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S l a ic s s Cla


/18 7 1 0 2 n o as

Lars Vogt Music Director Julian Rachlin Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Zehetmair Conductor Laureate

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Welcome 2017/18 CLASSICAL SEASON AT SAGE GATESHEAD “Study Bach. There you will find everything.” Brahms “Bach lives with me every single day. He is my friend and my hero.” Errollyn Wallen “Music owes as much to Bach as religion to its founder.” Schumann Bach’s influence pervades musical history like no other composer before or after him. In addition to his actual composing sons, many other composers of later generations have felt to be sons and daughters of Bach. Join us this season as we celebrate the great man’s music and influences across the centuries, from Mozart to Brahms, Vaughan Williams to the composers of our own time. Fittingly our second focus this season is on the first complete cycle of Mendelssohn’s symphonies performed by Royal Northern Sinfonia, including the mighty ‘Lobgesang’. As the composer who has probably done more than any other to restore Bach’s reputation in the modern world, he definitely can be called a descendant of Bach. Finally, there is a hidden thread running through our programmes celebrating music’s mysterious link with numbers and mathematics, from the obviously numerical patterns of Bach’s celebrated Goldberg Variations to the mysterious superstitions around 9th symphonies (will the composer live to write another one?). Let’s see if you can spot all the connections as you join us for the new season.

Our Series To help you navigate your way through our season and find the right concerts for you, follow our easy-to-see colour coded series: RNS At Home

Always at the heart of our season – join Royal Northern Sinfonia ‘at home’ for their main series of concerts in Sage One. RNS Presents

Visiting symphony orchestras from near and far, plus Opera North and one of the world’s greatest choirs, The Sixteen. RNS Nights Out

Royal Northern Sinfonia’s hugely popular gala series in Sage One – easy listening including film music and Broadway hits. Small is Beautiful

Small chamber groups from within RNS perform beautiful music for you in the intimate surroundings of Sage Two. Classics 4 Kids

A huge hit with both children and grown-ups last season, Classics 4 Kids is back for more fun with classical music in Sage One. Piano Greats

New for this season. Four of the world’s great pianists with varied programmes in the superb acoustic of Sage One. All this, plus festive music to help you celebrate the Christmas season. Post-concert spotlight performance Pre-concert talk, 6.30pm

Thorben Dittes Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme Sage Gateshead

Buses from Alnwick and Hexham Buses from Carlisle


RNS At Home RNS presents

Plan your season in advance and take advantage of some great discounts. Choose your favourite concerts from our RNS At Home and RNS Presents series, and save up to 25% on the cost of your tickets. Then sit back, relax, and start looking forward to another great Classical Season at Sage Gateshead.

5-9 concerts save 10% 10-14 concerts save 15% 15-21 concerts save 20% 22 concerts save 25% Include our Opening Night (16 Sep) in your package and join us for a FREE glass of fizz in the interval to celebrate the new season.

How to Save GATESHEAD RESIDENTS FREE tickets available for any concert in our RNS At Home series if you live in Gateshead and have never been to a classical concert before. Gateshead classical first-timers come and hear your orchestra! Two tickets per customer.


If you are under 30 our Bar 5 scheme entitles you to a ticket for just £5 plus a FREE bottle of beer for RNS At Home (in advance) RNS Presents (on the day) RNS nights out (on the day)

17 and under (with standard-paying adult) and Unemployed (in receipt of benefit)

More benefits for package bookers SPREAD THE COST of your package over six

Tickets available for £5 in advance for RNS At Home and on the day for RNS Presents and RNS Nights Out.

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Limited tickets for all discounts - subject to availability. Please bring relevant ID.

months for packages over £200

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It’s no surprise that period performance pioneer Sir John Eliot Gardiner called his book on J S Bach Music in the Castle of Heaven. Nor that eminent British musicologist Wilfrid Mellers named his Bach and the Dance of God. The great genius of Baroque music is inextricably linked with the Almighty – and not only because he wrote so much music around religious themes. He’s also been a musical god, or at least a benevolent father (or perhaps Father), to countless musical sons and daughters down the ages – as Royal Northern Sinfonia’s 2017/18 season sets out to uncover. It’s not hard to see where those god-like comparisons come from. There’s something mysterious and slightly unknowable about the man himself (indeed, there’s plenty about his life that we’re simply not sure of). But as for what he created – well, it seems almost miraculous in the teeming complexity of its invention, but also deeply human in its compassion and the intensity of its expression.

There’s the chance to immerse yourself in both those sides of Bach’s creations during RNS’ season, with a clutch of landmark pieces that define his profoundly perceptive music. On the spiritual side, alongside a collection of Bach’s radiant choral music (11 May), there’s the jubilant seasonal celebration of his Christmas Oratorio (16 Dec), which dresses the Nativity story in all the splendours of the Baroque, as well as the majestic St John Passion (30 Mar), often called the closest Bach came to opera 4

in its achingly poignant telling of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

Far more down-to-earth are Bach’s sparkling Brandenburg Concertos – probably the most mellifluous job application in musical history – which get their own very special concert (13 Jan), paired with more recent music they’ve inspired. And Music Director Lars Vogt launches the new Piano Greats series with one of the keystones in the keyboard repertoire. In his Goldberg Variations (20 Sept), Bach transforms an innocuous-sounding theme into something truly profound through his seemingly unstoppable invention. His visionary Art of Fugue, played by the Chiaroscuro Quartet (1 May), is as full of contrapuntal complexity as anything he wrote – yet also surging with passion. It was Bach’s own offspring (he famously had 20 sons and daughters) who benefited from his musical insights – and from the kudos of having such a famous dad, of course. But they also pushed music ever onwards in search of deeper expression, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach steering us towards the music of Haydn and Mozart in his solemn D minor Sinfonia (4 Oct); Johann Christian Bach virtually establishing the modern symphony before our very eyes (and ears) in his G minor Symphony (16 Feb); and most pioneering of all, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach pushing us firmly into the Classical era with pieces such as his exquisite Oboe Concerto (10 Feb).

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But later composers, too, drew inspiration and courage from the great Baroque master’s music. Mozart, for example, in his austere and dramatic Adagio and Fugue in C minor (13 Jan), or Brahms in the great contrapuntal climax to his Fourth Symphony (20 Apr), which injects the ancient passacaglia form with a thoroughly Romantic sensibility. It’s hard to believe there was a time when Bach’s music was overlooked, but it was siblings Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn who led the 19th-century revival – which not only links together the RNS season’s two guiding themes, but also provides a chance to sample Fanny’s glittering String Quartet (1 May), shot through with nods to the Baroque genius that she and her brother so admired. Even Vaughan Williams got in on the act. His Violin Concerto (or ‘Concerto Accademico’) of 1925 is an overt homage to Bach’s beautifully lyrical Concerto for Two Violins, with which it handily shares the programme (4 Oct).

Which brings us almost bang up to date. And not surprisingly, a raft of today’s composers have taken inspiration from Bach’s deeply human genius. He’s the subject of one of the snapshots in British composer Errollyn Wallen’s perky Photography (she calls him her musical hero), and Americans Melinda Wagner and Aaron J Kernis make his exuberance and elegance very much their own (all three works are performed in the special Brandenburg evening on 13 Jan). You can hear a lot of Bach in the profoundly spiritual music of Estonian Arvo Pärt, but in his witty Wenn Bach Bienen gezüchtet hätte... (translated as ‘If Bach had been a beekeeper…’), it’s the letters of Bach’s name that he transforms into busily buzzing textures. If anyone can rise to the deep compassion and extraordinary expressiveness of Bach’s religious music, though, it’s James MacMillan. His extraordinary choral St Luke Passion (3 Mar) is an immensely powerful retelling of Christ’s crucifixion that takes its inspiration directly from Bach’s own masterly passions – and shows beyond doubt that Bach’s sons and daughters are very much still among us today. David Kettle

bach highlights RNS At Home

Wed 4 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage One J S Bach Concerto for Two Violins W F Bach Sinfonia in D minor Vaughan Williams ‘Concerto Accademico’ Sat 13 Jan | 6pm | Sage One J S Bach Brandenburg Concertos Mozart Adagio and Fugue in C minor Errollyn Wallen Photography Melinda Wagner Little Moonhead Aaron Jay Kernis Concerto with Echoes Sat 10 Feb | 7.30pm | Sage One C P E Bach Oboe Concerto in B flat Fri 16 Feb | 7.30pm | Sage One J C Bach Symphony in G minor Op.6 No.6 Arvo Pärt Wenn Bach Bienen gezüchtet hätte... Sat 3 Mar | 7.30pm | Sage One James MacMillan St Luke Passion Fri 30 Mar | 7pm | Sage One J S Bach St John Passion Fri 20 Apr | 7.30pm | Sage One Brahms Symphony No.4 Small is Beautiful

Wed 17 Jan | 8pm | Sage Two Hans Abrahamsen Schnee Fri 11 May | 8pm | Sage Two Chorus of RNS: Bach and Beyond Tue 1 May | 8pm | Sage Two J S Bach Contrapunctus 1, 4, 9 from The Art of Fugue Piano Greats

Wed 20 Sep | 7.30pm | Sage One J S Bach Goldberg Variations Christmas at Sage Gateshead

Sat 16 Dec | 7pm | Sage One J S Bach Christmas Oratorio


Mendelssohn – a lightweight? That’s the accusation that’s been thrown at the great Romantic composer almost as long as his music has been played – kicked off to some degree by a jealous Richard Wagner, who couldn’t really accept that the creations of a composer born a Jew could truly embody the values of German music. In fairness, Mendelssohn hardly helped his own case – he was a child prodigy to rival even Mozart, and unforgettable melodies seemed to simply flow out of him, in magically light, fairy music and evocative nature portraits. It’s hardly the vision of the tormented Romantic artist that many expect. But Mendelssohn’s life wasn’t without its trauma – nor his music without its stormy drama. As is ably demonstrated in his five compelling symphonies, which together form one of the backbones of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s 2017/18 season. They’re full of charm, captivating tunes and glowing harmonies, certainly, but they’re quietly revolutionary in their own way too. Even numbering them one to five is misleading: that ordering is down to the dates they were published, rather than the order in which Mendelssohn wrote them (which would give us 1, 5, 4, 2, 3). It’s far better to think of them as five highly individual masterpieces, each with its own distinctive theme and subject matter, and each with its own way of pushing forward what a symphony can express. 6

To make matters even more complicated, Mendelssohn’s First Symphony (4 Oct) wasn’t really his first. He finished it at the astonishing age of just 15 – the year before his brilliant Octet (19 Oct), now considered one of the greatest masterpieces in all chamber music. But what we call the First Symphony was preceded by no less than 12 others, which Mendelssohn wrote aged 12 to 14, and which we now term his ‘string symphonies’. The 15-year-old Mendelssohn looked on those as ‘student works’, though – and it’s significant that his First Symphony was the piece that launched his career on the international stage. It’s got its nods to Haydn and Mozart, certainly, but he injects the music with a joyfully uplifting, youthful vigour that guarantees it’s a lot of fun. With his Second Symphony (15 Oct) however, Mendelssohn set out to out-do no less a figure than Beethoven – and pretty much succeeded. In what he called his ‘Lobgesang’ or ‘Hymn of Praise’, he took the idea of a spectacular choral finale from the Ode to Joy of Beethoven’s much-loved Choral Symphony and went even further – into a fully fledged choral journey from darkness to light across nine spectacular movements, almost a mini-opera in its solo arias and dramatic scenes. It’s also here that Mendelssohn most explicitly links through to RNS’ other key theme this season: Bach & Sons & Daughters. It was Mendelssohn himself who kicked off the 19th-century revival of Bach’s Baroque masterpieces, and he

paid explicit homage to that earlier genius in his ‘Lobgesang’ – weaving together his melodic lines in his captivating webs of counterpoint, and even quoting the great Lutheran hymn Now thank we all our God so beloved of Bach. It’s a truly remarkable work, one that breaks the mould of what a symphony can express – and one that’s rarely performed due to the enormous forces it requires. For his Third Symphony (3 Nov), however, the German Mendelssohn looked to our own neighbours just north of the border for inspiration. He visited Scotland in 1829 – a trip that led to the famous Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave), probably Mendelssohn’s most famous piece. A few years later, it also inspired a grander piece, the ‘Scottish’ Symphony, full of brooding drama and sentimental songfulness, and an unmistakably Caledonian lilt to many of its tunes.

If his Third is full of stormy, sombre beauty, Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony, the ‘Italian’ (1 Dec), is all blue skies and brilliant sunshine, leaping melodies, boundless rhythmic energy and irrepressible high spirits, as befits a piece inspired by a ten-month tour of Italy. There are moments of solemnity – not least the dusky slow movement that captures the religious devotion Mendelssohn witnessed in Rome. But he called it ‘the happiest piece I have ever written’, and it’s hard to disagree. His Fifth Symphony, the ‘Reformation’ (16 Feb), might have a more serious subject – no less than the founding of the Protestant church, written as it was to mark the 300th anniversary of Luther’s Augsburg Confession. But its mighty music – full of noble melodies and clever combining of hymn tunes – is no less uplifting for all that. And with its stirring themes and panoramic scope – well, it’s a wonder anyone would dare call it lightweight.


Wed 4 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage One

Symphony No.1

Sun 15 Oct | 3pm | Sage One

Symphony No.2 ‘Lobgesang’ Fri 3 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage One

Symphony No.3 ‘Scottish’ Fri 1 Dec | 7.30pm | Sage One

Symphony No.4 ‘Italian’

Fri 26 Jan | 7.30pm | Sage One

Piano Concerto No.1

Fri 16 Feb | 7.30pm | Sage One

Symphony No.5 ‘Reformation’ small is beautiful

Thu 19 Oct | 8pm | Sage Two


Tue 1 May | 8pm | Sage Two Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet in E flat felix Mendelssohn String Quartet in E flat Classics 4 Kids

Sat 4 Nov | 2pm | Sage One

All About Mendelssohn

David Kettle

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There is another thread weaving its way through this season, though less obvious, and possibly less audible. Composers have long been fascinated by the interplay of music and numbers, and many have used them as structural devices and musical signatures, similar to the b,a,c, b-flat (h in German) employed by Bach and D e-flat (Es in German) c b-flat (h in German) used by Shostakovich. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (20 Sep) use many different number patterns. Every third variation is a canon, followed by a genre piece and an ‘arabesque’. This ternary pattern is repeated nine times, before being broken by the infamous quodlibet, using a theme previously employed by Buxtehude in a 32-part partita. Then there was the discovery of 14 additional canons in Bach’s personal copy of the Variations; musicologists speculate that the number 14 refers to the ordinal values of the letters in his name: B(2)+A(1)+C(3)+H(8) = 14. It is even argued that Bach delayed joining the society of musical sciences to ensure he could be the 14th member. As this example points out, the connection between music and numbers can take on almost mythical or even superstitious dimensions. Contrary to Bach, Olivier Messiaen, in his Quartet for the End of Time, uses patterns based on prime numbers, especially 5, 7, 11 and 13, to counter western music’s tendency to employ regular rhythms, and thereby creates a sense of tension and never-ending time (17 Jan). Haydn, in his ‘Palindrome’ Symphony (26 Jan), takes the use of patterns to a different level, writing a Minuet where the second part 8

is exactly the same as the first, but backwards. He then proceeds to do the same in the trio, yet both still make musical sense. Whole theses have been written about Mozart’s Masonic number codes in The Magic Flute, and the series of numbers in the opening scenes of The Marriage of Figaro (the measuring of the room...) and Don Giovanni (Leporello’s catalogue aria). More intriguingly, an American mathematician has argued that Mozart used the Golden Ratio in a number of piano sonatas (he analysed Sonata No.1 K279), suggesting it is no wonder that his music sounds simply perfect: it is mathematically so (25 Feb). Finally, there is the power of the number 9 when it comes to symphonies. Following Beethoven’s example, composers became wary when they approached that number. Schubert did not write another after his Great C Major (10 Feb) - although the numbering is now disputed, maybe itself proof of the power of this myth? Dvořák’s last is his New World (16 Sep). Bruckner died before completing his 9th. Mahler was so terrified that a 9th symphony would be his last, he decided to write Das Lied von der Erde instead (24 May). Convinced he had now beaten fate, he wrote his Symphony No.9 – and sadly passed away having completed just a movement of its successor. While the ‘curse of the Ninth’ seems to have been broken with Shostakovich, whose own 9th (17 Nov) was followed by 6 more, music’s connection with numbers continues to flourish. I hope you will enjoy discovering these and more this season. Thorben Dittes

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RNS At Home

RNS Presents

Sat 16 Sep | 7.30pm | Sage One

Sat 30 Sep | 7.30pm | Sage One

Lars Vogt conductor/piano Tine Thing Helseth trumpet Royal Northern Sinfonia

Vasily Petrenko conductor Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Opening Night

Copland An Outdoor Overture Barber Adagio for Strings Copland Quiet City Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E flat Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ New Season – New World. Favourites from two giants of American music alongside one of the most popular symphonic works of all time, which was of course inspired by the New World. Throw in some Haydn and a firecracker Norwegian trumpeter, and you have a truly fantastic Opening Night. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38 Fine dining available. See p36

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra philip Glass Symphony No.11 Rachmaninov Symphony No.2

The RLPO and Vasily Petrenko thrilled Gateshead audiences with their astounding Rachmaninov last season. This visit includes the composer’s most popular - and most romantic - symphony, and by complete contrast Philip Glass’ new Symphony No.11. Premiered at Carnegie Hall in January it was described as ‘full of body-rocking vitality’, with ‘climaxes that burst open in joyous excitement’. Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

RNS At Home

Wed 4 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage One Piano Greats

Wed 20 Sep | 7.30pm | Sage One

Lars Vogt: Goldberg Variations Lars Vogt piano

Schubert Four Impromptus, D899 J S Bach Goldberg Variations

What better way to launch our new Piano Greats series than with our very own Music Director Lars Vogt giving us his first solo piano recital in Sage One. His Goldberg Variations CD was a huge download success when first released - come hear it live! Tickets: £18 | £22

Book all 4 Piano Greats and receive a 10% discount

More Mendelssohn Please: Symphony No.1 Bradley Creswick director/violin Kyra Humphreys violin Royal Northern Sinfonia Britten Sinfonietta Vaughan Williams Violin Concerto ‘Concerto Accademico’ J S Bach Concerto for Two Violins W F Bach Sinfonia in D minor Mendelssohn Symphony No.1

Launching our Mendelssohn Symphony series, this concert features not only the composer’s accomplished first, but also Britten’s youthful Op.1. If you like The Lark Ascending, you should not miss the opportunity to hear Vaughan Williams’ other delightful violin concerto. Based on Bach’s sublime ‘Double’ Concerto, it is performed tonight by co-leader Kyra Humphreys, marking 20 years with RNS this season. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38


RNS At Home

Piano Greats

Sun 15 Oct | 3pm | Sage One

Wed 25 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage One

More Mendelssohn Please: Symphony No.2

Anna Fedorova: Pictures at an Exhibition

Paul McCreesh conductor Guy Johnston cello LOUISE ALDER soprano HELEN CHARLSTON mezzo soprano STUART JACKSON tenor Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia Quay Voices

Anna Fedorova piano

Elgar Cello Concerto Mendelssohn Symphony No.2 ‘Lobgesang’

A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Join star British cellist Guy Johnston for Elgar’s celebrated concerto, followed by Mendelssohn’s ‘Hymn of Praise’, an unusual ‘symphonycantata’ composed for a public celebration, which fuses three movements of symphonic writing with an oratorio section to great dramatic effect. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

Small is Beautiful

Thu 19 Oct | 8pm | Sage Two

String Octets Royal Northern Sinfonia

Mendelssohn Octet Enescu Octet for Strings

Mendelssohn’s beloved Octet is one of the most popular works of chamber music ever written. The 19-year-old Enescu took up the challenge to write a major piece for the same line-up in 1900, creating a through-composed structure which relishes the eight contrapuntal voices, yet is also imbued with plenty of energetic Romanian rhythms. Tickets: £13.50


Chopin Fantaisie in F minor Takemitsu Uninterrupted Rests Rachmaninov Prelude Op.32 No.5 Rachmaninov Prelude Op.32 No.12 Rachmaninov Prelude Op.23 No.2 Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

YouTube sensation Anna Fedorova shot to stardom with her performances of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos. Tonight experience her flair for Russian repertoire, with three of his Preludes alongside works by Chopin and Takemitsu, finishing with Mussorgsky’s astonishing virtuoso showpiece. Visit to watch the Rachmaninov videos Tickets: £18 | £22

Book all 4 Piano Greats and receive a 10% discount

RNS Nights Out

Sat 28 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage One

RNS Halloween Spooktacular Stephen Bell conductor Alasdair Malloy presenter Royal Northern Sinfonia

Time to get spooked! The creepiest music we could find, from the slightly sinister to the downright scary; from Night on the Bare Mountain and The Flying Dutchman to Thriller and music from Hitchcock classic Psycho. Prepare to have your spine chilled and your hair raised! Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

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“I’m particularly looking forward to the ‘Schubert’s Great!’ concert in February. ‘The Great’ is one of my all time favourite symphonies, and playing anything from the Viennese School of composers is always hugely exciting with Thomas Zehetmair conducting.” Sarah Roberts violin

Marney O’Sullivan timpani The Christine Swales Chair

RNS At Home

RNS Presents

Fri 3 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage One

Thu 9 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage One

Lars Vogt conductor/piano Royal Northern Sinfonia

Stéphane Denève conductor Nikolaj Znaider violin Brussels Philharmonic

More Mendelssohn Please: Symphony No.3 Glinka Valse Fantaisie Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 Mendelssohn Symphony No.3 ‘Scottish’

Two of the best-loved works in the classical repertoire – the ‘poet of the piano’ at his most deeply expressive, and Mendelssohn’s third symphony, inspired by a visit to the ruins of Holyrood Chapel whilst on a walking tour of Scotland. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

Classics 4 Kids

Brussels Philharmonic

Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 GUILLAUME Connesson Flammenschrift Prokofiev Cinderella

With a programme of trailblazing orchestral showpieces, the Brussels Philharmonic make their Sage Gateshead debut under the baton of their charismatic Music Director Stéphane Denève. By adding a world-class soloist performing possibly the most popular violin concerto, a thrilling musical portrait of Beethoven from a rising French star composer, Debussy’s evocative Prélude and Prokofiev’s whirling ballet score, they have all the ingredients for a musical night to remember. Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

Sat 4 Nov | 2pm | Sage One

All About Mendelssohn

RNS At Home

Lars Vogt conductor RUTH ROSALES presenter Royal Northern Sinfonia

Fri 17 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage One

Bring along your children and grandchildren for an afternoon of fun exploring the beautiful melodies of Mendelssohn.

Olli Mustonen conductor/piano Royal Northern Sinfonia

Join us on the Concourse from 1.15pm onwards for some free fun activities before the concert. Tickets: Children £5.50 | Adults £11

“Loved it. It feels like a door opened for me and the children into classical music.” Audience feedback, Classics 4 Kids

Mustonen’s Shostakovich Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture Mozart Piano Concerto No.26 ‘Coronation’ Borodin (arr. Sargent) Nocturne Shostakovich Symphony No.9 Pianist, conductor and composer Olli Mustonen has a very special relationship to Russian music, especially Shostakovich. He will demonstrate this tonight in an almost all-Russian programme, from the raw emotion of Tchaikovsky’s starcrossed lovers, via Borodin, to Shostakovich’s brightest symphony, which contemporary critics compared to Mozart - Shostakovich-style, of course. Appropriately, Mozart’s ‘Coronation’ concerto completes the programme. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

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RNS Nights Out

Christmas at Sage Gateshead

Thu 23 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage One Fri 24 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage One

Sun 3 Dec | 3pm & 7.30pm | Sage One

Star Wars Spectacular Stephen Bell conductor Royal Northern Sinfonia A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… The excitement reaches fever pitch as the world waits for the new Star Wars movie to be released in December ’17. Join RNS to experience the iconic movie soundtrack live in full orchestral glory. May the force be with you!

Home Alone Live with RNS BEN PALMER conductor Royal Northern Sinfonia See cult Christmas movie Home Alone on the big screen, with John Williams’ Academy Award-nominated score performed live by Royal Northern Sinfonia. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals! Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

Christmas at Sage Gateshead RNS At Home

Fri 1 Dec | 7.30pm | Sage One

More Mendelssohn Please: Symphony No.4 Julian Rachlin conductor/violin Royal Northern Sinfonia Vivaldi The Four Seasons Mendelssohn Symphony No.4 ‘Italian’

Following the huge success of his sold-out Beethoven Violin Concerto last season, Julian Rachlin is back! This time he treats us to Vivaldi’s ever-popular Four Seasons, complete with barking dog and chattering teeth, followed by Mendelssohn’s romantic response to the colour and atmosphere of Italy, described by the composer as ‘the happiest piece I have ever written’.

Fri 8 Dec | 7.30pm | Sage One

The Sixteen: Glory to the Christ Child Harry Christophers conductor The Sixteen One of the world’s great choirs, The Sixteen are familiar to many as ‘The Voices of Classic FM’. Their annual Christmas pilgrimage touring the UK’s finest cathedrals sells out year after year, and it is a privilege to welcome them to Sage Gateshead with a programme including Poulenc’s ‘Christmas Motets’ and other festive choral works from the 16th century to the present day. Tickets: £20 | £25 | £30

Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38 Fine dining available. See p36


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“Mahler’s first symphony in chamber version was epic last year, so I can’t wait for Das Lied von der Erde next May.” Peter Francomb horn The Friends of Royal Northern Sinfonia Chair

“My personal picks this season are Shostakovich 9 with Olli Mustonen, Lars Vogt’s Schubert Impromptus with Goldberg Variations, and Harry Christophers with The Sixteen.” Kyra Humphreys Co-Leader The Rathbone Investment Management Chair

Christmas at Sage Gateshead

Christmas at Sage Gateshead

Sat 16 Dec | 7pm | Sage One

Mon 1 Jan | 3pm | Sage One

Lars Vogt conductor ANNA DEVIN soprano WILLIAM TOWERS countertenor ED LYON evangelist DAVID SOAR bass Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Christmas Oratorio

New Year’s Day in Vienna Whirl your way into the New Year with waltzes and polkas from RNS. Join us on New Year’s Day to celebrate the traditional Viennese way. Book early for this one – it sells out fast! Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

J S Bach Christmas Oratorio (Parts 1, 2, 3 & 6)

With Christmas fast approaching, join us for Bach’s wonderful retelling of the nativity story with Lars Vogt, RNS and Chorus. Originally written as six separate cantatas for performance on six feast days over the festive season, tonight we hear Parts 1, 2, 3 and 6, describing the birth of Jesus, the annunciation to the shepherds, the adoration of the shepherds and the adoration of the Magi. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

Free Young Sinfonia performance 6pm

Christmas at Sage Gateshead

Fri 22 Dec | 2pm (relaxed) | 5pm Sat 23 Dec | 11am | 2pm | 5pm Sun 24 Dec | 11am | 2pm Sage One

The Snowman Alan Fearon conductor Sharon Durant presenter Royal Northern Sinfonia

A great Sage Gateshead tradition. Festive singalong followed by Howard Blake’s The Snowman on the big screen, with live performance of the score by RNS. Relaxed matinee performance added for those with autism or disabilities, and their families. Tickets: 22/23 Dec: £17.50 | £19.50 | Family £60 24 Dec: £19.50 | £22 | Family £65

Family ticket: Four tickets to include at least one adult and one child. 16 and under £2 off.

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RNS At Home

Sat 13 Jan | 6pm | Sage One

Brandenburg Fest bradley creswick director/violin Kyra Humphreys director/violin Royal Northern Sinfonia J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.3 Errollyn Wallen Photography Mozart Adagio and Fugue in C minor J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.4 Melinda Wagner Little Moonhead

J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.6 Aaron Jay Kernis Concerto with Echoes J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.5 Gorecki Harpsichord Concerto J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.2 Bruckner Adagio from String Quintet J S Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.1

Bach’s celebrated Brandenburg Concertos are full to the brim of his most recognisable themes and melodies, as well as offering solo spots for many combinations of instruments, each giving different RNS musicians the chance to shine. Come hear these iconic works afresh, in a unique immersive programme with added dinner interval, which juxtaposes the concertos with works by Bach’s many ‘spiritual’ sons and daughters - from Mozart to Errollyn Wallen. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

Fine dining available. See p.36


Small is Beautiful

RNS At Home

Wed 17 Jan | 8pm | Sage Two

Fri 26 Jan | 7.30pm | Sage One

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Lars Vogt conductor Sindy Mohamed viola Aaron Pilsan piano Royal Northern Sinfonia

Quartet for the End of Time Hans Abrahamsen Schnee Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time

A fusion of Bach canons and minimalism holds the inspiration for Abrahamsen’s monumental Schnee (Snow), which is fast becoming a contemporary classic, while Messiaen’s poignant Quartet for the End of Time remains one of the most remarkable works to have come out of World War II. Tickets: £13.50

RNS Presents

Fri 19 Jan | 7.30pm | Sage One

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

New Year New Artists

Mozart Overture to The Marriage of Figaro Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1 sally Beamish Under the Wing of the Rock Haydn Symphony No.47 ‘Palindrome’ Young Composers Competition Winner New Work

Our New Year New Artists festival returns for another year with two star soloists of tomorrow, plus the winner of our Young Composers’ Competition. Our pre-concert talk this evening will be a performance, giving you a chance to hear the three competition finalists, and to vote along with the jury. Interested in the future of classical music? Come along and find out more. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla conductor Ning Feng violin City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Sibelius The Swan of Tuonela Brahms Violin Concerto in D Bartók Concerto for Orchestra

A cor anglais lends its plangent voice to Sibelius’ mythical bird, while the oboe, rather than the violin, has the theme in the gorgeous slow movement of Brahms’ evergreen concerto. Its Hungarian-inspired third movement makes for the perfect transition to Bartók’s orchestral fireworks – a fitting close for this welcome return of the CBSO under their much-lauded new Music Director. Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50


Hold the Date

Sat 27 Jan

New Year New Artists ECHO Rising Stars recitals Our NYNA festival continues with young artists selected from the European Concert Hall Organisation’s Rising Stars contributing to performances from a diverse range of musical genres, encompassing classical, jazz, folk and indie. on sale november 2017

SAGEGATESHEAD.COM | 0191 443 4661

Tristan Gurney violin The Robinson Family Chair

“I’m looking forward to the wonderful No.9s framing this season and featuring throughout.” Marion Craig trumpet

RNS Nights Out

RNS At Home

Sun 4 Feb | 3pm | Sage One

Fri 16 Feb | 7.30pm | Sage One

New York, New York MICHAEL ENGLAND conductor Royal Northern Sinfonia Join RNS and guest vocalists for a celebration of the music of George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein, to mark what would have been the latter’s 100th year. Sit back and enjoy some of the greatest melodies ever written, including Rhapsody in Blue, Summertime, and numbers from West Side Story in the superb acoustic of Sage One. New York, New York - a helluva town! Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

More Mendelssohn Please: Symphony No.5 Clemens Schuldt conductor Alina Ibragimova violin Royal Northern Sinfonia J C Bach Symphony in G minor Op.6 No.6 Schumann Violin Concerto in A minor Arvo Pärt Wenn Bach Bienen gezüchtet hätte... Mendelssohn Symphony No.5 ‘Reformation’

Mendelssohn’s ‘Reformation’ symphony concludes our More Mendelssohn Please series, while ‘London’ Bach’s sixth, Schumann’s enigmatic Violin Concerto and Pärt’s unique If Bach had been a Beekeeper highlight J S Bach’s influence across a multitude of musical layers. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

RNS At Home

Sat 10 Feb | 7.30pm | Sage One

Schubert’s Great! Thomas Zehetmair conductor Steven Hudson oboe Royal Northern Sinfonia

Webern Symphony C P E Bach Oboe Concerto in B flat Mahler Adagietto from Symphony No.5 Schubert Symphony No.9 ‘The Great’

Bookending CPE Bach’s gallant concerto and Mahler’s audience favourite, this programme showcases two very different approaches to symphonic form. Webern’s short two movement work presents the symphony at its most concentrated, while Schubert’s majestic ‘Great’ C Major is his most expansive, a prime example of the composer’s famous ‘heavenly length’. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

SAGEGATESHEAD.COM | 0191 443 4661

Classics 4 Kids

Sat 17 Feb | 2pm | Sage One

All About the Violin RUTH ROSALES presenter Royal Northern Sinfonia Clemens Schuldt conducts Classics 4 Kids: our unique series of concerts featuring fantastic repertoire adapted from Royal Northern Sinfonia’s main series of concerts, and introduced to children in a fun and accessible way.

Join us on the Concourse from 1.15pm onwards for some free fun activities before the concert. Tickets: Children £5.50 | Adults £11


Piano Greats

RNS At Home

Sun 25 Feb | 3pm | Sage One

Fri 9 Mar | 7.30pm | Sage One

Peter Donohoe piano

Julian Rachlin conductor/violin/viola Royal Northern Sinfonia

Classic Peter Donohoe Scriabin Sonata No.2 ‘Sonata-Fantasie’ Ravel Miroirs Mozart Sonata No.1 Schumann Abegg Variations Schubert Sonata in A major D959

Peter Donohoe came to our rescue last season with an astonishing performance of Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto, so we are thrilled to invite him back in his own right with this special anniversary programme. Marking his 65th birthday this season, he traverses a wide repertoire from fantastical Scriabin to Schubert’s grand sonata. Tickets: £18 | £22

Book all 4 Piano Greats and receive a 10% discount

Rachlin’s Mozart

Beethoven Coriolan Overture Mozart Violin Concerto in A ‘Turkish’ Bruch Romance in F Mozart Symphony No.36 ‘Linz’

Having been based in the city for more than 20 years, Julian Rachlin lives and breathes Viennese music. This evening’s programme showcases him as violin soloist in Mozart’s best-loved violin concerto, as viola soloist in Bruch’s gorgeous Romance, and as conductor in Beethoven’s stormy overture and Mozart’s ‘Linz’ symphony, written for an impromptu concert in the Austrian city in just four days. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

RNS At Home

Sat 3 Mar | 7.30pm | Sage One

St Luke Passion

RNS Nights Out

hugh brunt conductor Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia Quay Voices The Girl Choristers of Newcastle Cathedral

Sat 10 Mar | 7.30pm | Sage One

James Macmillan St Luke Passion

The Great White Way meets Gateshead! Join RNS and guest vocalists for a celebration of all things Broadway, with hit songs from the hit musicals, including Chicago, Wicked, Cabaret and South Pacific.

Forming the centre-piece of a weekend dedicated to new music, MacMillan’s St Luke Passion proves that Bach’s influence remains strong to this day. The second of four planned Passion settings by Scotland’s greatest living composer, this major work unusually gives the voice of Jesus to a youth choir, thereby reflecting Christ’s otherness.

Best of Broadway MICHAEL ENGLAND conductor Royal Northern Sinfonia

Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38


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“I can’t wait for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in December. It’s one of my all time favourite pieces of music!” Sian Hicks double bass

“A season permeated by the genius of Mendelssohn will make this a memorable year for me. I have a first edition of his Songs Without Words that lives on my piano at home. In fact, I’ve been saying ‘More Mendelssohn Please’ internally for years now. Finally someone has heard me!” Michael O’Donnell oboe The Sylvia Fuller Chair

RNS Presents

RNS At Home

Fri 16 Mar | 7.30pm | Sage One

Fri 30 Mar | 7pm | Sage One

Sir Mark Elder conductor Charles Owen piano The Hallé

Harry Bicket conductor Louise Alder soprano James Hall countertenor Joshua Ellicott tenor Brindley Sherratt bass Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia

The Hallé

J S Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 in D minor J S Bach (arr. Elgar) Fantasia and Fugue in C minor Shostakovich Symphony No.8

Sir Mark Elder shares his birthday with Sir Edward Elgar, and, like Elgar and Shostakovich, has a passion for Bach. Hear Elgar’s masterful orchestration of Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue alongside one of Shostakovich’s finest works, and Bach’s first ‘piano’ concerto, one of the first concertos for keyboard ever written. Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

St John Passion

J S Bach St John Passion

A Good Friday performance of Bach’s dramatic Passion. Composed for this day in 1724, the St John is the earlier of Bach’s two surviving Passions, blending the theatrical with the devotional in a masterful account of Christ’s betrayal, trial and crucifixion. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

RNS Presents Small is Beautiful

Sun 18 Mar | 11am onwards | Sage Two

Philippe Cassard’s Complete Debussy Philippe Cassard piano

Frenchman Philippe Cassard treats us to the complete piano works of Debussy, with four recitals in a single day to mark 100 years since the composer’s death. He has performed his Debussy marathon all over the world, and it has been met with great enthusiasm by press and audiences alike, so we are delighted to welcome him to Gateshead. Hear all the Études, all the Préludes, favourites from Clair de Lune to La Cathédrale Engloutie, and much, much more... A real treat for piano-lovers. Tickets: £29 | £39 (all four concerts)

Fri 13 Apr | 7.30pm | Sage One

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Donald Runnicles conductor Steven Osborne piano BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Beethoven Egmont Overture Ravel Piano Concerto in G Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

After their successful first visit last season, the BBC SSO return with their renowned Conductor Emeritus Donald Runnicles for a programme celebrating the ‘Auld Alliance’. Steven Osborne is the soloist in Ravel’s jazz-inspired piano concerto, before Berlioz’s revolutionary programme symphony takes us from an opium-inspired ball, via a march to the scaffold, to a witches’ Sabbath. Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

SAGEGATESHEAD.COM | 0191 443 4661


Hold the Date

Classics 4 Kids

Sat 14 & Sun 15 Apr | Sage Two

Sat 21 Apr | 2pm | Sage One

A cabaret opera exploring 100 years of love in the North East and featuring arrangements of Britten’s Cabaret Songs. The project is the result of a year-long collaboration between RNS, Streetwise Opera and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

Alexandre Bloch conductor Bradley Creswick violin RUTH ROSALES presenter Royal Northern Sinfonia

RNS and Streetwise Opera

On sale January 2018

RNS At Home

Fri 20 Apr | 7.30pm | Sage One

Musical Inspiration

We return for another 45-minute long concert designed especially for children. Bring your youngsters along to hear short, bitesized sections of classical music in the right environment for them!

Join us on the Concourse from 1.15pm onwards for some free fun activities before the concert. Tickets: Children £5.50 | Adults £11

Brahms with Bloch Alexandre Bloch conductor Bradley Creswick violin Royal Northern Sinfonia Brahms Hungarian Dances Nos.2 and 7 Ravel Tzigane thierry Escaich Baroque Song Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin Brahms Symphony No.4

Hungarian gypsy spirit and the music of the Baroque are the twin inspirations pervading this progamme, which unite the otherwise unusual pairing of Brahms and Ravel. A journey from gypsy abandon via the more formal dances of Couperin, leads us to Brahms’ grand finale in the Passacaglia of the Fourth Symphony. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

Small is Beautiful

Tue 1 May | 8pm | Sage Two

Chiaroscuro Quartet Alina Ibragimova violin Pablo Hernán Benedí violin Emilie Hörnlund viola Claire Thirion cello

J S BACH Contrapunctus 1, 4, 9 from The Art of Fugue FANNY MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in E flat FELIX MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in E flat

The highly acclaimed Chiaroscuro Quartet is internationally renowned for its fresh and innovative interpretations. Tonight, they take to Sage Two for a performance of Fanny Mendelssohn’s emotional quartet, alongside Bach’s great monothematic work The Art of Fugue. Tickets: £19.50


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“I’m particularly looking forward to the chamber concert in October featuring two string octets - the Mendelssohn and the swashbuckling Enescu octet!” Jenny Chang violin

RNS Presents

Piano Greats

Sat 5 May | 7.30pm | Sage One

Wed 16 May | 7.30pm | Sage One

Opera North: Salome cast includes: Jennifer Holloway Salome Katarina Karneus Herodias Robert Hayward Jokanaan Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North R Strauss Salome

A new concert staging of a work that caused an outrage when it was first performed in 1905, and which, more than a century later, has lost none of its power to shock. From the seductive Dance of the Seven Veils to the explosive vocal parts, the violent sensuality of the score illustrates every moment of the story with unflinching vividness. Tickets: £16.50 | £25 | £31.50 | £39.50

Imogen Cooper’s Diabelli Variations Imogen Cooper piano

Haydn Sonata in C Beethoven Bagatelles Schoenberg Six Little Pieces Beethoven Diabelli Variations

Alongside Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations are considered one of the undisputed peaks of the piano repertoire. Sage Gateshead favourite Imogen Cooper has curated a bespoke programme to precede this masterpiece, ranging from sunny Haydn, via Beethoven’s last work for the piano to early Schoenberg miniatures. Tickets: £18 | £22

Book all 4 Piano Greats and receive a 10% discount Small is Beautiful

Fri 11 May | 8pm | Sage Two

Chorus of RNS: Bach and Beyond

Hugh Brunt conductor Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia Following their sell-out performance in Sage Two last season, Chorus of RNS are back showcasing their talents in a programme reflecting our main themes this season, with music by J S Bach (and one of his sons – C P E this time), Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Brahms and Sven-David Sandström. Tickets: £13.50

Small is Beautiful

Thu 24 May | 8pm | Sage Two

Das Lied von der Erde Royal Northern Sinfonia Brahms String Quintet in F Mahler (arr. Farrington) Das Lied von der Erde Brahms’ first string quintet shows his love of baroque music in a subtle integration of baroque dance movements he had originally written for the piano, while Mahler’s unusual ‘song-symphony’ is based on a set of transcendent Chinese poems. RNS will again be performing a chamber reduction perfectly suited to fill Sage Two. Tickets: £13.50


RNS At Home

Fri 1 Jun | 7.30pm | Sage One

Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Julian Rachlin conductor Jian Wang cello Royal Northern Sinfonia TCHAIKOVSKY Rococo Variations TCHAIKOVSKY Andante Cantabile Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’

Described by some as Tchaikovsky’s epitaph, the composer’s great ‘Pathétique’ symphony takes the listener on a journey across the emotional spectrum. The music darts between stormy moods, lighthearted dances and even an energetic march – before it ultimately gives way to the symphony’s, and life’s, inevitable Fate. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

RNS At Home

Sat 9 Jun | 7.30pm | Sage One

Beethoven’s Ninth Lars Vogt conductor NATALYA ROMANIW soprano sophie harmsen mezzo soprano EDGARAS MONTVIDAS tenor JAMES PLATT bass Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia Beethoven Symphony No.9

What a way to end the season! Lars Vogt returns to Gateshead for a performance of Beethoven’s mighty Ninth, the ‘symphony to end all symphonies’ with its glorious lifeaffirming finale on the text of Schiller’s Ode to Joy. Tickets: £13 | £20 | £30 | £38

SAGEGATESHEAD.COM | 0191 443 4661


“Quite frankly, it was one of the best musical events I or my family have ever attended.” Audience Member

Samling nurtures young classical singers and piano accompanists through performance and learning opportunities. From students to emerging professionals, hundreds of young artists have benefited since Samling was founded in 1996.

Samling Artist Programme, an intensive residential masterclass programme led by world-class artists, teachers and experts, attracts outstanding young singers and pianists from around the world. Samling Academy extends the reach of the professional Samling Artist Programme to young singers in the North East of England aged 14-21.

Sat 9 Dec | 1.30-4.30pm & 5.15-6pm | Sage Two

Samling Masterclass and Concert Internationally renowned soprano Joan Rodgers CBE is joined by Italian baritone Claudio Desderi and award-winning pianist James Baillieu to pass on their knowledge and experience to some of the finest emerging classical singers and pianists. This public masterclass is followed by a short concert in which eight Samling Artists show what they have learned from the masters. Tickets: £16.50 (Students £5)

Sun 29 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage Two

Samling Academy Concert Samling Academy is developing a new generation of classical singers in the North East of England through unique training and performance opportunities with world-class artists. The culmination of six days of intensive study, this concert features this year’s young Academy participants performing a mix of opera and song. Tickets: £14 30

Sat 24 Feb | 1.30-4.30pm & 5.15-6pm | Sage Two

Samling Masterclass and Concert Renowned mezzo soprano Ann Murray DBE and pianist and vocal coach Caroline Dowdle lead Samling’s prestigious Artist Programme. This public masterclass and concert features eight rising stars of classical music. Tickets: £16.50 (Students £5)

Ne wcas tle International Chamber Music Series Newcastle Chamber Music Society Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Dvořák are among the composers who have written some of their greatest music for small groups, and many top soloists such as Janine Jansen and Martha Argerich, as well as talented amateurs, go out of their way to play this rich repertoire. After over a century of searching for the perfect acoustic, the Newcastle Chamber Music Society has found it across the river at Sage Two!

The newcomers this season are the prizewinning young Castalian Quartet, formed in 2011 and already in great demand. Paul Barritt, former leader of Northern Sinfonia, brings his Zimro trio in a varied programme featuring Mozart’s ‘Kegelstatt’ trio for viola, clarinet and piano. Other ensembles are returning by popular demand - the Michelangelo Quartet includes the worldrenowned Nobuko Imai on viola and the legendary Borodin Quartet (formed in 1945, with Rostropovich as its founding cellist) returns to end the season in true Russian style.

Wed 11 Oct | 7.30pm | Sage Two

Navarra Quartet

Haydn String Quartet, Op.9 No.4 Beethoven String Quartet in F minor Schubert String Quartet in G Wed 29 Nov | 7.30pm | Sage Two

Schubert Ensemble

Mahler Piano Quartet Movement Mozart Piano Quartet No.2 Charlotte Bray Piano Quartet Chausson Piano Quartet in A Wed 31 Jan | 7.30pm | Sage Two

Zimro Trio

Milhaud Suite for Clarinet, Violin and Piano Mozart Violin Sonata in E minor Stravinsky Suite: The Soldier’s Tale Mozart Trio in E flat ‘Kegelstatt’ Gershwin Preludes for Clarinet and Piano Copland (arr. Hannan) Suite: Appalachian Spring

For a series subscription saving £34 contact the Newcastle Chamber Music Society:

Wed 28 Feb | 7.30pm | Sage Two

Telephone the secretary 0191 281 6446

Bartók String Quartet No.3 Enescu String Quartet No.2 Dvořák String Quartet in F, ‘American’

email visit

Tickets for individual concerts available from Sage Gateshead. Students aged 16 or under can bring an accompanying adult free - quote the student’s school and date of birth at the Ticket Office.

Michelangelo Quartet

Wed 28 Mar | 7.30pm | Sage Two

Castalian Quartet

Haydn String Quartet, Op.76 No.6 Britten String Quartet No.2 Schubert String Quartet in A minor Wed 9 May | 7.30pm | Sage Two

0191 443 4661

Borodin Quartet

Shostakovich String Quartet No.1 Tchaikovsky String Quartet No.1 Borodin String Quartet No.1


Lars Vogt Music Director Julian Rachlin Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Zehetmair Conductor Laureate Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a world-wide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences. The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms, this year performing Handel’s Water Music at The Stage @ the Dock in Hull - the first Prom performed outside of London since 1930. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, and recently toured to South America, China and South Korea. In recent seasons RNS has worked with conductors and soloists Christian Tetzlaff, Olli Mustonen, Reinhard Goebel, Katrina Canellakis, Nicholas McGegan, a host of world class singers including Sally Matthews, Karen Cargill and Elizabeth Watts, and also 32

collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds and John Grant. RNS has commissioned new music, recently by Benedict Mason, David Lang, John Casken and Kathryn Tickell, and in the 2015/16 season launched a new Young Composers Competition. RNS has always been actively involved in local communities and in education. This season the orchestra will perform across the region in Kendal, Middlesbrough, Carlisle, Berwick, Barnard Castle and Sunderland as well as in Gateshead. Musicians support young people learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training and through In Harmony, a long-term programme in Hawthorn Primary School in which every child in the school learns a musical instrument and plays in an orchestra.


chorus of

First Violin


Bradley Creswick The Huntington Chair

Section Leader Flute

Kyra Humphreys The Rathbone Investment Management Chair Iona Brown Anonymous

Jane Nossek

Alexandra Raikhlina Sarah Roberts

Tijmen Huisingh

Second Violin Tristan Gurney The Robinson Family Chair Jenny Chang

Sophie Appleton

Alanna Tonetti-Tieppo

Viola Michael Gerrard The Layfield Chair Malcolm Critten James Slater

Tegwen Jones

Cello Section Leader Cello The Share Family Chair Daniel Hammersley The Molly Rice Chair James Craig

Gabriel Waite

Double Bass Sian Hicks

Eilidh Gillespie The Rossiter Family Chair

Oboe Steven Hudson The Richardson Family Chair

Michael O’Donnell The Sylvia Fuller Chair

Clarinet Section Leader Clarinet Jessica Lee The Bragg Family Chair

Bassoon Stephen Reay The Pyman Family Chair Robin Kennard

Horn Peter Francomb The Friends of Royal Northern Sinfonia Chair

Trumpet Richard Martin The Alan Johnson Chair Marion Craig

Timpani Marney O’Sullivan The Christine Swales Chair

Hugh Brunt Chorus Director For 40 years Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia has been an integral, ever-present part of the RNS musical family, drawing on talented and committed singers from across the North of England. Choruses allow an orchestra to present the great, standout works from musical history: Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s passions and Haydn’s masses, and performances of these have formed the core repertoire for Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia. However its role in Sage Gateshead’s classical programme is altogether more ambitious, matching the breadth of repertoire of the orchestra itself. Regular performances of the classics are frequently placed alongside modern masterpieces. Auditions for new chorus members take place regularly. If you would like to join the Chorus of RNS, we would like to hear from you at

RNS Out and About Royal Northern Sinfonia is proud to be Classic FM’s Orchestra in North East England.

Listen out for these highlights from Classic FM’s Hall of Fame in our 2017/18 season. For the full list visit Saturday 16 September We love our home, but Royal Northern Sinfonia is proud to be the chamber orchestra of the North, and we visit others as much as we play at home. Regular orchestral concerts across the North take us to Kendal, Keswick, Middlesbrough, Ripon and Ushaw College. We collaborate annually with Huddersfield Choral Society, Ryedale Festival, Ulverston Festival and York University.

This summer, we are delighted to be partnering with the BBC Proms to perform the first Prom outside London since the 1930s in a spectacular dock-side venue in Hull, marking Hull 2017 City of Culture. Chamber music projects travel to Alwinton, Barnard Castle, Berwick, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Richmond and Yarm. Our new Baroque Christmas tour uses the wonderful church settings of Alnwick, Carlisle, Cullercoats, Darlington, Hexham, and Sunderland, as well as Wynyard Hall. Very locally in Gateshead we visit libraries, community centres and schools, to give concerts and workshops for people on their doorstep. As an artistic ambassador for the North East, Royal Northern Sinfonia is increasingly invited to fly the flag further afield, this year touring to Austria, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea and Uruguay, proving that musical excellence made in Gateshead is in demand the world over. 34

Barber Adagio for Strings (No.15) Dvořák Symphony No.9 (No.25) Saturday 30 September

Rachmaninov Symphony No.2 (No.29) Sunday 15 October

Elgar Cello Concerto (No.11) Thursday 9 November

Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 (No.16) Friday 17 November

Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture (No.74) Friday 1 December

Vivaldi The Four Seasons (No.52)

Saturday 13 January

Bach Brandenburg Concertos (No.37)

Sunday 4 February

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (No.46)

Sunday 18 March

Debussy Clair de Lune from Suite Bergamasque (No.54) Saturday 9 June

Beethoven Symphony No.9 (No.8)

Passionate about Classical music? Support your Musicians


Principal Partnerships

President Sir Thomas Allen CBE

Become a Friend of Royal Northern Sinfonia and play a part in the success of our local international orchestra Membership costs from £30 a year

Quarterly newsletter Priority booking for the Classical Season Invitations to informal Friends gatherings with recitals by orchestra members and buffet supper

Name a ‘Chair’ in our orchestra “Being Principal Partners has given us a unique insight into the orchestra and a relationship with a wonderful musician. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Partnerships from £1,500 per year Get closer to your musician Exclusive opportunities to watch the orchestra in rehearsals

10% discount on RNS CDs in the Shop

Flexible payment options

To join: Pick up a leaflet, go to Ticket Office or contact Joyce Porter, Friends Coordinator, on 0191 443 4564 or at

For more details: Contact Natalie Heath, Individual Giving Coordinator on 0191 443 5038 or at Sage Gateshead is a charity. We exist to enrich lives through music. The generosity of our many donors is vital to what we do. Registered charity number: 1087445

Complete your evening with superb fine dining on our Concourse A real treat for your taste buds! Sage Gateshead chefs have created special menus to complement three of our RNS concerts this season. Delicious food, silver service and fabulous views. Go on – indulge yourself! Sat 16 Sep | 5.15pm | Concourse

Opening Night Poached pear and blue cheese salad with a walnut dressing

Lamb rump, sweet potato crust, fondant potato, roast root vegetables with Madeira jus Profiteroles and hot chocolate sauce Coffee and petit fours

Four-course dining: £45 per person including wine

Fri 1 Dec | 5.15pm | Concourse

More Mendelssohn Please: Symphony No.4 Warm goat’s cheese, sourdough crisp, pea salad, sun-blushed tomatoes with mint dressing

Slow-cooked featherblade of beef, mustard mash, root vegetable bundles, thyme and port jus Fresh fruit tart and praline cream with raspberry coulis Coffee and petit fours

Four-course dining: £45 per person including wine

Sat 13 Jan | 4.15pm | Concourse

Brandenburg Fest Cauliflower and truffle pannacotta with Parmesan sablé Game terrine with Cumberland sauce and Melba toast Pan-fried stone bass, sugar snap peas and mango

Sage-infused cornfed chicken, five bean cassoulet, pancetta tomato with pepper coulis Green apple sorbet with apple schnapps

Baked chocolate tart with mixed berry compote and mascarpone cream Coffee and petit fours

Seven-course dining: £60 per person including wine

36 | 0191 443 4661

book ing a nd t r avel Book online at, in person at our Ticket Office (from 12.00), or by calling 0191 443 4661. If you would prefer to book by post please request a booking form from Ticket Office, or download a form from Concessions not available online. Proof of eligibility required when collecting tickets.

We regret that no refunds can be given except when an event is cancelled. However, Ticketplan refund protection is available at £2 per ticket (see website for more details). We will always attempt, where possible, to exchange unwanted tickets for concerts if we have the tickets returned to us at least 24 hours prior to the performance, for an administration fee of £2.50 (this fee does not apply to package bookers exchanging within the same season). Full terms and conditions available on our website.

Take the Bus

Catch the bus to selected concerts at Sage Gateshead, at just £8 return.

Buses run from:

HEXHAM via Chollerford, Wall, Acomb, Eastwood and Corbridge

ALNWICK via Amble, Warkworth, Felton, Morpeth, Wideopen and Gosforth CARLISLE via Brampton

To book, call Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661 or visit

Free Metro Travel

Thanks to the generosity of Nexus, you can travel on the Metro to and from Gateshead for free, 2 hours before and after the concert. Simply retain your concert ticket for inspection on the Metro.

Car Park

Sage One seating plan price zones

There is a car park at the rear of the building with lift access and priority spaces for blue badge holders. Charges apply.


Thank You

public funding

Sage Gateshead values its partnerships with individuals, trusts and foundations, companies and its core revenue supporters Arts Council England, North East and Gateshead Council. As a registered charity this support is vital to allow us to continue and develop our work.

Platinum corporate Partners

Gold corporate Partners

Trust and Foundation Supporters

The Barbour Foundation The John S Cohen Foundation The Foyle Foundation The Hadrian Trust Heritage Lottery Fund The Kavli Trust The Monument Trust PRS for Music Foundation The Shears Foundation The Sir James Knott Trust The Vardy Foundation The WA Handley Charitable Trust Youth Music

Silver corporate Partners

Project Supporters

Newcastle City Council, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Darlington Borough Council, DCSF Music Manifesto and Music and Dance Scheme Bronze CORPORATE Partners


Thank you to all our Principal Partners for supporting the work of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Founding Patrons The Sage Group plc The Barbour Foundation Northern Rock Foundation The Garfield Weston Foundation Joan and Margaret Halbert founding Endowment and 10th Birthday endowment Donors The Shears Foundation The David Goldman Programme The Go-Ahead Group plc Northern Arts Board Fenwick Ltd Northumbrian Water The Barbour Foundation

Northern Elevator Limited, O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions, Sanderson Weatherall, Solution Group, Switch Gas & Electric, ZeroLight

The Vardy Foundation Stuart Halbert Foundation Anne Reece Clore Duffield Foundation Mr & Mrs M Howard Bowland Charitable Trust Ms W Oloman The Sir James Knott Trust Greggs plc The David Boardman Trust Roland Cookson Fund 1989 Willan Trust 400 Club Christopher Beadle and Colin Ferguson Cunard

Christopher French Mr J Cuthbert Gillian Dickinson Charitable Trust John Bell Charitable Trust John and Florence Adamson Charitable Trust Northern Arts Board Mr Anthony Sargent CBE The Squires Foundation Lord Falconer of Thoroton Legacy Bequests Stuart Ayre Joyce Marshall Vivien Mary Moor

Baroque Christmas by

Candlelight Seasonal instrumental favourites in beautiful atmospheric settings

St Michael and all Angels, Alnwick | Thu 7 Dec | 7.30pm

St Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw, Durham | Thu 7 Dec | 7.30pm St Cuthbert’s Church, Darlington | Fri 8 Dec | 7.30pm St George’s Church, Cullercoats | Sat 9 Dec | 7.30pm Hexham Abbey | Tue 12 Dec | 7.30pm

St Cuthbert’s Church, Carlisle | Tue 12 Dec | 7.30pm Sunderland Minster | Wed 13 Dec | 7.30pm

Tickets: £15 | under-18s £5 | 0191 443 4661

18 / 7 1 20 n a so e

Se day 1 jun e l ca thurs y 10 jun i s s ale turda a s l n C ges o le sa a sa pack ral on gene

Founding Patrons The Sage Group plc The Barbour Foundation Northern Rock Foundation The Garfield Weston Foundation Joan and Margaret Halbert

/royalnorthernsinfonia @rnsinfonia Photos Š Ben Hughes

SAGEGATESHEAD.COM | 0191 443 4661

To visit our classical season website, simply download and open a QR code reader app, point the camera at the code, and you’re done!

Classical Season 2017/18  
Classical Season 2017/18