‘It’s a gem-like place’: Manchester Camerata looking to redefine themselves – and audience – at Albert Hall gig

One of Manchester’s most popular orchestras is hoping a performance at the city’s unique Albert Hall will help them redefine themselves and their audience.

Manchester Camerata, which is made up of musicians from around the world who choose to base themselves in the city, is set to play the stunning venue on April 27.

The former Wesleyan chapel, which was built in 1910, was brought back to life last year after more than 40 years of neglect by the group behind popular bars Trof, Gorilla and Deaf Institute.

And Bob Riley, Chief Executive of Manchester Camerata, believes the venue and the orchestra share a common goal.

He told MM: “What makes our orchestra so unique and 21st Century is that there are only 40 people playing which means the audience can get much closer and can really see the musicians.

“We really want to redefine what we are as an orchestra and who we regard as an audience. The Albert Hall performance is particularly exciting because it is a gem-like place. It has an amazing heritage.

“Since it has re-opened it is almost like the old beast is breathing new life. It is such a unique building and is steeped in so much history.”

The Orchestra began its journey in 1972 after a group of musicians decided that they enjoyed performing together and wanted to play small scale and symphonic music.

As a group they have since travelled the world performing in some of the world’s greatest Hall’s and alongside some of the finest musicians – but Bob claims there is no place like home.

“In Manchester we have an unbelievable choice of venues. There is no comparable size city in the world that boasts as many amazing theatres,” added Bob.

“Our home city has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great orchestras.

“Manchester has a vibrant classical music scene and sport a plethora of venues for orchestra’s to play.

The city is famed for its rich artistic heritage and Bob claims that Manchester’s passion for music extends to the classical variety.

“Manchester has a great music scene for young people and we have loads of upcoming talent in the camerata, it is a great city to be a musician.”

Since the orchestra was founded they have always had a keen interest in bringing the joy of music to young people.

The camerata still run extensive projects with school which then inspires children to discover music for themselves.

“The group grew over 30 years and has always had a real interest in supporting children and helping people,” Bob told MM.

“The camerata are heavily involved in school projects that give children the opportunity to discover music.

“We approach schools in various different ways, we don’t force music onto children we just show them the enjoyment music can bring and often they are really interested.”

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