The history of New Note Orchestra by Molly Mathieson, Founder and Chief Executive.

New Note Orchestra was inspired by the Channel 4 documentary ‘Addicts’ Symphony’. I created the TV show after spending time with renowned musician James McConnel.

James was a recovering alcoholic and his life took a terrible turn after his son Freddy was found dead from a heroin overdose at the age of 18. James had used music in his own recovery and was also using it as a way to heal the pain of his son’s death. I became interested in how music can heal people’s lives and the idea for Addicts’ Symphony was developed. Addicts’ Symphony saw James McConnel work with ten participants for two months, building towards a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra. He worked alongside the world renowned animateur Paul Rissman who helped the musicians compose their own symphony titled ‘Rhapsody For The Tamed’. They showcased this with the LSO in front of an audience of 4000 people. It had an 80% success rate in helping the musicians stay clean and sober. The night of the concert changed my life and I was determined to take the success of the TV show and create the UK’s first recovery orchestra.

Addicts’ Symphony

New Note Orchestra was inspired by the TV documentary Addicts’ Symphony which was broadcast on Channel 4 in 2014. 10 participants who were in recovery from drugs and alcohol worked together for two months to put on a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra. It was a phenomenal achievement.