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Sage Gateshead



Posted on 29 November 2019

RNS Live

Music being studied by young people in the North East was brought to life by Royal Northern Sinfonia for 656 school pupils at a special concert at Sage Gateshead.

Pupils from 24 schools took their seats in the world-famous Sage One concert hall to hear RNS Live! – performing major works by Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven and Mozart. The pieces form part of the GCSE and A Level music syllabuses.

Presenter Tom Redmond guided pupils through the musical periods from baroque to 20th  century contemporary with plenty of audience participation along the way. The orchestra was also joined by soloists from Samling Institute for Young Artists, performing excerpts from Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro.

Teacher Elizabeth Johnston, from Kings Priory School in Tynemouth, said: “I bring pupils to Sage Gateshead because I feel passionately that young people must experience live music with live, professional musicians.

“It makes the music more human, more accessible and brings to life what we’re studying on the page from the classroom. It helps them understand much better how the motifs and the themes develop and are transformed throughout the piece of music.

“The concert was pitched just right, the choice of pieces, the length of the programme and the variety was excellent.”

Presenter Tom Redmond said: “Anybody coming to a concert like this is going to be struck by the incredible energy of hearing this music played live.”

GCSE music pupil Grace said: “Hearing the music live is a completely different experience. You realise what you would have missed if you’d just listened to it on a CD. It brings you closer to the music and is so helpful for our understanding.”

RNS musician Dan Hammersley said: “For children who study these works at school and then come and hear them in this wonderful concert hall, I think it will really help bring these pieces music to life and hopefully be a really vivid and an exciting experience for them all.”

The next RNS Live! concert is on February 25 and is aimed at primary school groups (KS2). They will be able to experience live orchestral performances of some of Beethoven’s greatest works, including his iconic 5th Symphony, during the 250th anniversary of his birth.

To find out more about RNS Live! concerts contact




For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Gaynor Ellis, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. T. 0191 443 4690

Emily Taylor, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. T. 0191 443 4617 M. 07793 762 879


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 Stage@theDock 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.


Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences and for the North.

Our iconic building, designed by Foster & Partners, welcomes around 500,000 visitors each year. It is home to the acclaimed Royal Northern Sinfonia and presents around 400 events and festivals each year for a live audience of 350,000 (six million people hear our work via stream or broadcasts). Every year we support over 100 musicians through our artist development programme and we work with 30,000 children and young people as well as 20,000 adults in our creative learning programme.

As a charity we rely on financial support from Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, Arts Council England and our donors 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.


Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.