Chi-chi Nwanoku – Double Bass

Chi-chi Nwanoku has become one of England’s most sought after Double Bassists, and has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the finest exponents on her instrument today.  Chi-chi was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1998 and awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Music’ in the Queens Birthday Honours 2001.  She is Principal Double Bass with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (of which she is also a founder member), and Endymion, and appears with numerous quartets and ensembles internationally.

Her historical instrument is unique, and made by Nicolas Amati (Cremona) dated 1631.

She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at The Royal Academy of Music, Professor of Double Bass at Trinity College of Music in London, and a visiting Professor for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Her wide range of musical interests, results in her involvement in the cutting edge of diverse styles of performance practice. She gave the UK premiere performance of Ferneyhough’s Trittico per G.S. for solo double bass in 1996, and is the double bass soloist on the recording of Alexander Goehr’s Sing Ariel, conducted by Oliver Knussen.

Chi-chi compiled a varied solo programme for the BBC Radio 3 series Tuning Up, which was selected for Pick of the Week. She has also been interviewed for Woman’s Hour, Kaleidoscope, and Comparing Notes.  She was featured as a soloist on a BBC 2 television series Strings, Bows and Bellows, and Channel 4 television’s Shooting Stars in 1994/5.

Her extensive discography includes three recordings of Schubert’s Trout Quintet, with Domus, Hausmusik and Trio Fontennay, for Virgin, EMI and Teldec respectively. There are also recordings of the Schubert Octet, Beethoven Septet, Rossini String Sonatas (a Quattro) and Boccherini ‘cello sonatas (with Richard Lester/Hyperion).

She has made many symphonic recordings as orchestral principal. In October 2000 Hyperion label released Chi-chi’s first solo recording to critical acclaim. This includes three double bass concertos by Vanhal and Dittersdorf, with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Hyperion CD 67179.