cheltenham and Edinburgh (in 2021) and at leading venues in London including Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall. The zest and joy with which Chineke! musicians perform is remarked upon by promoters, audiences and critics; the musicians also speak to the audience, introducing each work.

Chineke! programmes are as diverse as the musicians who perform in the Ensemble. As well as championing the music of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers from the past, Chineke! has commissioned and performed ten living composers.

Image by Chris Christodoulou