It's hard to believe, but classical music is finally getting somewhere with its race problem

Chineke! Juniors 
conductor Marlon Daniel with the Chineke! Juniors  Credit: Chineke! Juniors 

Late last month (actually 31 Jan), in a sea of bad or worrying news, there was actually something to cheer about. The names of the young musicians who’ve made it through to the category finals of the BBC Young Musician 2018 were announced. Among them were a fair sprinkling of musicians from a BME (black and minority ethnic) background. And no less than four of them were members of the Chineke! Juniors, an orchestra set up for gifted BME children. That’s 16% of the total number of finalists. 

For an organisation that’s only two years old, that’s an astonishing result. These kids are going places, and one day we may well see them on a bigger stage. To take just one example: Elodie Chousmer-Howelles...

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