Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE returns to Classic FM with new series of Chi-chi’s Classical Champions

17 May 2021, 09:18 | Updated: 17 May 2021, 09:23

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 Nwanoku continues her exploration and celebration of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers and musicians.

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, the renowned double-bass player and founder of the Chineke! Foundation, is returning to Classic FM for a new series of Chi-chi’s Classical Champions.

Starting on Sunday 23 May at 9pm, Chi-chi 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 the programmes, 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.

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: ‘Why do Black people have to be that much better to win an audition?’ – Chi-chi Nwanoku on classical music’s diversity

‘Chi-chi’s Classical Champions’ starts on Sunday 23 May
‘Chi-chi’s Classical Champions’ starts on Sunday 23 May. Picture: Classic FM

The first programme will feature a piece by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor which has been performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall more than 200 times. At one point, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast ranked alongside the likes of Handel’s Messiah as one of the UK’s favourite choral works.

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 and ethnically diverse classical musicians working in the UK and Europe.

Speaking of her debut series on Classic FM last October, 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 nights from 9pm to 10pm, starting on Sunday 23rd May, on Classic FM. Listen on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, online, and on Global Player, the official Classic FM app.