The Guardian: Wayne Marshall conducts Chineke! at the Southbank Centre, London. Photograph: Zen Grisdale
Watch the entire concert from the Southbank Centre
#AfricaUtopia - Chineke! Orchestra conducted by Wayne Marshall
Chi-chi Nwanoku, front, with Chineke! Photograph: Zen Grisdale
Sergio A. Mims writes:
The Guardian gave a five star review for the Chineke concert last night and also included a video of the entire concert as wellhttp://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/14/chineke-orchestra-marshall-review-chi-chi-nwanoku
The Independent gave it a four star reviewhttp://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/reviews/chineke-queen-elizabeth-hall-review-europes-first-professional-bme-orchestra-offers-freshness-energy-and-flashes-of-brilliance-10499952.htmlSergioThe GuardianQueen Elizabeth Hall, LondonThe debut of Europe’s first black and minority ethnic professional symphony orchestra featured exhilaratingly vital Beethoven as well as sensitive and touching playingIt is rare to be present at the birth of a new orchestra, and rarer still when that orchestra turns out to be special. Chineke! – in Igbo, a language spoken in south-eastern Nigeria, the word refers to the spirit of creation of all good things – was chosen as the ensemble’s name by its founder, double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku, who has familial roots in the region. Her creation, Europe’s first black and minority ethnic orchestra, made its debut in this Southbank concert.Quite rightly, the programme – persuasively conducted by conductor, pianist and organist Wayne Marshall – included two works by black British composers. The first was the Ballade by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, whose music was greatly admired during the Edwardian era, and whose most famous score – the cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast – remained a choral society staple for decades.
Premiered at the Three Choirs festival in 1898, his Ballade is a dramatic and finely structured piece of real substance and imagination; its passionately lyrical second subject, in particular, gave the orchestra’s string section opportunities, which they seized. Their passionate playing had considerable tonal refinement.