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Sage Gateshead



Posted on 18 June 2019


Royal Northern Sinfonia’s much-loved violinist Bradley Creswick was awarded an honorary title at his last concert as Leader of the orchestra on Saturday [15 June].

Since joining the orchestra in 1984 Bradley has become a firm favourite with audiences, bringing a unique energy, warmth and animation to performances. His rendition of Vaughan Williams’ famous The Lark Ascending has been a highlight for music-lovers over the years, playing to packed concert halls on every occasion.

The presentation took place at the closing concert of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s (RNS) 60th anniversary season on Saturday. During the season Sage Gateshead has been aiming to raise £60,000 to help support the music and education work carried out by RNS. So far the appeal has raised £57,000 so there is just £3,000 to go before the end of the summer.

At the concert Bradley was bestowed the title of Leader Emeritus in honour of his remarkable career with RNS.

There were moving tributes from RNS Music Director Lars Vogt and players Kyra Humphreys (co-leader), Steven Hudson and Jenny Chang as well as the Friends of RNS.

Steven said: “Bradley breaks all stereotypes of what you’d expect from a leader of an orchestra. It’s like being the captain of a ship, and in order for the ship to run smoothly you’ve got to have a happy crew, and for 30 years Bradley has navigated us on a wonderful artistic journey. Your gorgeous playing, generosity, warm heart and extrovert character are going to be sorely missed by us all.

At the concert Bradley bid farewell by leaping onto a custom-made chariot, which transported him around the concert hall while he played some of his favourite Hungarian folk music, jumping into the audience to chat and perform in his own unique and energetic style.

Bradley was born in West Sussex and began learning the violin aged 12. Born to a circus and fairground performer (his father) and jazz singer (his mother) he was destined to entertain. He went on to study at the Royal College of Music before moving to Newcastle to join Northern Sinfonia (it was bestowed its ‘Royal’ title in 2013).

Bradley, 63, said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family and returning to play with RNS as a guest in the future.

I’ll miss being able to play full-time with such fantastic musicians. Working and making music with them and having the time to rehearse with them and let the music grow, is an amazing experience,” he added.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director at Sage Gateshead, said: “Bradley has led Royal Northern Sinfonia for three decades and had a profound influence on the orchestra itself as well as the musical life within Sage Gateshead and across the North of England.

“His never-ending curiosity, openness and commitment to reaching as wide an audience as possible have led to an outstanding contribution to music in the region. We look forward to welcoming him back to play with RNS as a guest from time to time and are pleased to give him the honorary title of Leader Emeritus as a signal of our gratitude and respect for all he has achieved.”

To support the RNS 60th Anniversary Appeal visit


For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Emily Taylor, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4617 number M. 07793 762 879

Gaynor Ellis, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4690

Notes to editors:

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 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 in recent seasons have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.
RNS has worked with many international conductors and soloists including Christian Tetzlaff, Sir Roger Norrington and Jessica Cottis and collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds, John Grant and Mercury Rev.

RNS has commissioned new music by David Lang and Errollyn Wallen amongst others and runs an annual Young Composers Competition.
RNS has always been actively involved in local communities and in education. Musicians support young people learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training and through In Harmony, an immersive orchestral music-making programme for children and young people in the West End of Newcastle.

Sage Gateshead is an international music venue reaching an annual audience of over 260,000 people. Every year we stage over 400 concerts and offer over 11,000 classes and workshops to over 13,000 participants of all ages and backgrounds.

We are home to the acclaimed Royal Northern Sinfonia as well as our popular, annual festivals SummerTyne Americana and Folk on the Tyne. We are dedicated to supporting emerging artists, as well as established names, offering residencies such as our Summer Studio and Folkworks Summer Schools.

Alongside our music performance and learning offer, our iconic building, designed by Foster & Partners, provides the perfect venue to over 100 conferences and events a year.

As a charity, the financial support we receive from Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, Arts Council England and our donors helps to ensure everyone in the community can experience the joys of music. Positioned as one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation, our continued ambition for the future is to work to significantly to increase the number and range of people connected with music.

We are for artists, for audiences, for the North, for the long term.