The British Paraorchestra is the world’s first large-scale professional ensemble of disabled musicians, a boundary breaking outfit that is unlike any orchestra you’ve seen or heard. There are no ranks of brass or 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. Central to our mission is to perform phenomenal music that captivates audiences. We work with partner ensembles and an array of collaborators to push our art form forward and prove beyond a doubt that disability is no barrier to talent.
The Paraorchestra and Friends is the registered charity and creative hub based in Bristol responsible for the development of The British Paraorchestra through an array of ground-breaking musical projects. Our vision is that great music is only defined by a person’s ability, never their disability. Our aims are:
- To reach and inspire the widest possible audience through the creation of new contemporary music projects & experiences that span an array of music genres- To support the professionalisation of disabled musicians in order that they can first and foremost focus on their musical ability
- To challenge perceptions of disability and remove barriers to music-making for disabled musicians
Charles Hazlewood is the award-winning British conductor and Artistic Director of The Paraorchestra and Friends. Hazlewood occupies a unique position in the musical world. He regularly conducts many of the world's greatest orchestras, and collaborates with a huge spectrum of fellow artists from Professor Green to Steve Reich to Nigel Kennedy to Goldie. His fresh performances of music cross genres, break new ground and excite audiences wherever he performs, but his goal is always the same: exposing the deep, always-modern joy of orchestral music.
The Paraorchestra and Friends is supported by:
Arts Council England
The Mark Leonard Trust
Hauser & Wirth