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“ There is no platform for musicians with disability, very little in the way of funding -and therefore access to the often-necessary technologies: it is virtually impossible for anyone from this community to make a living as a professional musician."

Charles Hazlewood

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Members of The British ParaorchestraWhat Is The British Paraorchestra?

It's not like any orchestra you've ever seen or heard. There are no ranks of brass or decks of strings, rows of penguin-suited men and evening-gowned women. The conductor does not stand on a podium and direct a piece by Beethoven or Brahms. It is an altogether smaller ensemble, but with a giant ambition.

The British Paraorchestra is the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians, founded by British conductor Charles Hazlewood and television director Claire Whalley in November 2011. Following our world debut at the Paralympic Closing Ceremony in 2012, we are pioneering a global movement to recognise and showcase disabled musicians with extraordinary abilities. Just as the Paralympics have achieved so effectively in sport, the British Paraorchestra is shifting perceptions of disability by creating a visible platform for gifted disabled musicians to perform and excel at the highest level. 

As Artistic Director of the British Paraorchestra, Charles Hazlewood occupies a unique position in the musical world. His fresh reinventions of classical music break new ground and excite audiences wherever he performs, but his goal is always the same: to impart a deep, always-modern joy of orchestral music.

The charity has a new home in At-Bristol, whose vision of a more closely connected culture of arts and science chimes with the Paraorchestra’s mission to push creative boundaries and seek out more diverse collaborations. 

With the support of Arts Council South West, we further the aims of the British Paraorchestra through an array of ground-breaking musical projects. 

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