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Welcome to Sage Gateshead’s 2015/16 Classical Season With Royal Northern Sinfonia
Make the most of your journey and save Sage Gateshead’s Classical Season packages are a great way to enjoy classical music. You can select your favourite Hall One concerts and sort your classical experience for the rest of the year.
In addition, you will also enjoy: A choice of payment options including a six month payment plan Free exchanges within the 2015/16 season including seat exchanges Special offers and promotions
5-8 concerts - save 10% 9-12 concerts - save 15% 13-19 concerts - save 20% 20+ concerts - save 25% Look out for the P in the listings to create your package.
Priority booking period for the 2016/17 season
Key to Concert Series Early Encounters E M Reclaiming Mozart S Sibelius N Musical North P Package Concert
To take up these offers contact Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661 or book online at sagegateshead.com. Tickets go on general sale Thursday 21 May 2015.
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Here’s one for the classically curious... Tickets for Under 30s Follow these three steps for an austerity-dodging arts fix. Step 1: Get your Bar 5 ticket for a fiver from our Ticket Office for one of the concerts listed Step 2: Enjoy an evening of music performed by Britain’s leading chamber orchestra Royal Northern Sinfonia Step 3: Present your ticket at the bar and sip on a FREE tasty bottle of Heineken
For more information, visit
Fri 18 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One Opening Concert Thu 22 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall One Lindberg’s Sibelius Three Fri 30 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart’s Vienna Fri 22 Jan | 7.30pm | Hall One New Year, New Artists: The Virtuosi Fri 5 Feb | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart Mass in C Minor Thu 3 Mar | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart in Paris Fri 25 Mar | 7pm | Hall One Bach Mass in B Minor Thu 5 May | 7.30pm | Hall One Mustonen’s Sibelius Six Fri 10 Jun | 7.30pm | Hall One Finale: Vogt’s Sibelius Seven
Tickets subject to availability; proof of age may be requested on arrival.
MUSICAL JOURNEYS... A very warm welcome to the musical adventure that is our 2015/16 classical season! Lars Vogt and I take great pleasure in being your musical travel agents, having composed itineraries that take in sailing along Norway’s dramatic fjords, crossing Finland’s peaceful lakes, enjoying a carriage ride through the backstreets of Salzburg and Vienna, and visiting Baroque palaces and churches in Germany. Each trip is accompanied by the most talented musical guides we could find.
Join us for an unforgettable journey through the classical landscape and let’s discover many musical treasures along the way!
Thorben Dittes Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme
“Conducting feels like flying, with the force and energy of the music helping you to uplift the musicians around you.” Whenever I have worked with Royal Northern Sinfonia, be it as pianist or now more recently as conductor, there has been an instant connection – our mutual sense of curiosity and desire to make music and go to the core of the scores of the great masters to create fantastic experiences. Now I am thrilled to be the Music Director of this quite unusual group of wonderful and highly creative musicians, and together we embark on a journey that will cover a broad range of the music I love, and that I know you will love too. The classical world is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Finland’s most prolific composer, Jean Sibelius, this year and here in Gateshead is no exception! I can’t wait to conduct his incredible final symphony and the outstanding Violin Concerto, with my dear friend and internationally acclaimed violinist Christian Tetzlaff. There’s something electrifying about
discovering music that is new and lifechanging – whether it be a sensational new artist or hearing a truly inspirational work. This season, I will be welcoming to the stage a host of young virtuosos who I know will have a great impact on their audiences in the decades to come. I will also explore some of the greatest Romantic works, from Grieg’s Piano Concerto to Dvořák’s Cello Concerto,with Christian’s sister, and fellow trio member, Tanja Tetzlaff, one of the truly amazing cellists of our time. I know clarinettist Sharon Kam will dazzle you in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto! This season has plenty for the musically curious, and I can’t wait to be a part of it! Lars Vogt
ars Vogt first came to public attention when he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition. During his prestigious career Lars has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony and Orchestre de Paris. He has collaborated with prestigious conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Claudio Abbado and Andris Nelsons. His special relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic has continued with regular collaborations following his appointment as their first ever ‘Pianist in Residence’ in 2003/4.
In Europe he performs concertos with the Orchestre Philharmonique de France, Vienna Symphony, Czech Philharmonic and Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, as well as the London Philharmonic under Yannick NézetSéguin both in London and on tour in Germany. In North America he appears with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with Boston Symphony Orchestra under their new Music Director Andris Nelsons. He is a key soloist in the Deutsche kammerphilharmonie Bremen’s Brahms cycle conducted by Paavo Järvi with performances of the Brahms piano concertos at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and the Tanglewood and Lanaudière Festivals, as well as in Tokyo’s Opera City Hall. He returns to Japan at the end of the season for concerts with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniel Harding.
Lars Vogt enjoys a high profile as a chamber musician, and in June 1998 he founded his own chamber festival in the village of Heimbach near Cologne. Known as ‘Spannungen’, the concerts take place in an art-nouveau hydroelectric power station. Its huge success has been marked by the release of ten live recordings on EMI. Lars Vogt is a passionate advocate of making music an essential life force in the community. In 2005 he established a major educational programme ‘Rhapsody in School’ which brings his colleagues to schools across Germany and Austria, thereby connecting children with inspiring world-class musicians. Lars Vogt is also an accomplished and enthusiastic teacher, and in 2013 was appointed Professor of Piano at the Hannover Conservatory of Music, succeeding Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, his former teacher and close friend. As an EMI recording artist Lars Vogt made fifteen discs for the label, including the Hindemith Kammermusik No.2 with the Berlin Philharmonic/ Claudio Abbado and the Schumann, Grieg and first two Beethoven Concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle, who has described him as “one of the most extraordinary musicians of any age group that I have had the fortune to be associated with”. Recent recordings include solo Schubert for CAvi-music and Mozart concertos with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra for Oehms, a solo Liszt and Schumann disc on the Berlin Classics label and Mozart sonatas with Christian Tetzlaff for Ondine.
Place of birth: Düren, Germany Who is your orchestral hero/ine? Carlos Kleiber, Simon Rattle What would be your three desert island discs? Strauss Four Last Songs (Jessye Norman), Bach cantatas (Ton Koopman), Mozart (too hard to decide on anything… can I take the box of complete works?), Rachmaninov Vespers Do you play any other instruments? I used to play the clarinet as a kid, not anymore… What is your favourite concerto? Too hard to decide. Maybe ultimately Mozart K595? But they are all so incredible! Beethoven Four... Schumann… Brahms...
madeus has got a lot to answer for. Peter Shaffer’s original play on Mozart’s struggles and achievements, and his relationship with Salieri – first performed in 1979 – began as a sensitive study of the nature of genius. But by the time Miloš Forman got his hands on it for his 1984 movie, it had become a sensationalised soap opera that depicted Mozart as a farting, wisecracking, insolent bad boy, almost unaware of his own genius. It brought Mozart and his music to millions of new listeners worldwide, and won eight Oscars in the process – but it also painted an exaggerated picture of the composer that is difficult to shake.
On the other hand, visit Prague, Vienna or Salzburg and you’ll see the Mozart tourist industry in full flow, with the composer’s image on all manner of merchandise. Mozart balls – or, to give them their proper name, Echte Salzburger Mozartkugel – are a tempting confection wrapped in colourful foil bearing Mozart’s image that glint from the windows of sweet shops in Salzburg. But they have no connection with that city’s most famous musical son. There’s nothing wrong, of course, with a bit of movie escapism or a tasty chocolate treat. But it’s no wonder we’re confused about one of the world’s greatest musicians. We seem to be trying to reconcile two different Mozarts – ‘bad boy’ Mozart who sticks two fingers up at authority, and ‘chocolate box’ Mozart who receives his charming music as if through divine inspiration. The truth about Mozart, of course, is far more complex. You can’t escape the astonishing facts of his early life and talents – he learnt the harpsichord from the age of three, began composing at five, had already gained a reputation as a musical prodigy by six, and had written his first opera at 12. He wrote his First Symphony (Sun 11 Oct) at the age of eight, and by the age of 17 he’d matured enough to write the stormy Symphony No.25 (Fri 18 Sep), whose rhythmic urgency and emotional directness probe deeply into the human heart.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart But with such remarkable early achievements, it’s tempting to think it all came easily. That’s far from the truth. His sketches show that he worked damned hard at crafting and perfecting his music. And in a work such as the Symphony No.31 ‘Paris’ (Thu 3 Mar), for example, he threw everything in his compositional arsenal at his biggest, grandest, most dramatic symphony to date, calculated to make his 1778 visit to the French capital unforgettable. Elsewhere, other myths abound. Mozart’s Requiem (Fri 10 Jun) has attracted them like no other work: commissioned by a mysterious stranger, it ended up as the mass for Mozart’s own death after he was poisoned by arch-rival Salieri, leaving the work unfinished. That last point is true – what we hear is a completion by Mozart’s pupil Süssmayr – but it was a messenger from Count Walsegg-Stuppach, an acquaintance of Mozart, who asked him to write the piece, and it’s enormously unlikely that Salieri poisoned him. The Clarinet Concerto (Sat 26 Sep) is the final important work that Mozart managed to complete before his death, and it’s often dubbed ‘valedictory’ – but it’s easy to think that when we know he died just a couple of months after writing it. Any sadness or nostalgia in the work is more than offset by its vigour and verve. Even Mozart’s remarkable last three symphonies are often thought to be his message to posterity, but they are nevertheless the work of a professional, written to be performed and to earn him money. The stormy Symphony No.40 (Fri 20 May) might seem to reflect the parlous financial circumstances of Mozart’s final years, but it was written at the same time as
the warm, humorous Symphony No.39 and the grand, imposing Symphony No.41 ‘Jupiter’ (Sun 6 Dec) – hardly the products of a worn-down composer. And while we’re on Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’, that symphony is often used as the perfect example of Mozart’s music being joyous and ‘easy to get’. Yet in its time, it was considered difficult and complex – as is the profusion of melody and ambitious scale of his Symphony No.33 ‘Prague’ (Fri 29 Apr). Opinions on Mozart have always said more about their own times than they’ve said about him. He’s always been admired, of course – not least by fellow composers, many of whom have taken inspiration from his music in aspects of their own. Tchaikovsky was a big fan, and his Mozartiana (Sun 24 Apr) is an affectionate reworking of four lesser-known Mozart piano works; French composer Jacques Ibert’s Hommage à Mozart (Sun 11 Oct) is a similarly affectionate, witty tribute written to mark the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s birth; and even Richard Strauss’ Duet-Concertino for clarinet, bassoon and strings (Sun 24 Apr) has a Mozart-inspired Classical lyricism and simplicity. Behind ‘bad boy’ Mozart, ‘chocolate box’ Mozart, and any other imagined idea of the composer, though, lies Mozart’s profound humanity. It’s there in his evident affection for all his opera characters, good, bad or otherwise, and it’s there in his touchingly sincere choral music – including Exsultate, Jubilate (Fri 6 Nov) and the grand C Minor Mass (Fri 5 Feb). It’s there, too, in the witty egalitarianism of his social music, whether that’s the generous sharing of the musical spotlight in his Quintet for Piano and Wind, K452 (Thu 24 Sep) or the joyful exchanges of his Concerto for Two Pianos (Fri 3 Jun), written for himself and his sister to perform. Most of all, though, it’s there right across his enormously sophisticated music that draws on a huge variety of human experience, yet makes it all sound effortless. As Royal Northern Sinfonia’s 2015/16 season encourages us, it’s time to leave behind ‘bad boy’ and ‘chocolate box’ Mozart, and to reclaim him in all his complexity, diversity and profound humanity. Notes by David Kettle
Fri 18 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One Opening Concert with Mozart Symphony No.25 Thu 24 Sep | 8pm | Hall Two Lars Vogt Chamber Sat 26 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One Classic FM: Mozart Meets the North Sun 11 Oct | 3pm | Hall One My Mozart Matinee One Fri 30 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart’s Vienna Fri 6 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall One Exsultate, Jubilate Sun 6 Dec | 7.30pm | Hall One Classic FM: Miloš with Mozart Symphony No.41 ‘Jupiter’ Fri 5 Feb | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart Mass in C Minor Wed 10 Feb | 8pm | Hall Two RNS Up Close: Timothy Orpen Thu 3 Mar | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart in Paris Sun 24 Apr | 3pm | Hall One My Mozart Matinee Two Fri 29 Apr | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart in Prague Fri 20 May | 7.30pm | Hall One The ‘Great G Minor Symphony’ Fri 3 Jun | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart and his Contemporaries Fri 10 Jun | 7.30pm | Hall One Finale: Vogt’s Sibelius Seven with Mozart Requiem
SIBELIUs and the
ean Sibelius and Gustav Mahler, those two giants of the lateRomantic symphony, did actually meet. Just once, in Helsinki in 1907, when Mahler was passing through to conduct his own Fifth Symphony. They didn’t think much of each other’s music, it has to be said, but as people they seemed to get on. Sibelius later recalled a stroll they took to discuss matters musical: ‘When our conversation touched on the essence of the symphony, I maintained that I admired its strictness and the profound logic that creates an inner connection between all the motifs. Mahler had a wholly opposite opinion: “No, the symphony must be like the world! It must contain everything!”’ Mahler’s unapologetically expansive symphonies more than live up to this ambition. But that exchange encapsulates not just starkly contrasting views on symphonic music, but also a wholesale collision of two musical worlds – Mahler’s Germanic world of musical tradition stretching back to Beethoven and Bach, and Sibelius’ fresh-thinking, Nordic world, here determined to distil music down to its expressive essentials. And it’s that free-spirited northern approach to music that Royal Northern Sinfonia sets out to explore – including a complete survey of the great Finnish composer’s remarkable seven symphonies, alongside provocative music by other northern composers. Proud of their separation from the world’s conventional centres, they do things differently up north.
Ironically, Sibelius started off as an ardent Germanophile. He studied in Berlin and Vienna for three years, and had a deep love for Wagner, although he later called that German composer’s music “disgusting, pompous and vulgar”. The compliment was returned, by German theorist Theodore Adorno, who icily wrote: “If Sibelius is good, this invalidates the standards of musical quality that have persisted from Bach to Schoenberg.” It didn’t help that Sibelius had rather naively accepted the Goethe Medal from Hitler’s Germany on his 70th birthday in 1935, something that made post-war German musicians more than a little uncomfortable (the Berlin Philharmonic, for example, astonishingly didn’t play the Finn’s Third Symphony until 2009). Turning his back on his early love of German music, Sibelius might at one stage have focused his musical creativity on a patriotic promotion of traditional Finnish culture – in the stirring Finlandia (Sun 22 Nov), for example. But he soon looked elsewhere for influences – eastwards to Tchaikovsky, for example, in the lush First Symphony (Sat 13 Feb) or the glowing melodies of the Violin Concerto (Fri 27 Nov). It might be a cliché to say you can hear the forests, lakes and chilly expanses of his homeland in Sibelius’ music, but he hardly hid the fact in works with titles such as Nightride and Sunrise or Tapiola, inspired by the great Nordic forest spirit. Nor in the majestic final movement of his Fifth Symphony (Sun 22 Nov), whose unforgettable horn melody was inspired by Sibelius watching the flight of sixteen swans. “One of the great experiences of my life!” He wrote in his diary. His Nordic nonconformity is also there in his radical rethinking of what a symphony can be: from the concentration and wit of the Third Symphony (Thu 22 Oct) to the austere purity of the Sixth Symphony (Thu 5 May), he shrinks melodies down to small fragments of tune, turned over and over, only to erupt in huge surges of brass. And while Mahler thought nothing of putting his audience through two hours of symphonic
music, Sibelius got more slimline. In his final, Seventh Symphony (Fri 10 Jun), Sibelius concentrates all his expressive force into a single, intense, 20-minute movement, in which every note counts. Danish composer Carl Nielsen trod a similarly individual path in his rugged, lyrical music, viewing his pieces almost as theatrical offerings, with individual instruments playing roles. It’s something ably demonstrated in his Flute Concerto (Fri 18 Mar), which pairs its soloist with such unlikely partners as bass trombone and timpani. Edvard Grieg, like Sibelius, looked homeward for inspiration: his justly famous Piano Concerto (Fri 18 Sep) put Norway on the musical map with its lively, folk-inspired melodies, but although the equally famous Morning from his Peer Gynt Suite (Sat 26 Sep) might seem to evoke glassy fjords and ice-capped peaks, it was actually written to describe a sunrise in Morocco, where the anti-hero of Ibsen’s play has been abandoned by his friends. Even Sweden – in Alfvén’s folksy, midsummer-inspired Swedish Rhapsody (Fri 8 Apr) – gets a look-in.
directness, blinding contrasts and theatricality are at the heart of his powerful music, as displayed in the hypnotic Insula Deserta (Fri 18 Sep). Magnus Lindberg, one of the world’s most performed contemporary composers, has – like his compatriot Sibelius – forged a distinctively individual path, but here it’s with his sensual, propulsively rhythmic music, including his hugely virtuosic Clarinet Quintet (Wed 13 Apr). There was a time when Sibelius’ music was considered the last, tired gasp of Romanticism, but not any more. Now we view him as modern through and through, offering a distinctively lyrical, searching alternative to the symphonic mainstream. There’s a danger, especially in this 150th anniversary year, that the great Finn might overshadow his Nordic colleagues, but the richness of northern music, as well as its bloody-minded individuality, still offers so much to discover. Notes by David Kettle
Fri 18 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One Opening Concert Thu 22 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall One Lindberg’s Sibelius Three Sun 22 Nov | 3pm | Hall One Classic FM: Venzago’s Sibelius Five Fri 27 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall One Tetzlaff’s Sibelius
Sat 13 Feb | 7.30pm | Hall One Elder’s Sibelius One
This iconoclastic individualism has continued with more recent northern composers. Estonian Arvo Pärt spent years struggling against the Communist system with angry, dissonant music before landing upon his unmistakable ‘tintinnabuli’ style, which seems to break music down to the rawest of ingredients – a few bare chords, a gentle twist of melody, all ringing like bells. His passionate Fratres and intensely moving Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten (Wed 13 Apr) pack an enormous spiritual punch through the simplest of means. Pärt’s compatriot Erkki-Sven Tüür couldn’t be more different: he used to front a prog rock band, and raw
Thu 25 Feb | 9pm | Hall Two Late Mix: New Music from the North Fri 18 Mar | 7.30pm | Hall One Zehetmair’s Sibelius Four Fri 8 Apr | 7.30pm | Hall One Petrenko’s Sibelius Two Wed 13 Apr | 9pm | Hall Two Late Mix: Pärt and Tavener Thu 5 May | 7.30pm | Hall One Mustonen’s Sibelius Six Fri 10 Jun | 7.30pm | Hall One Finale: Vogt’s Sibelius Seven
Fri 9 Oct | 8pm | Hall Two Avison Ensemble Fri 20 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall Two Dunedin Consort Sat 19 Dec | 7pm | Hall One Messiah Fri 19 Feb | 9pm | Hall Two OAE: the Night Shift Fri 25 Mar | 7pm | Hall One BACH Mass in B Minor
ne of the marvels of our Hall One is the incredibly clear sound, which provides a great listening experience whatever the forces are on stage, from a solo piano to a full orchestra with chorus. An area of classical music which particularly benefits from this is the world of early music, especially when performed on period instruments or in a historically informed style, where the difference made by gut strings or Baroque bows and phrasing really stands out when it can be heard clearly. While we have had visiting period ensembles at Sage Gateshead before, this season I have grouped the early music concerts together under their own strand, Early Encounters, and they form one of our musical journeys. As always, Royal Northern Sinfonia is at the heart of our programmes, and their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah will this year be directed by Baroque specialist Harry Bicket, Music Director of the English Concert. Together with an acclaimed quartet of soloists and the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia, he will ensure a stylish and authentic performance in December. The Orchestra will be involved in a second performance of Baroque choral splendour in the form of Bach’s great Mass in B Minor. Taking place on Good Friday under the direction of choral expert Paul McCreesh, this concert will feature a great group of early music soloists, and the massed forces of the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia and Sage Gateshead’s regional youth choir, Quay Voices. Bach, a devout Lutheran, is especially renowned for his setting of cantatas, mostly in German. This mass is Bach’s only full-length mass setting in Latin suitable for catholic liturgy, with many scholars suggesting it was written to gain a court appointment with a catholic Saxon monarch. Henry Purcell is another composer with strong royal connections who composed mainly in his native tongue. He will be the focus of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s visit in February, when they take over Hall Two for one of their ‘rule-breaking’ gigs: The Night Shift. This unusual, informal concert format has been very successful in London at connecting younger audiences with classical music and
Charles Avison period instrument performance, and we look forward to welcoming them to Sage Gateshead. In November, we feature another of Bach’s very select works in Latin, his popular Magnificat, which will be the highlight of the Dunedin Consort’s concert in Hall One. This Scottish Baroque group, under the inspirational direction of John Butt, is showered with awards whenever they issue a new disc, most recently the St John Passion and the Mozart Requiem. Their visit to Gateshead will coincide with the release of their new recording of the Magnificat, so be prepared to be wowed by a very distinctive consort performance of Bach’s great work. The other main item on the Dunedin Consort’s programme is Handel’s choral masterpiece Dixit Dominus. As a native German claimed by England as its own, Handel also features prominently in the opening concert of the Early Encounters series, given by the Avison Ensemble in October. The programme focuses on the more intimate sound world of the Baroque concerto in England. In fact, our Early Encounters series will commence with works by John Garth and Charles Avison, both from the North of England. I hope you agree that there could hardly be a better way to set off on our musical journey, than by starting on our own doorstep. I look forward to seeing you along the way! Thorben Dittes Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme
series Classic FM is the world’s most popular classical music radio station, and we’re delighted to share Royal Northern Sinfonia’s music-making with our 5.6 million listeners every week. If you’re new to classical music, this very special series of concerts at Sage Gateshead offers the perfect introduction to some of the most popular repertoire – and if you’re already familiar with works like Elgar’s Enigma Variations or Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, here’s your opportunity to discover them afresh in the wonderful acoustic of Hall One. Royal Northern Sinfonia is Classic FM’s Orchestra in the North East of England and, every week, more people hear their recordings on Classic FM than via any other broadcast medium. We’re really proud of our partnership, and we share Royal Northern Sinfonia’s commitment to making classical music accessible to as wide an audience as possible, across the North East and beyond. Over the last few years, our promotion of Royal Northern Sinfonia to our UK-wide listenership has shared the ensemble’s story with more people than ever before, and we’re thrilled to be working with the team at Sage Gateshead for what promises to be a very special new season.
Sat 26 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One Mozart Meets the North Sun 22 Nov | 3pm | Hall One Venzago’s Sibelius Five Sun 6 Dec | 7.30pm | Hall One Miloš Sun 31 Jan | 3pm | Hall One John Wilson’s Bohemia Sun 28 Feb | 3pm | Hall One John Wilson’s Russia Sat 2 Apr | 7.30pm | Hall One RACHLIN’S TCHAIKOVSKY Sun 15 May | 3pm | Hall One John Wilson’s England
On behalf of the whole Classic FM family, I very much hope you enjoy the Classic FM Series. Sam Jackson Managing Editor, Classic FM
Sunday Afternoons with John Wilson John Wilson returns for his own musical journey as part of his Classic FM Sunday matinee series. From the Russian giants to the folk-infusing Bohemians, this series is a whistle-stop tour of the greats, with the ever-fabulous conductor and presenter.
Julian Rachlin Working with a chamber orchestra like Royal Northern Sinfonia is a real treat for any performer – there is a real closeness on stage that brings about a lot of flexibility, and a sense of performing ‘in the moment’. Every movement and nuance can reveal something new, which is particularly exciting in a live performance! I’ll be taking you on some of my own musical journeys: my Late Mix concert in September dips into a number of countries – from Shostakovich’s Russia all the way to Piazzolla’s warm Argentine climes. I’m also looking forward to an all-Tchaikovsky programme in the New Year, where I’ll be performing one of my favourite concertos, as well as joining the Mozart journey with his brooding Symphony No.40. Royal Northern Sinfonia is a real musicians’ orchestra, and I know that together we will create something really special. Julian Rachlin Principal Guest Conductor Place of birth: Vilnius, Lithuania Who is your orchestral hero/ine? There are so many! Carlos Kleiber was the greatest conductor of musical history. But I could name many more: Bach, Mozart, Bernstein, Rostropovich and Horowitz. What are your desert island discs? Dvořák Cello Concerto with Rostropovich and Herbert Von Karajan Bach Goldberg Variations with Glen Gould, Mozart Mass in C Minor, K427 Do you play any other instruments? I have more than enough on my hands with the violin, viola AND conducting! I like to cook, play tennis and swim – sadly, I only have 24 hours in a day, and eight of those are spent sleeping. What is your favourite concerto? Beethoven Violin Concerto – the king of concertos. It is incredibly simple – just motifs, but yet achieves absolute eternal genius. Every bar is perfectly composed, not just architecturally but emotionally.
Julian Rachlin captivates international audiences with his distinctive musicianship as violinist, violist, and more recently, as conductor. Recent and upcoming conducting engagements include collaborations with the Czech Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Prague Philharmonia, Düsseldorf Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Moscow Virtuosi, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and Salzburg Camerata. As part of a recent tour with the English Chamber Orchestra, he made his acclaimed conducting debut at the Vienna Musikverein. Recent highlights as violin soloist include those with the London Philharmonic and Andrey Boreyko, Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bavarian Radio Symphony and Mariss Jansons, Munich Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Yuri Temirkanov, China Philharmonic and Long Yu, Detroit Symphony and Leonard Slatkin, Toronto Symphony and Juanjo Mena, and Boston Symphony with Alan Gilbert. Following his European tour with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Riccardo Chailly, he will next tour in North America with the Orchestre National de France and Daniele Gatti, as the orchestra’s 2015/16 Artist in Residence. Julian Rachlin plays the 1704 ‘ex Liebig’ Stradivari, on loan courtesy of the Dkfm. Angelika Prokopp Privatstiftung.
TETZLAFF/tetzlaff/vogt This season we welcome not just one, but two Tetzlaffs! One of the most prolific brother-sister virtuoso pairings in the industry join Royal Northern Sinfonia on journeys throughout the season. Christian Tetzlaff is one of the most in-demand, award-winning violinists. A regular soloist with the London Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, his performance style reveals an innate musicality, and a real ability to communicate the emotional range of the greats. Christian joins Lars for Sibelius’ flighty tour de force, his Violin Concerto.
And now for something completely different... Classical music need not be ‘classical’. The Late Mix series breaks from the traditional orchestral offering, with music primarily composed in the last sixty years, born out of the counterculture movement of the 60s. Composers began to question musical norms, experimenting, and creating new sound worlds, engaging with the world in a way only made possible by the emerging technology and social revolution. So why engage with this new music? Never in such a short period of time has music evolved so fast, exploring the full spectrum of the human agenda. From the likes of Magnus Lindberg and his angularity, we see the alchemy of harmonic experiment and chaos, with a constant movement from tension to release – it is thoroughly modern music, embodying the everyday. On
Tanja Tetzlaff has similarly enjoyed an international career, working with the likes of Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniel Harding. A brilliant communicator of the Scandinavian and Germanic traditions, she has enjoyed a wideranging career as both soloist and in chamber ensembles. Tanja joins Lars for Dvořák’s yearning Cello Concerto. Along with Lars Vogt, they form the Tetzlaff/Tetzlaff/Vogt trio delivering outstanding performances throughout the world, conveying mutual musical values and a clear friendship. Their first studio recording of Brahms’ piano trios is released in Summer 2015, and they will perform the first of the three in a programme alongside Dvořák’s fourth trio ‘Dumky’ and Schumann’s Trio No.2.
the other hand, there is the subtle yet fascinating minimalist movement led by the likes of Steve Reich, John Adams and, featuring this season, Terry Riley: the forefathers of modern dance music heard the world over and often topping the charts. This is also music that looks back and interprets our past in a contemporary voice. Piazzolla took the latino dance rhythms of his native Argentina and ascribed them to classical instrumentation. Pärt takes the deep and ritualistic, and spins it out into tender and often rich minimalist structures. Contemporary music is well worth the investment – sometimes it can be a challenge, but there are always so many magic, enlightening moments that speak in a very human voice. Harriet Mayhew Marketing & Communications Manager
New Year: New Artists Young and emerging artists have been a key feature of the programme and work of Sage Gateshead since the building opened its doors over ten years ago. This season, we are creating a special focus week in January 2016 to highlight this area of our work, across several musical genres, and to bring attention to the special quality the best young performers can bring to established classics and new works alike. The week will commence with a weekend of chamber music performances, with the best emerging chamber artists from across Europe, as selected by Europe’s leading concert halls. Sage Gateshead is proud to be a member of the prestigious ECHO network of major European Concert Halls. Every year the artistic directors select a handful of emerging chamber musicians and ensembles who are on the cusp of major careers for the Rising Stars series, and these are then presented at halls across the network, ranging from Vienna’s Musikverein and the new Philarmonie de Paris to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Barbican. This year’s selection is particularly diverse, featuring a pianist from Luxembourg, a cellist and a harpist from the Netherlands, a German baritone and a French string quartet. Our focus weekend will showcase all of them in recital, with glorious chamber music repertoire ranging from Rameau to
Rachmaninov, and including short new commissions by some of Europe’s leading composers, especially written for the Rising Stars. But the concerts are only the start. There will be free performances on the Concourse, ‘meet the artist’ interviews and discussions, joint appearances with young musicians from the Sage Gateshead Young Musicians Programme, and much more. To close the focus week, Lars Vogt will conduct a programme of three concertos with young soloists with whom he has built up special relationships through his teaching and his chamber music festival in Germany. These are outstanding young virtuosos whom he now wants to introduce to Gateshead audiences as major voices of the next generation. The selected concertos are all audience favourites, guaranteed to showcase the virtuosity of the young performers. They will be interspersed with short orchestral pieces from the finalists of our new young composers’ competition. Alongside an expert jury and Royal Northern Sinfonia, the audience will also help select a winner. If you want to find out more about the future of classical music, and engage with the stars of tomorrow, join us in January. Thorben Dittes Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme
top row: Benjamin Appl; Cathy Krier; Remy van Kesteren middle row: Harriet Krijgh; Anastasia Kobekina; Magdalena Faust; bottom row: Quatuor Zaïde
Newcastle International Chamber Music Series Newcastle Chamber Music Society
Have you ever wondered why so many of the great composers have penned their most personal and heartfelt creations as chamber music? Symphonists from Haydn to Shostakovich were masters of the string quartet, and Schubert’s String Quintet is among the top three classical choices on BBC radio’s Desert Island Discs - chosen by, among many others, Jacqueline du Pré. She, and many other star soloists, have loved performing this repertoire. Founded in 1880 and thought to be the oldest society of its kind in the country, the Newcastle Chamber Music Society has presented performances by some of the legends of the 20th century including Rachmaninov, Rubinstein and Sir Henry Wood. This season’s six concerts centre on the string quartet, chamber music’s most perfect and popular format, and contain two opportunities to hear works with piano, including two of the greatest piano trios and Schumann’s popular Piano Quintet. For a subscription saving £24 on the price of six tickets, contact the Newcastle Chamber Music Society in one of the following ways: Secretary Tel: 0191 281 6446 www.ncmsoc.webspace.virginmedia.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tickets for individual concerts are available from Ticket Office at Sage Gateshead from August 2015.
Wed 14 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall Two Escher Quartet
Wed 3 Feb | 7.30pm | Hall Two Skampa Quartet
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in E minor, Op.44 No.2
HAYDN String Quartet, Op.103 (unfinished)
JANÁČEK String Quartet No.1, ‘Kreutzer Sonata’
PAVEL FISCHER String Quartet No.3, ‘Mad Piper’
BRAHMS String Quartet in A minor, Op.51 No.2 Tolstoy’s tragic novella about jealous love inspired Janáček’s sometimes violent first quartet, which is framed by two energetic masterpieces in dark minor keys. Wed 25 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall Two Arcadia Quartet MOZART String Quartet in C, K157 BEETHOVEN String Quartet in D, Op.18 No.3 BARTÓK String Quartet No.4 A wide-ranging programme bringing charm, wit, mystery and visceral excitement from this young Romanian ensemble, winners of the 2012 London String Quartet competition and 2014 Osaka competition. Wed 13 Jan | 7.30pm | Hall Two Sitkovetsky Piano Trio DEBUSSY Cello Sonata RAVEL Piano Trio TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Trio Chamber works by three masters of orchestration: Debussy’s dark and sombre cello sonata precedes his compatriot’s mercurial trio; Tchaikovsky’s monumental opus takes us to a different world.
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in E flat, Op.127
SMETANA String Quartet No.1 in E minor, ‘From my life’ The most passionate and personal utterance of the ‘father’ of Czech composition is played by one of the nation’s most distinguished ensembles. Wed 2 Mar | 7.30pm | Hall Two Quatuor van Kuijk HAYDN String Quartet, Op.50 No.1 SCHUMANN String Quartet, Op.41 No.1 DEBUSSY String Quartet Winners of the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, this young ensemble end with the exhilarating masterpiece by their compatriot Debussy. Wed 25 May | 7.30pm | Hall Two Pavel Haas Quartet with Denis Kozhukhin (piano) Martinů String Quartet No.3 Dvořák String Quartet in D minor, Op.34 SCHUMANN Piano Quintet Generating excitement wherever they perform, this phenomenal Czech ensemble has already won three Gramophone awards for its recordings.
An Extraordinary Journey In 2011 Opera North embarked on an extraordinary journey: to present, for the first time in the Company’s history, all four instalments of Wagner’s Ring cycle in successive years. From the outset, we were determined to lay the emphasis firmly on the power of Wagner’s music and on his engrossing story-telling. Thus the Orchestra of Opera North under the Company’s Music Director Richard Farnes is placed centre-stage in a concert staging devised by Peter Mumford that makes Wagner’s epic narrative compellingly lucid for both experienced Wagnerians and newcomers alike.
Tue 5 Jul | 7.30pm Das Rheingold Wed 6 Jul | 4.30pm Die Walküre Fri 8 Jul | 4.30pm Siegfried Sun 10 Jul | 3.30pm Götterdämmerung
In 2016 we present the Ring complete during the course of a week, as did Wagner at the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876. The cumulative power of the cycle is all the more palpable when experienced in such a concentrated burst, and offers the rare opportunity for total immersion in this unique, allencompassing music drama. We greatly appreciated the support we received from all the venues in which we presented the Ring between 2011 and 2014. Without our partnership with Sage Gateshead in particular, which, together with Symphony Hall Birmingham, collaborated with us to realise the project, the Opera North Ring would have remained only a dream. It therefore seems especially fitting that the last of our six complete cycles next summer will be performed in this wonderful place. This will also be the occasion of Richard Farnes’ last performances with the Company as its Music Director. Richard is now firmly established as one of today’s leading interpreters of Wagner and there can be no more fitting conclusion to his illustrious twelve-year tenure at Opera North than with the Ring at Sage Gateshead. Richard Mantle General Director, Opera North Tickets (full cycles) £72, £115, £199
Available since January 2015
Lars Vogt P Fri 18 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One OPENING CONCERT
Wed 30 Sep | 8pm | Hall One LATE MIX: NORTH AND SOUTH
Lars Vogt conductor/piano Royal Northern Sinfonia
Julian Rachlin conductor/violin/viola Royal Northern Sinfonia
SIBELIUS Andante Festivo (4’)
SHOSTAKOVICH (arr. Zinman) Violin Sonata (30’)
MOZART Symphony No.25 (24’)
LISZT (arr. Dresnin) Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi concerto (6’)
ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR Insula Deserta (9’) GRIEG Piano Concerto (30’)
Alberto IGLESIAS Factory of Silence
We start our musical journeys with Lars Vogt in his first concert as Music Director. Explore the lay of the land with Sibelius’ rhapsodic Andante Festivo, Mozart’s ‘turning-point’ symphony, plus Grieg’s glittering concerto.
Julian Rachlin’s first appearance in the season straddles both hemispheres, from a special arrangement of Liszt’s cataclysmic fantasia to Piazzolla’s breezy Argentine tango suite.
Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M N
pre-concert talk from 6.30pm buses from Alnwick, Carlisle, Hexham
Thu 24 Sep | 8pm | Hall Two LARS VOGT CHAMBER Lars Vogt piano Royal Northern Sinfonia BRAHMS Cello Sonata No.1 (26’) MOZART Quintet for Piano and Wind (25’) GRIEG String Quartet No.1 (36’) “I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life.” Mozart knew that he had created something special in his quintet when he wrote to his father in 1784, and here it provides an apt first chamber work for our Mozart journey, alongside Grieg’s stand out string quartet. Tickets £16 & £20 M N
P Sat 26 Sep | 7.30pm | Hall One CLASSIC FM: MOZART MEETS THE NORTH Lars Vogt conductor Sharon Kam clarinet Royal Northern Sinfonia MOZART The Impresario Overture (5’) MOZART Clarinet Concerto (28’) GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No.1 (15’) GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No.2 (16’) The popular Clarinet Concerto was conceived when Mozart was at a low ebb: his attempts at gaining permanent favour in court had fallen short, and he found himself in crippling debt. From great hardship, such beauty flourished from a composer not far from his deathbed. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M N buses from Alnwick and Hexham
PIAZZOLLA Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (23’)
Fri 9 Oct | 8pm | Hall Two EARLY ENCOUNTERS: AVISON ENSEMBLE Pavlo Beznosiuk director Avison Ensemble AVISON Concerto Grosso in D, Op.6 No.9 (10’) GARTH Cello Concerto No.5 (12’) HANDEL Organ Concerto No.8 (16’) HERSCHEL Violin Concerto (15’) STANLEY Organ Concerto, Op.10 No.2 (20’) Period specialists, the Avison Ensemble, start off the Early Encounters journey with a programme composed entirely of concertos, which commences right on our doorstep with music by Charles Avison and John Garth. Tickets £16 & £20 E
P Sun 11 Oct | 3pm | Hall One MY MOZART MATINEE ONE Bradley Creswick director Royal Northern Sinfonia L MOZART Toy Symphony (10’) MOZART Symphony No.1 (11’) MOZART Thamos, King of Egypt (19’) IBERT Hommage à Mozart (5’) MOZART Concertone (25’) This self-directed matinee gives Royal Northern Sinfonia the opportunity to present personal Mozart favourites and more rarely performed gems, all introduced by members of the orchestra. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Approximate timings appear in brackets next to each piece.
P Thu 22 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall One LINDBERG’S SIBELIUS THREE Christian Lindberg conductor Karen Cargill mezzo soprano Royal Northern Sinfonia WEBER Oberon Overture (10’) WAGNER (arr. Mottl) Wesendonck-Lieder (25’) Christian LINDBERG Kundraan (14’) SIBELIUS Symphony No.3 (26’) A musician who grew up in the Nordic sound world, Christian Lindberg brings an authentic approach to Sibelius’ intrinsically purist third symphony. Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder are the musical outcome of an illicit affair. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 S N pre-concert talk at 6.30pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Fri 30 Oct | 7.30pm | Hall One MOZART’S VIENNA Lars Vogt conductor/piano Royal Northern Sinfonia BEETHOVEN The Creatures of Prometheus Overture (5’) MOZART Piano Concerto No.20 (28’) WEBERN Langsamer Satz (9’) HAYDN Symphony No.103, ‘Drumroll’ (29’) Lars Vogt puts Mozart into context, with works of his immediate classical Viennese contemporaries, as well as Webern’s beautiful movement for strings. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick, Carlisle, Hexham, Teesside
Thu 12 Nov | 9pm | Hall Two LATE MIX: SAGE GATESHEAD IN C Royal Northern Sinfonia and guests TERRY RILEY In C (45’) In Terry Riley’s anniversary year, we celebrate by performing his seminal work in true Sage Gateshead style, by involving musicians from across musical genres. Tickets £16
Fri 13 Nov | 8pm | Hall Two BEETHOVEN SONATA CYCLE Saleem Ashkar piano BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas No.1; No.19; No.20; No.22; No.23 ‘Appassionata’ Saleem Ashkar returns for the final year of his epic Beethoven Sonata Cycle, with his most violent musical utterance: the Appassionata Sonata. Tickets £16 & £20
P Fri 20 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall One EARLY ENCOUNTERS: DUNEDIN CONSORT John Butt conductor Joanne Lunn soprano Julia Doyle soprano Clare Wilkinson mezzo soprano Nicholas Mulroy tenor Matthew Brook bass Dunedin Consort HANDEL Dixit Dominus (33’) J S BACH Orchestral Suite No.1 (21’)
P Fri 6 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall One EXSULTATE, JUBILATE Kyra Humphreys director Elizabeth Watts soprano Royal Northern Sinfonia
J S BACH Magnificat (32’) Award-winning Scottish baroque specialists the Dunedin Consort present a programme of vocal delights. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 E
buses from Alnwick and Hexham
MOZART & STRAUSS arias (25’) STRAVINSKY Concerto in D (12’) SHOSTAKOVICH (arr. Barshai) Chamber Symphony in A flat (19’) MOZART Exsultate, Jubilate (16’) Originally written for a castrato, but now (for obvious reasons) for soprano, the Exsultate, Jubilate is a fine example of Mozart’s genius: it was written in a day, and most likely without a keyboard to assist, as the teenage composer did what came naturally. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Sun 22 Nov | 3pm | Hall One CLASSIC FM: VENZAGO’S SIBELIUS FIVE Mario Venzago conductor Alban Gerhardt cello Royal Northern Sinfonia SIBELIUS Finlandia (8’) Elgar Cello Concerto (30’) SIBELIUS Symphony No.5 (31’) The essence of a nation summarised in a single symphonic poem: Finlandia, plus the adored ‘Swan Call’ motif calling out from his rousing fifth symphony. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 S N
buses from Alnwick, Hexham, Teesside
P Fri 27 Nov | 7.30pm | Hall One TETZLAFF’S SIBELIUS Lars Vogt conductor Christian Tetzlaff violin Royal Northern Sinfonia SCHUMANN Genoveva Overture (9’) SIBELIUS Violin Concerto (31’)
Sat 9 Jan | 8pm | Hall Two SCHUBERT OCTET Royal Northern Sinfonia ROSSINI String Sonata No.3 (12’) WAGNER Siegfried Idyll (17’) SCHUBERT Octet (1hr)
Musical friends Lars Vogt and Christian Tetzlaff apply their stunning musicality to Sibelius’ revered Violin Concerto and Brahms’ third symphony.
Schubert’s octet is a work of sweetness that teeters on the edge of bitterness. Accompanying it is Wagner’s birthday present to his wife, steeped in references to the penultimate opera of his age-defying Ring Cycle.
Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 S N
BRAHMS Symphony No.3 (33’)
pre-concert talk at 6.30pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Sat 16 Jan & Sun 17 Jan | Hall Two NEW YEAR, NEW ARTISTS ECHO Rising Stars Chamber Weekend Cathy Krier piano, Remy van Kesteren harp, Harriet Krijgh cello, Benjamin Appl baritone, and the string quartet Quatuor Zaïde
Miloš Karadagli´c P Sun 6 Dec | 7.30pm | Hall One CLASSIC FM: Miloš Bradley Creswick director Miloš Karadagli´c guitar Royal Northern Sinfonia TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings (29’) RODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez (22’) MOZART Symphony No.41 ‘Jupiter’ (26’) plus a selection of works for solo guitar
The Montenegrin guitarist has taken the classical world by storm; he brings his lightning dexterity to the North East in Rodrigo’s Andalucian-inspired concerto. Mozart’s final symphony, his ‘Jupiter’ sealed his reputation for generations to come. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
buses from Alnwick, Carlisle, Hexham
Sat 19 Dec | 7pm | Hall One EARLY ENCOUNTERS: MESSIAH Harry Bicket conductor Mary Bevan soprano Paula Murrihy mezzo soprano Joshua Ellicott tenor David Soar bass Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia
A weekend of glorious chamber music with the ECHO Rising Stars, the best emerging artists selected by Europe’ leading concert halls, with music from Rameau to Rachmaninov. Meet the stars of tomorrow today! Tickets: Single Ticket £16; Day Pass £30; Weekend Pass £50
P Fri 22 Jan | 7.30pm | Hall One NEW YEAR, NEW ARTISTS: THE VIRTUOSI Lars Vogt conductor Magdalena Faust clarinet Anastasia Kobekina cello Jamie Bergin piano Royal Northern Sinfonia TCHAIKOVSKY Variations on a Rococo Theme (18’) CHOPIN Piano Concerto No.2 (30’) WEBER Clarinet Concerto No.2 (23’) plus winning pieces from young composers’ competition Lars Vogt conducts a programme of popular Romantic concertos with three outstanding young soloists, also featuring the finalists of our new young composers’ competition. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
pre-concert talk at 6.30pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Wed 27 Jan | 8pm | Hall Two BEETHOVEN SONATA CYCLE
HANDEL Messiah (2hr 20’)
Saleem Ashkar piano
We draw into Christmas on our Early Encounters journey with this traditional favourite, conducted by baroque specialist Harry Bicket.
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas No.4; No.9; No.10; No.15 ‘Pastoral’
Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 E In memory of Muriel Layfield
Tickets £16 & £20
P Sun 31 Jan | 3pm | Hall One CLASSIC FM: JOHN WILSON’S Bohemia John Wilson conductor Jack Liebeck violin Royal Northern Sinfonia Dvořák Carnival Overture (9’) KORNGOLD Violin Concerto (24’) SMETANA Excerpts from Má Vlast (45’) Local lad John Wilson returns, and his first matinee in the series explores the works of Bohemia, including Korngold’s concerto with a hint of Hollywood gleam and Dvořák’s sparkling overture. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Fri 5 Feb | 7.30pm | Hall One MOZART MASS IN C MINOR Clemens Schuldt conductor Steven Hudson oboe Sally Matthews soprano Rosemary Joshua soprano Stuart Jackson tenor Thomas Tatzl baritone Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia BECK L’île déserte Overture (6)
Sir Mark Elder P Sat 13 Feb | 7.30pm | Hall One ELDER’S SIBELIUS ONE Sir Mark Elder conductor Roderick Williams baritone Hallé RACHMANINOV Isle of the Dead (19’) MAHLER Kindertotenlieder (23’) SIBELIUS Symphony No.1 (38’) Sibelius’ intensely personal first symphony rounds a programme of grave and touching works, performed by one of the finest symphony orchestras in the North, with its Music Director, Sir Mark Elder. Tickets £13, £22, £29, £36 S N
buses from Alnwick and Hexham
STRAUSS Oboe Concerto (26’) MOZART Mass in C minor ‘The Great’ (55’) Facing the potential loss of his beloved Constanze, who was struck down with illness before their wedding, Mozart composed the Mass in C Minor in a state of overwhelming joy at her recovery. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Wed 10 Feb | 8pm | Hall Two RNS UP CLOSE: TIMOTHY ORPEN Timothy Orpen clarinet Fiona Winning viola John Reid piano FINZI Five Bagatelles (14’) Jörg Widmann Fantasie (7’) MOZART Trio ‘Kegelstatt’ (23’) BRAHMS Clarinet Sonata No.2 (21’) Giampieri Carnival of Venice (7’) Royal Northern Sinfonia clarinettist Timothy Orpen has picked a selection of clarinet works, including a trio composed by the multi-tasking Mozart whilst playing a game of skittles. Tickets £16 M
Wed 17 Feb | 8pm | Hall Two TETZLAFF/TETZLAFF/VOGT TRIO SCHUMANN Piano Trio No.2 (28’) Dvořák Piano Trio No.4 ‘Dumky’ (30’) BRAHMS Piano Trio No.1 (28’) Lars Vogt is re-joined by Christian Tetzlaff and his sister Tanja Tetzlaff for this chamber treat, including Dvořák’s Slavic, dance-infused ‘Dumky’ piano trio. Tickets £16 & £20
Fri 19 Feb | 9pm | Hall Two EARLY ENCOUNTERS: the NIGHT SHIFT ORCHESTRA OF THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT Classical Music: Minus the Rules Imagine going to a classical concert, but being able to relax. Bring a drink in? Check. Clap and cheer whenever you want? Sure. Snapchat it to your friends? No problem. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s late-night series comes to Sage Gateshead for the first time with an hour of music by composers including Henry Purcell. This is music that’ll make your feet tap, stir your soul and touch your emotions, and importantly also accompanies a nice beer very well – Henry was after all, a great fan of the pub. All in all it’ll be music to your beers. Tickets £16 E
OAE: The Night Shift
Thu 25 Feb | 9pm | Hall Two LATE MIX: NEW MUSIC FROM THE NORTH Royal Northern Sinfonia HANS ABRAHAMSEN Walden (11’) KAIJA SAARIAHO Spins and Spells (7’) LARSSON String Quartet No.3 (12’) ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR Symbiosis (10’)
MAGNUS LINDBERG Clarinet Quintet (18’) Whilst the world of Sibelius lies a long way in the past, the quintessentially Scandinavian sound lives on, and here’s the proof! Abrahmsen’s Walden strips away the worldly layers to reveal a bare, natural sound whilst Lindberg’s lyrical quintet is a progression from his avant-garde roots. Tickets £16 N
P Fri 18 Mar | 7.30pm | Hall One ZEHETMAIR’S SIBELIUS FOUR Thomas Zehetmair conductor Juliette Bausor flute Royal Northern Sinfonia MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides Overture ‘Fingal’s Cave’ (10’) NIELSEN Flute Concerto (20’) SIBELIUS Symphony No.4 (32’)
P Sun 28 Feb | 3pm | Hall One CLASSIC FM: JOHN WILSON’S RUSSIA John Wilson conductor Denis Kozhukhin piano Royal Northern Sinfonia GLINKA Ruslan and Ludmila Overture (5)
Conductor Laureate Thomas Zehetmair returns for his take on Sibelius’ introspective and existentialist fourth symphony, written as the composer faced poor health and contemplated the eternal abyss. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 S N buses from Alnwick and Hexham
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No.1 (33’) RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade (47’) John Wilson walks among the Russian musical giants in the second of his matinees of the season. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Fri 25 Mar | 7pm | Hall One BACH MASS IN B MINOR Paul McCreesh conductor Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia J S BACH Mass in B minor
P Thu 3 Mar | 7.30pm | Hall One MOZART IN PARIS Alexandre Bloch conductor Francesco Piemontesi piano Royal Northern Sinfonia MOZART Symphony No.31 ‘Paris’ (16’) STRAVINSKY Danses Concertantes (20’)
Bach never heard his Mass in B Minor performed; in fact it wasn’t until the 19th century baroque revival that its genius was globally acknowledged. Even humourist Douglas Adams described it as “One of the pinnacles of human achievement.” Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 E
pre-concert talk at 6pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
DEBUSSY Petite Suite (14’) MOZART Piano Concerto No.25 (30’) The ‘Paris’ symphony was composed almost in spite of the contemporary French musical styles, but its reception in the city nonetheless proved a huge success. This and his later Piano Concerto are staples of the young composer’s cosmopolitan style, perfectly complemented by the Gallic flair of Debussy, and Stravinsky. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Thu 10 Mar | 9pm | Hall Two LATE MIX: AV FESTIVAL Royal Northern Sinfonia joins forces with the AV Festival to explore new music related to the festival theme. Details will be published with the AV Festival Guide in January 2016. Tickets £16
P Sat 2 Apr | 7.30pm | Hall One classic fm: RACHLIN’S TCHAIKOVSKY Julian Rachlin conductor/violin Royal Northern Sinfonia TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin: Polonaise (4’); Violin Concerto (34’); Symphony No.4 (44’) Julian Rachlin performs an all-Tchaikovsky programme; three works all written in the period following his misguided marriage to the fanatical Antonina Milyukova. His despair is clear, as he wrote of the introduction to his symphony: “This is fate, that fatal force which prevents the impulse to happiness from attaining its goal, which jealously ensures that peace and happiness shall not be complete and unclouded”. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Vasily Petrenko P Fri 8 Apr | 7.30pm | Hall One PETRENKO’S SIBELIUS TWO Vasily Petrenko conductor Tai Murray violin Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Tanja Tetzlaff P Fri 29 Apr | 7.30pm | Hall One MOZART IN PRAGUE Lars Vogt conductor Tanja Tetzlaff cello Royal Northern Sinfonia SMETANA The Bartered Bride Overture (7’)
ALFVÉN Swedish Rhapsody No.1 ‘Midsummer Vigil’ (9’)
MOZART Symphony No.38 ‘Prague’ (26’)
BARBER Violin Concerto (25’)
Mozart’s symphony revels in his lifelong love affair with the Czech capital, with its intense radiance and lively animation. Dvořák’s concerto reveals a homesickness for Prague and the bohemian style, so much so that it was composed on both sides of the Atlantic as he made his return home.
SIBELIUS Symphony No.2 (44’) Some symphonic warmth with a programme of Sibelius’ Italian-inspired second symphony, Barber’s florid concerto and Alfvén’s symphonic portrait of a nightlong wedding festival in the land of the midnight sun. Tickets £13, £22, £29, £36 S N buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Wed 13 Apr | 9pm | Hall Two LATE MIX: PÄRT AND TAVENER Royal Northern Sinfonia TAVENER Kaleidoscopes (A Tribute to Mozart) (30’)
ARVO PÄRT Fratres (12’); Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten (6’); Summa (5’) Pärt’s minimalism crept into popular culture from behind the iron curtain, with its fusion of Gregorian chant, harmonic simplicity, and the spiritual explorations into his Russian Orthodox faith. It features alongside Tavener’s very personal tribute to Mozart. Tickets £16 N
P Sun 24 Apr | 3pm | Hall One MY MOZART MATINEE TWO Kyra Humphreys director Peter Francomb horn Timothy Orpen clarinet Stephen Reay bassoon Royal Northern Sinfonia MOZART Symphony No.33 (19’) STRAUSS Duet-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon (20’) MOZART Horn Concerto No.4 (16’) TCHAIKOVSKY Suite No.4 ‘Mozartiana’ (25’) The second My Mozart Matinee sees Royal Northern Sinfonia present two key works by Romantic composers inspired directly by the genius of Mozart, plus the composer’s popular horn concerto. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
buses from Carlisle, Hexham, Alnwick
Dvořák Cello Concerto (40’)
Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Thu 5 May | 7.30pm | Hall One MUSTONEN’S SIBELIUS SIX Olli Mustonen conductor/piano Royal Northern Sinfonia MUSTONEN Triptych (12’) BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto (42’) (arr. Beethoven for piano) SIBELIUS Symphony No.6 (27’) “When shadows grow longer” was how Sibelius described the mood of his sixth symphony, a work that stands out for its poignant lyricism. Mustonen also performs Beethoven’s arrangement of his violin concerto for piano, which in 1808 the composer reclaimed for his own performance. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 S N pre-concert talk at 6.30pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
Sun 8 May | 8pm | Hall Two RNS UP CLOSE: BRADLEY CRESWICK Bradley Creswick violin Programme includes: RAVEL Tzigane (10’) The French word for ‘gypsy’, Ravel’s Tzigane for violin virtuoso is both authentic gypsy music and the westernised style hongrois familiar to classical music since Haydn’s day. Franck’s calling-card for French chamber music also features in this programme performed by orchestra leader, Bradley Creswick. Tickets £16
P Fri 3 Jun | 7.30pm | Hall One MOZART AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES
P Sun 15 May | 3pm | Hall One CLASSIC FM: JOHN WILSON’S ENGLAND
Robert Levin conductor/piano Ya-Fei Chuang piano Royal Northern Sinfonia
John Wilson conductor Leonard Elschenbroich cello Royal Northern Sinfonia
J C BACH La Calamita de’ Cuori Overture (6’)
BAX Tintagel (12’)
MOZART Piano Concerto No.12 (26’)
WALTON Cello Concerto (30’)
C P E BACH Symphony in E flat (11’)
ELGAR Enigma Variations (29’)
MOZART Concerto No.10 for Two Pianos (26’)
Richard Strauss wrote of Elgar’s renowned variations “here for the first time is an English composer who has something to say”. The final concert of the series, John Wilson explores the English music revolution at the dawn of the 20th century, with Bax’s panoramic symphonic poem and Walton’s shimmering concerto.
Mozart had a lifelong admiration for Johann Christian Bach, and it was under the mastercomposer’s tutelage that Wolfgang’s style matured. The prodigy’s Piano Concerto No.12 contains a subtle nod to Bach’s La Calamita de’Couri Overture, as the two were finally separated by the latter’s death.
Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
buses from Alnwick and Hexham
pre-concert talk at 6.30pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Fri 20 May | 7.30pm | Hall One THE ‘GREAT G MINOR SYMPHONY’ Julian Rachlin conductor/violin/viola BRITTEN Lachrymae (15’) MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto (27’) MOZART Symphony No.40 (27’) The opening notes of Mozart’s Symphony No.40 adorn the Classical Hall of Fame,
with its unforgettable and sinuous gestures. Mendelssohn’s concerto, with its rhapsodic violin lines and clear fastidious craftsmanship, has been a calling card for virtuosos since its premiere. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 M
pre-concert talk at 6.30pm buses from Alnwick and Hexham
P Fri 10 Jun | 7.30pm | Hall One FINALE: VOGT’S SIBELIUS SEVEN Lars Vogt conductor Ruby Hughes soprano Jennifer Johnston mezzo soprano Benjamin Hulett tenor Neal Davies baritone Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia SIBELIUS Symphony No.7 (20’) MOZART Requiem (55’) Our musical journeys come to an end in style as Lars Vogt conducts Sibelius’ monumental symphony, the composer’s last, and Mozart’s choral masterpiece. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33 S M N
post-concert spotlight performance buses from Alnwick, Carlisle, Hexham, Teesside
Sun 22 May | 8pm | Hall Two BEETHOVEN SONATA CYCLE Saleem Ashkar piano BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas No.24; No.25; No.29 ‘Hammerklavier’ Tickets £16 & £20
CHRISTMAS with royal northern sinfonia Don’t miss out on these seasonal favourites at Sage Gateshead
Fri 11 Dec | 7.30pm Sat 12 Dec | 3pm Hall One REJOICE Sage Gateshead’s annual Christmas gathering, with the massed forces of Royal Northern Sinfonia and Chorus, and Quay Voices. Get into the festive spirit with the best Christmas carols and seasonal classics. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
0191 443 4661
Tue 22 Dec | 5pm Wed 23 Dec | 11am, 2pm, 5pm Thu 24 Dec | 11am, 2pm Hall One THE SNOWMAN It wouldn’t be Christmas without it... Experience the family favourite brought to life by Royal Northern Sinfonia.
Friday 1 Jan | 3pm | Hall One NEW YEARS DAY IN VIENNA Royal Northern Sinfonia see in the New Year with a classic programme of Viennese sparkle. Tickets £10, £19, £27, £33
Tickets £16-£18; Family ticket £55 (four tickets to include at least one adult and one child)
Your booking and how to get here Bookings can be made online at sagegateshead.com, in person at our Ticket Office, or you can call 0191 443 4661. If you prefer to book by post, you can request a booking form from Ticket Office. Terms and Conditions: A copy of our full terms and conditions is available on our website. Or you can request a copy by sending us a stamped addressed envelope. Bookings for individual concerts will incur a handling fee of £1.50 per ticket. A package handling fee of £2.50 applies per transaction. No additional fees apply when booking individual tickets along with your package. We regret that no refunds can be given except where 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 as long as 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). Concessions Concessions for unemployed, U16s and students are available for many of our performances with a reduction of £2 per ticket. Check our website or ask at Ticket Office for details. Please note concessions are not available on packages and there are no senior concessions on additional concerts. For every performance one free ticket is available for the essential carer of those who need assistance to attend the performance.
How to get to Sage Gateshead Take the bus!
Catch the bus to concerts at Sage Gateshead, at just £7.50 return. Buses run from: Hexham via Chollerford, Wall, Acomb, Eastwood and Corbridge Alnwick via Amble, Warkworth, Felton, Morpeth, Wideopen and Gosforth Carlisle via Brampton Teesside via Guisborough, Great Ayton, Stokesley To book, call Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661.
The QuayLink bus service runs both north and south of the Tyne to St Mary’s Square outside the west door of Sage Gateshead. Sage Gateshead is on route Q1. Check nexus.org.uk/bus/guidebuses/quaylink
Thanks to the generosity of Nexus, you can travel on the Metro to and from Gateshead free if you are attending a ticketed performance at Sage Gateshead: simply retain your ticket for inspection on the Metro. Blue Badge Holders There are a number of priority spaces for blue badge holders immediately to the rear of the building and by the lifts in our car park. Please take your car park ticket to the Coats Desk, with your car registration number, for an exit ticket.
There is a drop off and pick up point at our west door. We have our own car park with lift access directly behind the building. If you enter and exit within thirty minutes, there is no charge. With entry between 6am and 5pm, charges are per hour with payment made at our ticket machines prior to returning to your vehicle. For entry after 5pm, a fixed charge applies. Full details of our charges are available on our website.
Sage Gateshead is designed to be as accessible as possible to people with all kinds of disabilities. Please ring 0191 443 4666 for access information or download it from the visitor information section of our website. Please inform Ticket Office of your special requirements. Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.
Further information available at sagegateshead.com
“There is no better chamber orchestra in Britain” The Guardian
Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra and the leading professional orchestra in the North East. Since its inception in 1958, it has built a distinctive reputation as a fresh-thinking and versatile orchestra, performing with a trademark zest and stylistic virtuosity. It is the only UK orchestra to have a purpose-built home for all its rehearsals, concerts and recordings. Playing a wide repertoire of diverse orchestral music, Royal Northern Sinfonia works regularly with a roster of globally renowned artists from all genres. The new season sees the orchestra work with Christian Tetzlaff, Christian Lindberg, Olli Mustonen, Paul McCreesh, Robert Levin, Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadagli´c and a host of world-class singers including Sally Matthews, Karen Cargill and Elizabeth Watts. They have also collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds and John Grant. The orchestra contributes to the continuing re-invention of orchestral repertoire with regular commissions and premieres, most recently from Benedict Mason and David Lang, John Casken and Kathryn Tickell.
Open in its approach and broad in its reach, Royal Northern Sinfonia engages audiences and communities throughout its own region as well as further afield, with residencies at festivals from Aldeburgh to Hong Kong, as well as regularly featuring in the BBC Proms and neighbouring Edinburgh Festival. Back home at Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia works with adults of all ages and young people, through the Young Musicians Programme and In Harmony project, both of which provide unbeatable instrumental learning opportunities. In March 2015, Royal Northern Sinfonia was awarded Freeman of Gateshead status, in recognition of its significant contribution to the borough. This season is the first with new Music Director Lars Vogt, along with new Principal Guest Conductor, Julian Rachlin. Both internationally-renowned soloists perform as well as conduct throughout the season, alongside Conductor Laureate, Thomas Zehetmair. For more information about the orchestra and its home, visit
ROYAL NORTHERN SINFONIA First Violin Bradley Creswick
The Huntington Chair
Kyra Humphreys Iona Brown Jane Nossek Alexandra Raikhlina Sarah Roberts Second Violin Tristan Gurney
The Rosemary Hinton Chair
Jenny Chang Sophie Appleton Jonathan Martindale Viola Michael Gerrard The Layfield Chair
Malcolm Critten James Slater Tegwen Jones
Cello Louisa Tuck
Clarinet Timothy Orpen
The Share Family Chair The Molly Rice Chair
James Craig Gabriel Waite
The Janet Ramsaran Chair
Bassoon Stephen Reay
Double Bass Sian Hicks Flute Juliette Bausor
The Robinson Family Chair
The Rossiter Family Chair
Oboe Steven Hudson
The Pyman Family Chair
Horn Peter Francomb
The Friends of Royal Northern Sinfonia Chair
Christopher Griffiths Trumpet Richard Martin
The Alan Johnson Chair
The Richardson Family Chair
The Sylvia Fuller Chair
Timpani Marney O’Sullivan
The Christine Swales Chair
CHORUS OF ROYAL NORTHERN SINFONIA For 40 years the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia has been an integral, ever-present part of the Royal Northern Sinfonia musical family, drawing on talented and committed singers from across the North of England. Choruses allow an orchestra to present the great, stand-out works from 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, and the chorus now regularly features in both Hall One and our more eclectic Hall Two series, Late Mix. Former Royal Northern Sinfonia Timpanist Alan Fearon founded the chorus and led them until
summer 2014, playing a crucial role in the choral and vocal strategy at Sage Gateshead. The chorus has worked with many guest conductors and with every Music Director since Rudolph Schwartz, the orchestra’s second Music Director, including for the last twelve seasons Thomas Zehetmair. From 2004 to 2012 renowned choral conductor Simon Halsey led the chorus as Principal Conductor Choral Programme. Amongst the recordings the chorus has made are Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ operas Sir John in Love and Riders to the Sea, Bliss’ Pastorale, and Songs of Northumbria.
PRINCIPAL PARTNERS YOUR ‘CHAIR’ IS WAITING ...in one of Europe’s most exciting orchestras
Principal Partner membership starts from £125 per month
Your gift helps to secure the work, reputation and future of Royal Northern Sinfonia. • A direct association with one of the Royal Northern Sinfonia musicians • Personalised priority booking and member events • Exclusive invitations to watch the orchestra rehearse • Chances to personally connect with your chosen musician • Food, drink, parking and shop discounts
sagegateshead.com/principalpartners | 0191 443 5038 email@example.com Sage Gateshead is a registered charity (North Music Trust no. 1087445)
Supporting the very best music for the future
Friends of Royal Northern Sinfonia
President: Sir Thomas Allen CBE
Membership starts from £27.50 and benefits include:
• Priority booking for the classical season • Exclusive members’ evenings
• Quarterly newsletter • 10% off Royal Northern Sinfonia CDs
‘To become a Friend is to join a family whose common bond is pride in our wonderful Royal Northern Sinfonia’ Christine Swales, Sunderland For more information contact Joyce Porter, Friends Coordinator on 0191 443 4564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You Sage Gateshead values its partnerships with individuals, trusts and foundations, and companies Core revenue support is also provided by Arts Council England, North East and Gateshead Council. As a registered charity (number 1087445) this support is vital to allow us to continue and develop our work. Founding Patrons (Tyne & Wear Community Foundation) The Sage Group plc The Barbour Foundation Northern Rock Foundation The Garfield Weston Foundation Joan and Margaret Halbert Endowment Donors The Shears Foundation The David Goldman Programme The Go-Ahead Group plc Northern Arts Board Fenwick Ltd Northumbrian Water Benfield Charitable Trust The Sir James Knott Trust Greggs Plc The David Boardman Trust Roland Cookson Fund 1989 Willan Trust Stuart Ayre Legacy
10th Birthday Endowment Donors (held by Sage Gateshead) The Barbour Foundation The Vardy Foundation Stuart Halbert Foundation Clore Duffield Foundation Cunard Benfield Charitable Trust Mr & Mrs M Howard Ms W Oloman Trust and Foundation Supporters J Paul Getty JNR Charitable Trust The Garfield Weston Foundation The Hadrian Trust The Kavli Trust The Monument Trust The PRS for Music Foundation The Radcliffe Trust The Sir James Knott Trust The WA Handley Charitable Trust
Corporate Partners Platinum Partner
Bronze Partners Baker Tilly, DFDS Seaways, Hays Travel, O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions, Go North East, Rutherford Wilkinson Ltd, Solution Group, The Open University
Founding Patrons The Sage Group plc The Barbour Foundation Northern Rock Foundation The Garfield Weston Foundation Joan and Margaret Halbert
@rnsinfonia Photography: Neda Navaee, Georgia Bertazzi, Clive Barda, Mats B채cker, Marco Borggreve, Dan Brady, Mark McNulty, Peter Rigaud, Mark Savage, Julia Wesely, Joe Plommer
Published on May 20, 2015
A very warm welcome to the musical adventure that is our 2015/16 classical season! Lars Vogt and I take great pleasure in being your musica...