Decca Records Signs Chineke! Orchestra

The orchestra, which is made up of a majority of Black and minority ethnicity musicians, will release a new Coleridge-Taylor disc with Decca in August 2022

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE (center) with members of the Chineke! Orchestra. (Photo credit: Carsten Windhorst)


Founded in 2015, British ensemble Chineke! Orchestra aims to provide career opportunities in the classical music world for minority orchestral players, in addition to supporting a youth orchestra made up of players aged between 11 and 22.

The organization's newest partnership with the record label Decca Records, will form a new label titled Chineke! Records.

The first album released on the label will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the British composer, conductor, and political activist Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

The disc, released in August, will feature Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G minor, performed by Elena Urioste, as well as the Ballade in A minor. Additionally, the disc will include a world premiere recording of a work by the composer's daughter, Avril Coleridge-Taylor.

"We are thrilled to begin this partnership with Decca," said Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, Chineke!'s Founder and Executive Producer. "Chineke!’s mission of championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music shines throughout the extraordinary range of repertoire we have discovered and brought to life; music that has been either hidden or unheard for too long."

"We exist to break down barriers and unleash classical music’s full potential. Decca shares our mission of inclusion and with their worldwide reach will ensure this music is heard in every corner of the globe," she continued.

"We are delighted to welcome Chi-chi and the fabulous Chineke! Orchestra to the Decca label family," said Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, the Co-Presidents of the Decca Label Group.

"Chi-chi’s vision, energy and ambition are extraordinary. She is a trailblazer with an important mission and, together with Chineke!, she has recorded compositions by some of the world’s most important yet under-represented classical composers. We are committed to spreading the incredible music, talent and message of Chineke! around the world."

You can hear a recording of the Chineke! Orchestra performing the first movement of Florence Price's Symphony No. 1 below.