It’s harder than ever now to establish what is true or authentic, so perhaps in current times, authenticity has a higher value than ever before
— Charles Hazlewood

A bespoke performance

Themes are not presented in a one-size fits all presentation. As a consummate performer Charles will happily curate a bespoke performance for an event. For example, at a conference in South Africa for delegates from 42 countries, he gave a talk, then formed a choir of the delegates, and lead a improvised and after dinner dance/sing along which included all the delegates and a visiting children’s band and local choir masters. His TED talk features musicians popping up the audience and taking the stage and Charles can 'riff' on almost any subject presented to him and relate it to music (see videos below) . All clients are offered a skype consultation to enable a bespoke design.


Drawing on his experience of conducting orchestras and leading musical projects around the world Hazlewood speaks on a number of themes:

  • Leading the perfect performance

  • Fostering creativity in the team

  • The power of trust

  • Why authenticity matters

  • Creating success by being disruptive

All or any of these talks can be presentation only, interactive with the audience alone and/or involving an ‘imported’ group of professional musicians or singers, depending on the client’s goals. Each ‘performance’ is created bespoke for the individual event.

Charles Hazlewood on the debut of the British Paraorchestra, TED

Charles Hazlewood on how to discern the British character from its music, from Greensleeves to Adele, 5x15


How to make your team into an ideas factory

Sometimes there is no score and new music is required. Conductor, Charles Hazlewood describes the process by which he creates new music with the talent in hand. Drawing on the qualities and experience of the individuals in a group - be these singers, actors, instrumentalists of any nationality, colour or physical impairment – fresh and vital work can be created with (always) limited time resources.

Charles illustrates this talk with the story of the British Paraorchestra which he founded– the first orchestra of disabled musicians ever created, with whom he always works this way in order to make best use of the individual talents and instruments available.

The process of creating a new piece will be playfully demonstrated with a group of locally hired singers, who, in a short time frame, will 'create' and perform a short improvised piece to show it can be done!


How to bring together a team of stars

(Where no-one's light is dimmed but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts)

I remember going to see an orchestral performance. I had never been to a classical concert in my life. But I am watching this and thinking about the co-ordination and the teamwork — one starts and one stops, just fantastic. So I spoke to my players about the orchestra — how they are the perfect team
— Sir Alex Ferguson – Ex -manager of Manchester United Football Team

Hazlewood describes the challenge and the necessary conditions for creating this perfect team. With humorous anecdotes from his own career conducting orchestras around the world, (including hostile jokes from notoriously reluctant brass sections), Hazlewood illustrates one of his key themes, trust. Trusting oneself, delivering a strong and clear framework whilst creating a trusting environment in which each player is enabled to shine, whilst ‘binding’ the collective to achieve the best possible performance.

This session often culminates in Hazlewood getting his audience singing in 4-part harmony.


‘Will they play for me?’ (The journey to confident leadership)

In this honest presentation Hazlewood shares his journey to becoming an effective leader, from musical nobody to conductor of world renown.

Hazlewood draws out the key qualities he needed to find in himself in order to command an orchestra: confidence, clarity, persistence and openness, and how he learnt them. He focuses on two key experiences: his sometimes turbulent, and even dangerous, journey creating a world-class opera company from the poorest South African townships and the struggle to establish and eventually launch the world’s first paraorchestra to millions around the world at the London 2012 Paralympics.

When I walk into rehearsal with an orchestra, I have an idea of the speed I want the piece of music to go, but as we rehearse a new consensus speed emerges. This new speed has more value because it’s been collectively ‘decided’. I’m no longer afraid of being seen as lacking vision or consistency. What I now know is that success is about adapting to the context and allowing the best to surface
— Charles Hazlewood