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Royal Northern Sinfonia Launches 2016/17 Classical Season

Posted on 8 June 2016

  • Lars Vogt performs all 5 Beethoven Piano Concertos with RNS
  • 5 visiting orchestras including St Petersburg Philharmonic and SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart
  • New series of children’s concerts ‘Classics 4 Kids’
  • Classical first-timers from Gateshead can attend for free

Fresh from his live Radio 3 lunchtime broadcast of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at Wigmore Hall, Lars Vogt arrived in Gateshead on Monday 6th June to launch his second season as Music Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia, and treated his audience to a surprise performance of Beethoven’s final piano sonata.

At the heart of the new season is RNS’s 16-concert ‘At Home’ series, which includes performances of all five Beethoven Piano Concertos with Vogt as soloist, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for which Vogt is joined by Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff. All six concertos form part of a live recording project with the Ondine label, co-produced by Deutschland Funk.

Lars Vogt said:

“I can’t believe it is already a year since I became Music Director. I have made so many great friends both in the orchestra and in the audience. I feel enormously at home with Royal Northern Sinfonia, which I truly believe to be one of the best orchestras in the world, and this is one of the finest halls in Europe. It has been a dream of mine to perform all five Beethoven piano concertos in one season, and I can’t wait for our new season to begin.”

Guest orchestras are back in force this season, with RNS welcoming musical friends from as far afield as St Petersburg and Stuttgart, as well as those closer to home from Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow returning with stunning programmes under their Music Directors. Following the huge success of Ring Cycle, Opera North is also back this time with Puccini’s Turandot.

New this season is a series of Saturday afternoon concerts, Classics 4 Kids, aimed at getting children (aged 7-11) interested in classical music. Music Director Lars Vogt, Principal Guest Conductor Julian Rachlin and Conductor Laureate Thomas Zehetmair each introduce a 45-minute long concert presenting orchestral repertoire in a fun and accessible way.

RNS’s popular gala series continues in Sage One, including The Music of ABBA and Montengrin guitarist MILOŠ performing music From Bach to Beatles. The chamber music series Small is Beautiful also continues in Sage Two.

Musical themes of the season are Beethoven’s Concertos and Song and Dance. In addition to the five piano concertos and the Triple Concerto with Vogt and the Tetzlaffs, Julian Rachlin brings his interpretation of the Violin Concerto, creating a veritable Beethoven ‘full house’. The project culminates in the final concert of the RNS season, which recreates the famous all-Beethoven Academy concert of 1808, with added dinner interval!

Song and Dance are the twin hearts of music-making, and composers have always been fascinated by human voice and movement. The season celebrates Song and Dance, showcasing some of the most moving vocal music ever written (including Fauré’s Requiem and Elgar’s Sea Pictures), and putting a spring in your step with waltzes and ballet scores (highlights include the St Petersburg Philharmonic with Prokofiev’s stirring Romeo and Juliet and Ravel’s luxuriant Daphnis and Chloe).

In a new initiative for audiences Gateshead residents who have never attended a classical concert at Sage Gateshead before can come and hear their orchestra for the first time for free! The popular Bar 5 for students and young people has also been extended with generous support from Heineken, whereby under 30s can buy a ticket for just £5 and also receive a free bottle of beer. And the great value package deals continue, with up to 25% discount for those who buy the full 21-concert package.

Thorben Dittes, Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Programme said:

“It has been a great pleasure to see the unique energy that Lars Vogt brings to Royal Northern Sinfonia. Lars is one of the most celebrated Beethoven pianists of our time, and the concerto series next season will be unmissable. We are also thrilled to have five guest orchestras joining our season for the first time in many years, and are looking forward to welcoming classical first-timers from all over Gateshead to hear their orchestra.”

On Friday 10th June Lars Vogt conducts RNS and Chorus in Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony and the Mozart Requiem, the final concert of the current season, and the new season goes on sale to existing package bookers.

The season goes on full public sale on Friday 17th June.

For further information, images, interview requests or review tickets please contact:
Kate Holland, Classical Marketing Officer
E T 0191 443 4567

Notes to Editors

Lars Vogt biography:

Lars Vogt Music Director

The appointment of Lars Vogt as Music Director marked the beginning of a new era for Royal Northern Sinfonia. One of the leading musicians of his generation, Lars first came to public attention when he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition. He now increasingly works with orchestras as a conductor, and in his inaugural season with Royal Northern Sinfonia has appeared as conductor, director, piano soloist and chamber musician.

Lars has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony. He has collaborated with some of the world’s most prestigious conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Claudio Abbado and Andris Nelsons.

Last year Lars played in the opening concert of the 2015 BBC Proms Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and highlights of 2015/16 included concertos with the London Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and Hallé orchestras in the United Kingdom, and the Vienna Symphony, Danish National Chamber and Netherlands Philharmonic orchestras in Europe. In North America he appeared with the Baltimore Symphony and St Louis Symphony, and undertook an extensive trio recital tour with Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff. He also tours in Japan and Australia.

Lars enjoys a high profile as a chamber musician, and in June 1998 founded his own chamber festival in the village of Heimbach near Cologne, known as ‘Spannungen’. In 2005 he established a major educational programme, ‘Rhapsody in School’, connecting children with inspiring world-class musicians. In 2013 he was appointed Professor of Piano at the Hannover Conservatory of Music.

Lars’ latest recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Ondine) has had unprecedented success in download charts as well as receiving widespread acclaim. Other recent recordings include solo Schubert (CAvi-music), Mozart Concertos with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra (Oehms), a solo Liszt and Schumann disc (Berlin Classics), and Mozart Sonatas with Christian Tetzlaff (Ondine).

Royal Northern Sinfonia biography:

Royal Northern Sinfonia

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 BBC Proms, Edinburgh Festival and further afield, last year touring to Brazil and in Europe.

In recent seasons RNS has worked with conductors and soloists Christian Tetzlaff, Christian Lindberg, Olli Mustonen, Paul McCreesh, Robert Levin; a host of world-class singers including Sally Matthews, Karen Cargill and Elizabeth Watts, and also collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds and John Grant. It 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.

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