Chi-chi: Tales from the Bass Line


Barrie Gavin’s compelling documentary portrait of Chi-chi Nwanoku, a world-renowned virtuoso of one of the most challenging musical instruments, the double bass. The effervescent and indomitable Chi-chi recounts the hurdles she faced growing up as a mixed-race child and scaling the musical establishment in Britain, interspersed with luscious performances of Haydn, Berlioz, Elgar, Dvorak, and others.
Chi-chi Nwanoku is one of Britain’s most sought after double bass players, and has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the finest exponents on her instrument today. Her first professional position was as Principal double bass with the London Mozart Players, and since then she has performed and recorded as principal and soloist with many of Europe’s prestigious chamber orchestras and ensembles. These include the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, English Baroque Soloists, London Classical Players and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. She is Principal Double Bass and a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Endymion Ensemble. Chi-chi is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at The Royal Academy of Music, and gives Masterclasses as a visiting Professor at Conservatoires worldwide. She sits on a number of advisory boards in the UK, including the Royal Philharmonic Society, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians. Chi-chi Nwanoku was born in London of Nigerian and Irish parents. (2012, 50 mins, DVD).

Black Cinema House | 7200 South Kimbark Ave.

Ms. Nwanoku will be present for a post-screening Q & A. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago. Click here for more information about her campus engagements.