Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE to present new weekend series on Classic FM

28 September 2020, 08:25 | Updated: 28 September 2020, 16:04

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE to present new weekend series on Classic FM
Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE to present new weekend series on Classic FM. Picture: Classic FM

‘Chi-chi’s Classical Champions’ starts on Sunday 4 October.

We’re launching a new Sunday night series presented by Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, the renowned double-bass player and founder of the Chineke! Foundation – who will be making her presenting debut.

Starting on Sunday 4 October at 9pm, Chi-chi’s Classical Champions will shine the spotlight on Black, Asian & ethnically diverse composers and performers – those who have enjoyed success, as well as those yet to receive recognition.

Across six weeks, Chi-chi will champion brilliant music; tell the stories behind the works and performances, and play a varied range of recordings – all personally chosen by her – by artists from diverse backgrounds from the 16th century up to the present day.

The series is focused on classical compositions that haven’t always had a platform – with the central aim that music featured will be broadcast on other programmes across Classic FM’s schedule.

Read more: This week’s on-air highlights >

‘Chi-chi’s Classical Champions’ starts on Sunday 4 October on Classic FM.
‘Chi-chi’s Classical Champions’ starts on Sunday 4 October on Classic FM. Picture: Classic FM

The first hour-long programme will open with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade in A minor, followed by music from the first known female Brazilian composer, Chiquinha Gonzaga, as well as a celebrated recording of Handel, featuring the soprano Kathleen Battle and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. The programme concludes with pieces by Florence Price, Adolphus Hailstork and Fela Sowande respectively.

A second series of Chi-chi’s Classical Champions has already been commissioned by Classic FM for broadcast in 2021.

A celebrated broadcaster and musician, the multi-award-winning Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires and encourages Black, Asian & ethnically diverse classical musicians working in the UK and Europe.

Chi-chi Nwanoku said: “I’m thrilled to be presenting this new series on Classic FM and to have this wonderful opportunity to shine a light on many unknown, outstanding pieces of music – and musicians – who I hope you’ll enjoy. My own discovery of many of the pieces has been inspiring and often mind-blowing, and I believe they deserve to be enjoyed and shared in many more playlists up and down the country and join the favourites played on Classic FM.”

Phil Noyce, Classic FM’s managing editor, said: “Chi-chi Nwanoku is a trailblazing talent who shares our passion in breaking down the barriers to classical music, so it’s an honour that she’s agreed not only to present this series on Classic FM, but to programme it too. Throughout Chi-chi’s Classical Champions and beyond, we’re looking forward to further supporting diverse classical composers and musicians, by introducing their music to our 5.5 million weekly listeners.”

Chi-chi’s Classical Champions will be broadcast on Sunday night from 9pm to 10pm, starting on Sunday 4th October, on Classic FM. Listen on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, online, and on Global Player, Classic FM’s official app.