The Paraorchestra and Friends

Changing the face of the 21st century orchestra

We create large-scale music experiences that span artforms, making orchestral music relevant to new, young and diverse audiences. At our heart is the inclusion of professional disabled musicians; challenging perceptions and advocating that disability is no barrier to excellence.

Donations open 12:00 PM, 3 December 2019 to 12:00 PM, 10 December 2019


Registered Charity in England and Wales (1163725)

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Championed by The Reed Foundation - Arts & Culture

  • "The Paraorchestra & Friends should be applauded for having something truly original to say about what orchestras can be They are a demonstration of how we can move forward.”

    — Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

  • “The (Paraorchestra show Nature of Why) throws convention out of the window & begins to reshape the audience experience of classical music, bringing it closer to the individual.”

    — Disability Arts Online

  • “With every Paraorchestra project I am involved in I continue to evolve as a musician, discovering more about my voice and myself as an artist, and performing at venues worldwide that I may otherwise have never had the opportunity to perform at”

    — Victoria Oruwari, Soprano

  • “Working with Paraorchestra was the catalyst to setting up my own integrated opera company, formidAbility. I thought, ’why isn’t this accessible creative process happening in the world of opera?’ Now it is!”

    — Joanne Roughton-Arnold, Soprano and formidAbility founder

  • “The <Paraorchestra’s> first concern is to there show's available to everyone, no matter what their abilities. Every performance is fully accessible, with wheelchair access, assistive listening, audio description and interpretation. All art ought to be like this: if not in form, in effect"

    — Alison Croggan, Witness Journal (Australia)

  • “Many windows get opened through the Paraorchestra. Musicians get so much support; whatever they need to make music, and to travel.”

    — Takashi Kikuchi, Viola player


When was the last time you saw a disabled musician on stage at a live music gig, or at an orchestra concert? There are still a huge number of barriers in place that prevent disabled musicians performing at the highest level, from the physical access arrangements in venues, to the unconscious and conscious bias of many who cannot perceive that excellence and disability can exist together. Paraorchestra re-writes the rule book supporting disabled musicians to fulfil their potential.


Paraorchestra is a game changer and it is a world-first. It creates ambitious contemporary art that pushes the artform of orchestral music forward, attracting new audiences and showcasing inclusivity, with disabled professional musicians at the heart of our approach. Each time Paraorchestra performs it reflects a progressive society, one which actively encourages and celebrates different experiences of disabled and non disabled people to work together in the creation of excellent music.