Northern Chamber Orchestra


Artistic Director and Leader, Nicholas Ward

Formed in 1967 and based in Manchester, the Northern Chamber Orchestra (NCO) has established itself as one of England’s finest chamber ensembles. The orchestra has been described as “simply world-class” by Opera Magazine and is regularly engaged by established choral societies and music/arts festivals, including Buxton Festival, with which it has collaborated for many years as the ‘orchestra in residence’. The NCO enjoys playing varied and often challenging repertoire – from the Baroque era to contemporary works – and has gained a reputation for imaginative programme planning.

Concerts take the orchestra across the north of England, from Cheshire and Greater Manchester to the Lake District and beyond. The Mind Music concert was performed at the Martin Harris Centre at the University of Manchester in April 2015. This associated CD is the latest addition to the NCO’s extensive and critically-acclaimed catalogue of recordings, which have given the orchestra an international platform. While the NCO generally performs in concert and on disc without a conductor, for the Mind Music initiative it has very much enjoyed a special collaboration with Stephen Barlow as its conductor. The orchestra has worked closely with Stephen before in his capacity as Artistic Director of Buxton Festival (conducting the NCO over several years for many of the Festival’s main opera productions) but Mind Music represents the first time they have recorded music together. You can find more information about the Northern Chamber Orchestra and sign up to receive NCO’s free e-newsletters at or email the NCO.