BIG BEETHOVEN WEEKEND: FIVE ORCHESTRAS, NINE SYMPHONIES, ONE WEEKEND
Across the weekend of Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 February, Sage Gateshead will present all nine Beethoven symphonies, performed by five leading UK orchestras, in the first of two Big Beethoven Weekends celebrating 250 years since the great composer’s birth.
Following huge success at London’s Barbican in early February, the Big Beethoven Weekend is heading north, and will once again be presented by TV and radio presenter – and the ultimate Beethoven fan – John Suchet.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kirill Karabits, will kick off the weekend (Sat 22 Feb, 12noon) with Symphony No.1, full to the brim with musical jokes, and the intense emotional range of Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ symphony.
The BBC Scottish Symphony (Sat 22 Feb, 3.30pm), under the baton of Ilan Volkov, present Symphony No.2 and Symphony No.4 in an assured concert of smiling vitality.
Closing day one, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Sat 22 Feb, 7.30pm) will perform the tumultuous cornerstone that is Beethoven’s Fifth alongside the ‘Pastoral’.
North East favourites Royal Northern Sinfonia and their Music Director Lars Vogt begin the Sunday celebrations at 3pm with Symphony No.8 and Symphony No.7 – of The King’s Speech fame.
Finally, celebrations draw to a close with The Hallé and Sir Mark Elder who, along with The Hallé Choir and a line of up internationally renowned soloists, will perform Beethoven’s majestic giant, Symphony No.9 ‘Choral’.
With various food stands serving hot and cold options, audience members can dive headlong into the full weekend experience, or dip in and out of individual concerts. Limited availability now for some concerts so grab them while you can.
Tickets and further information at sagegateshead.com or from Sage Gateshead’s Box Office in person or on 0191 443 4661.
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Lars Vogt Music Director
Julian Rachlin Principal Guest Conductor
Thomas Zehetmair Conductor Laureate
Karin Hendrickson Assistant Conductor, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Music Director, Young Sinfonia
Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide 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 major festivals, including the BBC Proms, most recently performing Handel’s Water Music at [email protected] in Hull – the first Prom performed outside of London since 1930. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, and in recent seasons have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.
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 and Sunderland, and will once again take their Christmas by Candlelight tour to regional churches. Musicians support young people learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training and through the In Harmony project.