Uchenna Ngwe is an oboist and researcher from North London. Her oboe performances have taken her across Europe as well as Africa and Asia. Uchenna studied oboe and cor anglais at Trinity College of Music (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) and since then, her playing has taken her across Europe, Africa and Asia. In 2022, she completed a PhD in Creative Practice (Music), with a thesis titled Re-sounding the African diaspora : uncovering Afro-British histories in classical music through curatorial-activism. Her research explored Black British classical music histories, music curation and curatorial-activism in Western classical music, themes that are central to her continued work as a musical collaborative performer.
Solo engagements have included recitals at Sutton House, Charlton House, Lauderdale House and St Alfege Church in Greenwich. Concertos include the rarely heard Oboe Concerto No.1 by Gordon Jacob with St Paul’s Sinfonia and orchestral work includes Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and The Belmont Ensemble of London as well as the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Les Miserables UK tours. Uchenna spent a season as Guest Principal Oboe with KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa. A keen interest in music education has resulted in recording music for educational use including Abracadabra Oboe (A & C Black Publishers) and Ready, Steady, Blow (Oboe Classics).
Uchenna performs regularly in orchestra and theatre across the UK and has featured with a number of ensembles on live television, radio and internet broadcasts as well as recording sessions.
Chamber music & Research
Uchenna is founder and artistic director of Decus Ensemble – a chamber group specialising in under-performed music composed for wind and strings. Much of their repertoire has emerged from her PhD research practice that investigated perceptions of historical Black classical musicians in Britain. This developed into the plainsightSOUND project that uncovers hidden stories of historical Black classical musicians in Europe. Uchenna has also appeared as a presenter and contributor to several BBC Radio 3 programmes, including Sounds Connected and Inside Music. In 2022, she researched and presented to the radio documentary Frank Johnson, Queen Victoria and the Black Brass Band, which explored the life and music of the 19th-century African American musician.
Further information about Uchenna’s research projects can be found here.