Chineke! Junior Orchestra combines Beethoven with Bruno Mars in electrifying BGT mash-up

28 September 2020, 12:40 | Updated: 28 September 2020, 17:01

Chineke! Junior Orchestra combines Beethoven with Bruno Mars
Chineke! Junior Orchestra combines Beethoven with Bruno Mars. Picture: BGT

By Sian Hamer

When Beethoven and Bruno Mars collide...

Chineke! Junior Orchestra gave an exhilarating performance of Beethoven’s Fifth on Britain’s Got Talent this weekend – but with a twist.

Opening with the great symphony’s iconic four-note intro, and closing with the finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, the orchestra then combined classical with an assortment of contemporary pop hits, seamlessly weaving together upbeat melodies from Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit.

Uptown Funk’, ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Rather Be’ didn’t sound too out of place alongside the classical legends...

Read more: Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE to present new weekend series on Classic FM >

Chineke! Junior Orchestra is a youth ensemble of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse players, aged between 11 and 22 years old.

The orchestra and its sister group, the Chineke! Orchestra, were both founded in 2015 by Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to create opportunities for “emerging and established musicians of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse heritage”.

Next Sunday, Chi-chi will kick off her new series, Chi-chi’s Classical Champions, on Classic FM, where she shines the spotlight on Black, Asian and ethnically diverse composers and performers.