Lorin Maazel “The Sage Gateshead’s Hall One: one of the five best acoustics in the world.”
Following acclaim for their “peerless” [Independent on Sunday] Schubert cycle, Thomas Zehetmair and Northern Sinfonia return for the 2012-13 season with ‘The Romantic Symphony’: the complete symphonies of Brahms and Schumann. In pairing the symphonies in numerical order – such as Brahms Symphony No.1 with Schumann’s Symphony No.1 - Music Director Thomas Zehetmair explores the distinctive musical personalities of these two giants of the 19th Century symphony.
As Zehetmair and Northern Sinfonia present the Romantic Symphonies in The Sage Gateshead’s Hall One, the renowned Late Mix series in the intimate Hall Two pays its own homage to Brahms with a programme featuring Ligeti’s Horn Trio, said to nod towards the former’s own example of the genre. The theme of the series for this season is ‘Of Their Time and Place’ and as usual audiences are encouraged to explore repertoire that may be new to them, in typically eclectic one hour-long programmes starting at 9pm. With supplementary lectures and events around the concerts, the series looks at works in their wider cultural context, from Venice in the 1500s and Austria in the 1700s, to the sounds of post-WW1 Paris and those of contemporary North America.
This season also sees the introduction of a new ticketing scheme, which allows audiences to form a bespoke package of concerts over the season, whether that be from the Classic FM series, the ‘Romantic Symphony’ cycle or the Late Mix, and make savings of up to 25% on the ticket price. The orchestra is also making available twice as many tickets under £20 compared to last season.
Anthony Sargent, General Director, The Sage Gateshead, comments:
“We’re enormously excited to be launching our 2012/13 classical programme with a new ticketing approach, making it easier than ever for people to design their own affordable journey through the richest and most structured classical season we’ve ever presented.”
Internationally-renowned soloists in 2012-13 include Ian Bostridge, who performs ‘Three Baroque Tenors’, featuring the songs of Handel, Vivaldi among others, as recorded for EMI. Following her world tour of Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues Angela Hewitt is back with the equally large-scale performance of four concertos in one concert, two each from Mozart and Bach.
Northern Sinfonia continues to demonstrate its versatility outside the core classical realm in its appearance in the Southbank Centre’s ‘The Rest Is Noise’ festival in February 2013. Starring Kathryn Tickell, the orchestra will explore the influence of folk music on 20th Century classical music, with a programme featuring Komitas, Charles Ives and Percy Grainger.
Displaying its commitment to contemporary music and commissioning of new music, Northern Sinfonia presents a new work this season by British composer, Benedict Mason, with his Concerto for Sackbut and Orchestra, performed by the soloist Mike Svoboda. Northern Sinfonia continues its support of emerging artists in its work with advanced composition students from the University of Newcastle.
Northern Sinfonia continues to highlight its status as a chamber ensemble of soloists of excellence, with the all-new ‘Spotlight’ performances taking place after selected concerts throughout the season. These involve orchestral principals showcasing their talent in solo and ensemble performances after the headline concert, and ticket-holders are warmly welcomed to stay on and learn more about the musicians who make up the orchestra.
The Snowman makes a welcome return for a classical Christmas at The Sage Gateshead, this year alongside a double bill of ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘The Gruffalo’s Child.’ The ‘Gruffalo’ scores are to be performed live by Northern Sinfonia, which has worked with the producer, composers and arranger to present the newly-orchestrated double-bill. Christmas Carols will be led by Principal Conductor Simon Halsey, and the New Year Viennese Gala with Bradley Creswick complete the festive celebrations at The Sage Gateshead.
Click here to watch Thomas Zehetmair, Anthony Sargent and Northern Sinfonia musicians discuss their highlights of the new season.