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Chi chi Nwanoku

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Origin  UK

Name  Chi-chi Nwanoku
Chi-chi Nwanoku wwwendymionorgukwpcontentuploads201103Pho


Musician chi chi nwanoku discussing her life and work on talking africa

Chinyere Adah Nwanoku OBE (born June 1956, London) is a double bass player and professor of Historical Double Bass Studies at the Royal Academy of Music. She was a founder member and principal bassist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a position she held for 30 years. Of Nigerian and Irish descent, she is the founder and Artistic Director of the Chineke! Orchestra, the first professional orchestra & junior orchestra in Europe to be made up of a majority of Black and minority ethnic (BME) musicians.


Chi-chi Nwanoku About Chichi Nwanoku Doublebassist London

Chi chi nwanoku tales from the bass line preview

Performing groups

Chi-chi Nwanoku First Encounters ChiChi Nwanoku and Keith Pascoe

She has worked as principal double bass of the ensemble Endymion, the London Mozart Players, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the English Baroque Soloists, the London Classical Players and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique.

Chi-chi Nwanoku Chineke Foundation

Nwanoku is the founder of the Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first classical orchestra made up of majority black and minority ethnic musicians, with whom she regularly performs.


Chi-chi Nwanoku David and Chichi Nwanoku Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Chinyere (Chi-chi) Adah Nwanoku is of Nigerian and Irish descent and is the oldest of the five children of her parents, Dr Michael Nwanoku and his wife Margaret (née Hevey). Nwanoku was born in Fulham, London, and before reaching school age she spent some years in Imo State, Nigeria, where her family went for two years. She attended Kendrick Girls Grammar School in Reading, Berkshire. At the age of seven she began her education as a classical musician, first piano, and at the age of 18 bass. She subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She was also undertaking training as a 100-metre sprinter but had to end her athletic career following a knee injury.

Chi-chi Nwanoku Not all audiences are the same David and Chichi OAE

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2001 Birthday Honours and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours, both for services to music. She has been made an Honorary Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music.

Besides playing and teaching bass, she has been active as a broadcaster, as in BBC Radio 3 Requests and in BBC TV Proms and as a member of BBC’s Classical Star jury. In 2015 she presented the BBC Radio 4 programmes In Search of the Black Mozart, featuring the lives and careers of black classical composers and performers from the 18th century, including Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Ignatius Sancho, and George Bridgetower. She is a Board member of the National Youth Orchestra, Tertis Foundation, Mayor's Music Fund, Royal Philharmonic Society (Council), was previously on Association of British Orchestras board, is Patron of Music Preserved, the Cherubim Trust.

She lives in London and has two children, Jacob Hugh and Phoebe Hugh, and a granddaughter, Maya Ekene Hugh.


Chi-chi Nwanoku Wikipedia