Alumni Join Kinshasa’s Inspirational Orchestra

Four RNCM alumni are set to sing with the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra and Choir during a special tour with the Hallé this month.

Soprano Bryony Williams and mezzo-soprano Emma Stannard, who both graduated this year, baritone Daniel Shelvey, a 2013 alumnus, and tenor Matthew Moss, who graduated in 2010, will take to the stage of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall and Colston Hall in Bristol alongside the Hallé to mark the organisation’s first visit to the UK.

Founded in 1994 by conductor Armand Diangienda and based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the most violent countries in Africa, the Kinshasa Symphony is a beacon of hope and a testament to the transformational power of music. Working and rehearsing in almost unbelievable conditions, the group (Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra) comprises talented musicians who are mostly self-taught on home-made instruments.

Made possible thanks to an Exceptional Award from the Arts Council England, this unique project enables the Kinshasa musicians to perform alongside professional performers to further their instrumental and orchestral technique.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: ‘The Kinshasa Orchestra is a truly inspiring story of how music can change lives, and the dedication shown by all the musicians involved is an example of the sheer commitment and enthusiasm they have for their work.’

Conducted by 2013 alumnus Jamie Philips, the Hallé’s Assistant Conductor, and Armand Diangienda, the concert (which also include members of the Hallé Choir and Youth Choir, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and the Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestras) will feature Sibelius’s Finlandia, movements from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as items of orchestral and choral Congolese music.

The Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra kick starts its tour with the Hallé at The Bridgewater Hall on Thursday 11 September. To learn more click here.

9 September 2014