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RNS at 60 Welcomes Oslo Philharmonic at 100

Posted on 8 February 2019


Royal Northern Sinfonia welcomes Oslo Philharmonic to its home of Sage Gateshead in March as both orchestras celebrate milestone anniversaries.

The Norwegian orchestra under chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, will perform at the North East music venue on Sunday March 10 at 3pm as part of its centenary tour. Royal Northern Sinfonia is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary season.

The critically acclaimed partnership of Oslo Philharmonic and Petrenko returns to the UK to give five anniversary year concerts. Their tour programmes draw from a list of orchestral masterworks comprising Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and JulietRachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3 and Symphony No.1Delius’s On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Grieg’s Piano Concertoand Sibelius’s Symphony No.5. Nikolai Lugansky will join the tourists as soloist in the Grieg and in Rachmaninov’s fiendishly difficult Third Piano Concerto.

Vasily Petrenko said: “We want the greatest possible number of people to hear the Oslo Philharmonic in its centenary year.”

“This tour of the UK is an important part of our international celebrations. I’m very glad that, because of it, British audiences will have the chance to hear the orchestra during its landmark anniversary.

“Our tour repertoire will be familiar to a broad audience and the variety of pieces we’ll be doing is also very good for the orchestra. This is wonderful music that stirs deep emotions among performers and listeners alike. We are delighted to share these rich programmes with audiences across the UK.”

The Russian conductor also looks forward to renewing his long artistic partnership with Nikolai Lugansky.

“We are good friends and have been collaborators over many years.” said Petrenko.

“Nikolai belongs to a very aristocratic tradition of Rachmaninov playing. He reveals all the passion and warmth in Rachmaninov’s music without ever going over the top. The Third Piano Concerto is not just a showpiece for him; he goes deep into the music to explore what’s there beneath the surface. And we will play Grieg’s magnificent Piano Concerto together with an orchestra that has the composer’s music in its blood. Grieg created the organisation from which the Oslo Philharmonic grew a century ago.”

Vasily Petrenko’s choice of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony was influenced by the Oslo Philharmonic’s long tradition of performing the Finnish composer’s music. It also flows naturally from the Sibelius legacy established in Oslo by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Petrenko’s immediate predecessor as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor.

“I’m continuing this proud tradition and am delighted that we will bring what is one of the most intense of the Sibelius symphonies to the UK,” he said.

The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Chief Executive Officer, Ingrid Røynesdal, said: “We’re already seeing a huge increase of interest surrounding our anniversary.”

“It’s always fantastic for us to come back to the UK. Vasily has an especially strong profile there and is held in such affection by British audiences. It’s a joy for us to be part of that. To be able to play in great halls in one of the world’s most important centres for classical music is always special but will be doubly so for us in 2019 because of the orchestra’s centenary year and the excitement and energy that has already been generated.”

Tickets are available from £16.50 and buses will run from Alnwick, Hexham and Carlisle.