Closing Ceremony of the Paralympics

Opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics.jpg

Just as the Paralympics have achieved so effectively in sport, it has always been Hazlewood’s goal to shift perceptions of disability by creating a visible platform for gifted disabled musicians to perform and excel at the highest level. After much campaigning, Hazlewood brought together 17 virtuoso musicians with disabilities to play alongside Coldplay, and in their own right, at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics. The event marks the world debut of the British Paraorchestra, the world’s first professional large scale ensemble for musicians with disabilities.

Our first goal, is to use the global platform of this event to create respect for disabled musicians, to put a good idea out there to a world audience. I want every major city around the world to look on and ask why it doesn’t have something similar. And then after that, through education, information and technology, I want to see every big orchestra in the world including performers with disabilities. I am not interested in creating a ghetto for disabled performers, but using this opportunity to lift them up, enable them to take their rightful place
— Charles Hazlewood, speaking to The Telegraph, 2012