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The Manchester International Roots Orchestra (MIRO) is a unique ensemble of musicians with roots from across the world including students from the RNCM. Our repertoire skilfully combines diverse musical influences from haunting Eastern European melodies, to the delicate textures of Middle Eastern percussion and vocals; through to soulful Sufi chants of South Asia, joyful African gospel – embracing rap, hip-hop, classical music and jazz along the way.

"First class music from
around the globe"

MIRO is led by Romanian-born double-bass maestro and composer Michael Cretu and was set up by Community Arts North West in partnership with the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). The orchestra is now an independent entity but maintains strong partnerships with Community Arts North West (CAN) and the Royal Northern College of Music.

This unique orchestra has performed at a number of high profile events including the Festival of Manchester (2019), Horizons Festival (HOME, 2019), Tara Arts (London, 2019), Journeys Festival (2018) and at the Edinburgh Festival (2014).


Person with a middle eastern traditional instrument
Michael Cretu with Double Bass

Michael Cretu 

Founder and Musical Director

MIRO’s Music Director is internationally acclaimed double bass player and composer Michael Cretu.  Coming from a family of folk musicians whose roots stretch back to the 17th century, Michael joined the Romanian National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the age of 19 before undertaking further study in Bucharest and winning a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.  Michael is an associate and artist in residence at Salford University and also a member of a contemporary jazz trio with Ed Barnwell and Mikey Wilson. 

"Fabulous playing!"

  Suzy Klein,

BBC Radio 3, In Tune.

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