We are an artist-led music education and cultural organisation, jointly directed by the musicians Mauricio Venegas-Astorga and Rachel Pantin, and funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation. Founded in 1998, Musiko Musika has created very successful long-term relationships with schools and communities throughout the UK and abroad, and since 2015 we have had a base for our work at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Photo by Peter Lewis-Dale
Our work is cited as an example of exemplary practice in music education and for the creative and social values of our approach to cultural diversity, encouraging and enabling participants to bring the sounds, songs and stories of their own cultural backgrounds into their music-making with us. There are three main strands to our programme of work: the ECCO (Ethnic Contemporary Classical Orchestras), World Music Academy and Sing and Learn.
Musiko Musika exists in order to create opportunities for people of all cultures to express themselves through music and work together, developing talent and improving individual life chances, and supporting cohesion in the communities in which we live, celebrating and nurturing a contemporary understanding of English musical and cultural heritage and traditions of solidarity within our community
Find out more about about what inspires us
by reading our Manifesto
Joint Artistic Directors
MAURICIO VENEGAS - ASTORGA
Mauricio Venegas-Astorga is a Chilean artist who, with passion, talent, creativity and hard work has achieved the position of being one of the most important artists of Latin American origin in the field of music production, composition, education and cultural activity in the UK. His work as a performer, composer and recording artist has been channeled through the group Quimantu, which he founded almost forty years ago. With a collection of more than 35 albums that he has created and recorded for diverse projects and companies, Mauricio has also performed and recorded as a guest and session musician for composers such as Sir Paul McCartney, Ennio Morricone, Dave Arnold and Hans Zimmer. His film credits include the Honorary Consul, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Mission and James Bond films, and his own compositions can be heard on TV programmes such as Law and Order, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders etc, enabling him to acquire a deep knowledge and expertise in the fields of composition and production music. His extensive collaborations with composers and musicians from the UK and of other nationalities have included English musicians such as Roger Watson, Richard Harvey and Steve Knightley, from Africa Musa Mboob and Oluyemisi Obasaju, from Australia the renowned guitarist John Williams, from Serbia Ratsko Rašić, from Chile Jorge Campos, from Cuba el Septeto Nacional, Ignacio Piñeiro and Efraín Ríos, from Uruguay Pájaro Canzani, and from India Kiranpal Singh Deoora. His compositions ‘Misa De Los Mineros’ and ‘Socavón Cantata Del Carbón’ are homages to the people of the coal mining region of the south of Chile and are a beautiful and clear demonstration of his creative voice and style, and of his human commitment to education, history, culture and to the communities of his country and place of birth as well as to the wider world.
Rachel Pantin is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and completed the Post-graduate Performance and Communication Skills course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Having studied violin with leading violinists and teachers including Howard Davis, Erich Gruenberg and David Takeno, she has developed an extensive range of experience as a performer from classical groups such as London Sinfonietta and Opera Factory to world music including the Palestinian group Sabreen and the South American group Quimantu.
For a number of years she toured Britain, Europe and North America performing specially commissioned solo works for violin for several theatre and dance companies. Concentrating in recent years on developing crossovers between the Classical and World Music genres she has worked on a number of recording projects with Quimantu, gaining much recognition for her contribution to the fine sound of the group.
As a composer she has worked on scores for theatre and dance companies, original music, orchestrations and arrangements for world music groups and original works for schools and educational publications.
LAURA VENEGAS - ROjAS
Laura Venegas-Rojas was born in the UK, is of Chilean heritage, but feels a deep connection to both countries. Her first instrument is her voice, but following the lead of her father Mauricio, is fast becoming a multi-instrumentalist playing Kala Bass and Latin-American percussion – especially instruments such as the cajón and bombo. The fast and intricate dance rhythms of musical styles such as Festejo (Afro-Peruvian) and Chacarera (Argentina) are a particular interest. Strong rhythm work is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of music making, and she shares her expertise in this, amongst other things, with participants of Musiko Musika's projects. As one of the lead singers for the Anglo-Chilean group Quimantu she has developed a wide vocal repertoire from the works of Violeta Parra to Johnny Cash.
As well as working with Musiko Musika, Laura is also involved in many musical theatre and dance projects, having performed in such events as London's 2012 Olympic opening ceremony and the UEFA Champions' League Final opening ceremony.
Yemisi was born in London and spent her childhood in Lagos Nigeria, before moving back to England in 2000. She has been involved in music from a young age, singing regularly in various choirs from the age of 10. In 2001 Yemisi began to follow her interest in music and sound engineering more formally, studying at City of Westminster College, and spent 2 years as student on Thames Valley University’s Music and Multi-media Technology course.
She began working with Musiko Musika on the Open Channels project in January 2005, and has specialised in the delivery of singing workshops based on the cultural roots of her native Nigeria.
Pianist, broadcaster and writer Mark Troop has developed a unique career spanning the fields of contemporary and world music, especially from Latin America and China. He has set up several British Council tours, to India (three times), Spain (twice) and Latin America, including concerts and educational work. With his wife, acclaimed soprano Patricia Rozario, he has recently set up Giving Voice to India, a unique teaching project to train Indian singers in western styles and promote western music generally on the subcontinent. He is now training Indian pianists of college level and above. For BBC Radio 3 Mark Troop & CMC created a special three-part Latin American series relating the history and literature of Latin America to its music The Twilight of the Iguana, and has been a regular part of Musiko Musika’s World Music Academy team since it was the project began.
Musa M'Boob born in Serrakunda, The Gambia, was chosen by his father Doudou M'Boob, 6th generation master percussionist to replace him, playing his public debut at the age of 12 years. M'Boob M'Balahal (meaning M'Boob Drumming or drummers) group was formed in 1981. The group's incredible talents are complemented by Musa's style of "Taasu" (an indigenous African Rap). This combination of rhythmic drumming and Afro Rap has made the "MBoob MBalahal" a household name in The Gambia. He has also played with a large number of bands including Ifang Bondi, The Africa Express, Joko, Alan Skidmore & Ubizo, TAPS, Boka Halat, Gelawarr and Njom Music Band.
British Violinist and violist Emma Purslow is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Daniel Rowland and Sasha Rozhdestvensky. She is a passionate chamber musician who has performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad, including performances at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, and the Ambassador’s Residence in Paris. Emma also loves solo performance, and the last year has included recitals at the Royal Albert Hall, St James Piccadilly and Leeds International Concert Series. She also enjoys a freelance orchestral career performing regularly with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and also leads the Street Orchestra of London. Described by the Guardian as “truly uplifting” this 40-piece ensemble brings live performance to those unable to access it.
Jobine Siekman is currently finishing a Masters of Performance degree with Richard Lester as an Irene Hanson Scholar supported by The Royal College of Music. Before completing her Bachelors of Music with First Class Honours at the RCM with Melissa Phelps she learned with Lucia Swarts and Dmitri Ferschtman in the Netherlands and Harro Ruijsenaars in Sweden. In 2016 Jobine won the third prize in the finals of the National Cello Competition of the Cellobiennale Amsterdam, and the Anna Shuttleworth Prize in the RCM cello competition. Jobine has played solo and chamber music concerts in the Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. She plays a Thomas Dodd cello from 1800, provided by National Musical Instruments Foundation.
Margarita was born in Temuco in Chile, where she studied music from a young age, attending the Conservatorio de Temuco. Having developed a passion for the visual arts alongside her studies as a musician she studied the pedagogy of teaching Plastic Arts at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, graduating in 1991. In 1998 Margarita moved to Spain to further her musical studies, entering the music conservatory in Valencia, where she specialised in Classical Guitar. She has been based in Cambridge since 2005 where she founded her group The Frida-Violeta Band, an all women trio performing Latin American folk music. As well as performing as a musician Margarita maintains her multi-disciplinary approach to the arts and her commitment to education, teaching music and art to children and young people in Cambridge at Escuelita and working as a workshop leader for Musiko Musika in London.
Musiko Musika's Board of Trustees
Musiko Musika's Patrons
Baroness Christine Crawley Richard Harvey
Baroness Gabrielle Bertin
is a Young Lyric Partner
is an Arts Award Supporter
Musiko Musika is also supported by