A conversation between double bassists Chi-chi Nwanoku, OBE, founder of Chineke! Orchestra, and Tafelmusik’s Pippa Macmillan. This interview explores music, mentorship, and the importance of championing diversity in classical music. Co-presented by the Toronto Black Film Festival.
Chi-chi Nwanoku, OBE is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires and encourages Black, Asian and ethnically diverse classical musicians working in the UK and Europe. The Chineke! Foundation celebrates diversity in the classical music industry through its two orchestras, the Chineke! Orchestra and Chineke! Junior Orchestra, as well as its educational and Community engagement work. Ultimately, the Chineke! Foundation aims to give Black, Asian and ethnically diverse classical musicians a platform on which to excel, and by such methods increase the representation of Asian, Black and ethnically diverse musicians in British and European orchestras.
Nwanoku was a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and held the position of Principal double bass there for 30 years. She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was made a Fellow in 1998.
Pippa Macmillan was the first UK graduate from The Juilliard School's Historical Performance Masters course. She also has a Bachelors degree in baroque double bass from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Chi-chi Nwanoku. She is now Professor of Baroque Double Bass at the Royal College of Music. Macmillan is one of the newest members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.