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Rakhi Singh_edited.jpg

Photo: Phil Sharp

Meet Rakhi Singh

Violinist, artistic director and co-founder of Manchester Collective

Rakhi Singh epitomizes the essence of a modern-day violinist. A virtuoso on the violin, Singh goes beyond her instrumental mastery, showcasing her versatility as a composer, producer, and music director of the Manchester Collective—an ensemble she co-founded in 2016. Renowned for their innovative programming and immersive performances, the Manchester Collective has experienced remarkable growth under Singh's visionary leadership in recent years.

For her first visit to Oslo, she has chosen an equally creative and explorative program, and we have caught up with her to hear about the our upcoming collaboration and the Scandinavian premiere of a new commissioned piece.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the programme? What serves as the starting point, and is there a common thread connecting the pieces?


The theme for the NCO's 23-24 season is 'UPLIFTING' so this was a great place to start. I’m often asked about what the common thread is through my programing, and this is a very difficult thing to explain! I suppose I can say that it is done through instinct rather than academic process, I get a feel for what might work before and after each other and for what dramatic arc I’d like the evening to take. It’s more like directing theatre in some ways.  I always like to have some contrast and surprises in there and to look at how pieces make us feel from many different angles. I think this programme will cover many different emotions and experiences which, to me, tells an interesting story. 

One of the highlights of the programme will be the Scandinavian premiere of Oliver Leith’s will o’ wisp, a co-commissioned piece for Manchester Collective and the NCO. Can you tell us about his music?


It feels like a really fruitful time for classical contemporary British composers, there are many unique voices that have emerged recently years and Oliver is one of these. For me, his music bends time and space. It is very malleable and makes me feel, and exist in, textures as much as sound.  Nothing is quite as it seems, and it speaks to me of another realm that is halfway between reality and somewhere else. 

Rakhi Singh at the BBC Proms Neon. Photo Andy Paradise © Manchester Collective.jpg

Our partnership on this commission is made possible with the support from the British Council, nurturing cultural connections between our two countries. Could you share the artistic visions for your ensemble and how do you envision the possibilities for collaboration with the NCO?


At Manchester Collective we set out to create powerful and meaningful experiences that originate in classical music but extend far beyond this.  We use the music to access and communicate the deepest parts of ourselves and to share that with the audience, hopefully connecting on a deep human level that becomes far more than just playing notes. The Norwegian Chamber orchestra is one of the best and bravest orchestras around and so it feels like a natural communion to bring our visions together. We come with open minds and hearts to create and share wonderful experiences with both the players and the audiences.

Upcoming concert


13 February 7pm, Universitetets Aula


Antonio Vivaldi  Concerto in g-minor, Rv156

AntonÍn Dvořák  Notturno for strings

Oliver Leith  will o' wisp (Scandinavian premiere) 

Caroline Shaw  Plan & Elevation

Inger Hannisdal  Løvsanger (World premiere) 

Ludwig van Beethoven  Cavatina from String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130

Wojciech Kilar  Orawa 

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