Coffee and classical music are coming together as Caffè Nero and Manchester Camerata brew up a new partnership. The opening event on 31 March saw Camerata musicians Caroline Pether (violin) and Hannah Roberts (cello) performing pieces ranging from Bach’s Prelude in D minor to Eric Clapton’s Layla at Caffè Nero’s Peter Street Store in Manchester.
‘Our vision is to redefine what an orchestra can do,’ Manchester Camerata’s head of marketing & communications, Paul Davies, tells IAM. ‘We want to take classical music up close to people, popping up where we’re not expected; this partnership fits right in with our mission.’
Inspiration, Davies says, struck one morning while he was sipping his usual large latte: ‘Caffè Nero plays classical music in the morning, and I suddenly thought ‘this is an interesting space…’. I proposed the idea and [Caffè Nero] were keen to make it happen.’
Manchester Camerata intends to profile its entire season across Nero’s 23 Manchester stores. Both organisations see this as a chance to reach a new audience and cross-promote, says Davies. For example, Caffè Nero customers will have access to special Manchester Camerata concert offers.
There’s also the element of Italian synergy at work here – Manchester Camerata was originally inspired by the Florentine Camerata of the 16th century. ‘It makes sense for us to partner with Caffè Nero, as they share that Italian influence as well as an ethos of creativity and collaboration,’ Davies notes.
This is not the only partnership that Manchester Camerata is currently exploring: in December, it entertained pre-match crowds at Manchester City Football Club. ‘It was a great success,’ says Davies, ‘and now we’re offering a premium Camerata Connect networking event on 14 May in the Chairman’s Club.’
The Connect event will be accompanied by what Davies describes as ‘daring’ classical music, and is also an opportunity for Manchester Camerata to gain exposure to potential corporate supporters.
Manchester Camerata was founded in 1972 by BBC Radio Manchester producer Raph Gonley, and its current season has already showcased both renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti and the pop music of Bill Ryder-Jones. On 18 April, it will fill Manchester Cathedral with the music of Barber, Britten Beethoven and Chopin.