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ROYAL NORTHERN SINFONIA BRINGS PROGRAMMES RICH IN COLOUR, SUNSHINE AND DRAMA FOR A BOLD START TO 2022

Posted on 15 December 2021

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Friday 21 January – Friday 1 April 2022

  • The extraordinary RNS Moves joins RNS on stage for a sea themed musical voyage
  • Soloists include: Rachel Redmond, Steffan Morris, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Mariam Batsashvili, Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius, Eric Lu, Craig Ogden and Timothy Ridout
  • Conductors include: Jaume Santonja, Domingo Hindoyan, Lionel Bringuier, Marta Gardolinska and RNS Principal Conductor Dinis Sousa
  • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and The Hallé first orchestras to return on tour to Sage Gateshead
  • Sage Gateshead to host mix of live and online RNS concerts, gigs across all genres and classes in response to positive feedback and broad ability to access

On Friday 21 January Royal Northern Sinfonia picks up with Haydn again, hot on the heels of its triumphant performance with Sir Roger Norrington in autumn 2021, his last as a conductor. In the new year, Principal Conductor Dinis Sousa takes Royal Northern Sinfonia on a whirlwind tour of the music that may have inspired Haydn: from the splendour of Versailles, through two generations of Bachs to the man himself in his youthful exuberance. Dinis and RNS are joined by soprano Rachel Redmond and RNS cellist Steffan Morris for his first concerto in the role. This concert will be live streamed.

The first visiting orchestra to return does so on Tuesday 28 January. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic with its dynamic new chief conductor Domingo Hindoyan join to perform a programme that blazes with colour from Debussy’s Jeux to the jazzy flair of Ravel’s Piano Concerto – played by the sensational Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Another hot and intoxicating concert this time focused around the music of Spain bathes audiences in sunshine on Friday 4 February. Spanish-born conductor Jaume Santonja joins RNS to span the elegance of Luigi Boccherini to the raw Flamenco passion of Manuel de Falla. The great guitarist Craig Ogden joins to perform Rodrigo’s enchanting Fantasia para un gentilhombre.

Chopin was a dreamer – but he was a revolutionary too and pianist Mariam Batsashvili brings poetry and power to his Piano Concert No. 1 in E minor. Guest conductor Marta Gardolinska conducts RNS in the teenage Schubert’s joyous Third Symphony, and shares a discovery from her native Poland – the brilliant, supercharged Concerto by Grazyna Bacewicz. This joyful and dramatic evening on Friday 18 February will also be live streamed.

In Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante a violinist and a viola player dance, joke and pour out their very souls. RNS conductor laureate Thomas Zehetmair joins violist Ruth Killius for this masterpiece like no other. Also on the bill on Friday 4 March are Ravel’s luminous dance suite and the rarely-heard Second Symphony by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Sounds of the Sea on Friday 11 March sees Mendelssohn braving wild Scottish seas, Vivaldi whipping up a storm, and Handel putting a full orchestra on board a rowing boat for the ultimate 18th century boat trip. On Tyneside the sights and sounds of the sea are never far away, and in this programme Royal Northern Sinfonia and RNS Moves (the inclusive ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians) voyage from Takemitsu’s Pacific vistas to Grace Williams’ Welsh coast. This concert will be live streamed.

The young Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu has been described as a poet of the keyboard with a magic touch. Audiences on Friday 25 March can hear the winner of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with Principal Conductor Dinis Sousa and Royal Northern Sinfonia. Surrounded by great Romantic symphonies, it’s the passionate heart of a concert filled with drama, beauty, and melodies that soar.

The final concert goes to the second visiting orchestra of the season, The Hallé on Friday 1 April. Lionel Bringuier conducts Manchester’s orchestra, starring viola virtuoso Timothy Ridout as Berlioz’s Byronic hero. Romantic music at its most unbuttoned.

The classical music programme sits alongside a diverse offer of gigs from artist and bands across all genres, a huge array of music classes – from ukulele, to pop singing and sessions for under 5s – and support for artists. More information can be found at www.sagegateshead.com.

Thorben Dittes, Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia said: “It has been wonderful watching the orchestra return to concerts in front of a live audience and we’ve had a lot of fun conceiving new programmes and ways of experiencing classical music over the autumn.

“This spring we are delighted to welcome RNS Moves to perform alongside RNS in Sage One in our sea themed programme of Mendelssohn to Takemitsu. The players in both ensembles are truly extraordinary and it will be an incredible night of music making.

“Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and The Hallé see two of the UK’s other great orchestras visit Sage Gateshead in a welcome return to visiting ensembles post pandemic. We look forward to giving them and our audiences warm welcomes in the spring of 2022.”

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said“Royal Northern Sinfonia has given us some incredible performances over the autumn with Sir Roger Norrington and the coming together of RNS with 260 community participants for the Verdi Requiem which was a deeply moving night.

“Going into the new year with these rich, sunny and optimistic programmes they are set to put a spring in all our steps. We continue to stream some concerts from their season to allow those who cannot join us in person access. Music is such an important part of our health and wellbeing and we look forward to maintaining our £5 tickets for 18-30 year olds and £5 First Timers tickets to allow more people to try an RNS concert and be welcomed through the doors of Sage Gateshead.

ENDS

For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Jackie Thompson E: [email protected]  M:0191 443 4602

Susie Gray, The Corner Shop PR E: [email protected] M: 07834 073795

Listings:

21 Jan – RNS: A Journey to Haydn

RNS: A Journey to Haydn *live streamed*
21/01/2022
19:30

Conductor: Dinis Sousa
Soprano: Rachel Redmond
Cello: Steffan Morris
Royal Northern Sinfonia

DUARTE – Sinfonia No.4
J.S BACH – Brandenburg Concerto No.3
RAMEAU – Suite of Arias and dances from the operas

C.P.E BACH – Cello Concerto in a minor
HAYDN – Symphony No. 8 ‘Le Soir’

“There was no-one to distract me, so I was forced to become original” said Joseph Haydn, but in fact he was at the heart of a Europe-wide network of composers and performers. Dinis Sousa takes the Royal Northern Sinfonia on a whirlwind tour of the music that might have inspired him: from the splendour of Versailles, through two generations of Bachs to the man himself – in all his youthful exuberance.

28 Jan – Visiting: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Conductor: Domingo Hindoyan
Piano: Bavouzet Jean-Efflam
DEBUSSY – Jeux, Poème dansé
RAVEL – Piano Concerto in G major

ROUSSEL – Suite No. 2 from Bacchus et Ariane, Op.43
RAVEL – Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
RAVEL – Boléro

A drum, a rhythm, and a tune you’ll never forget. That’s all Ravel needed to create Boléro, and tonight, it’s the climax of a concert that blazes with sunlight, whether the flickering colours of Debussy’s Jeux to the jazzy flair of Ravel’s Piano Concerto – played by the sensational Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is on a roll under its dynamic new chief conductor Domingo Hindoyan: prepare to be astonished.

4 Feb – RNS: Espana!

RNS: España!
04/02/2022
19:30

Jaume Santonja, conductor
Craig Ogden, guitar
Royal Northern Sinfonia

BOCCHERINI – Symphony No.6 ‘La Casa del Diavolo’
RODRIGO – Fantasia para un gentilhombre

DE FALLA – Three Cornered Hat Suite No.1
GRANADOS – Intermezzo from Goyescas
DE FALLA – El Amor Brujo Suite

Maybe it’s the sunshine, maybe it’s the heat, but there’s just something intoxicating about the music of Spain. For the Spanish-born conductor Jaume Santonja, it comes naturally, whether the elegance of Luigi Boccherini or the raw Flamenco passion of Manuel de Falla. And since it wouldn’t be Spain without a guitar, the great Craig Ogden performs Rodrigo’s enchanting Fantasia para un gentilhombre: pure magic, from the composer of Concierto de Aranjuez.

18 Feb – Batashvili plays Chopin

RNS: Batsashvili plays Chopin *live streamed*
18/02/2022
19:30

Conductor: Marta Gardolinska
Piano: Mariam Batsashvili
Royal Northern Sinfonia 

CHOPIN – Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor

BACEWICZ – Concerto for String Orchestra
SCHUBERT – Symphony No.3 in D major, D.200

Chopin was a dreamer – but he was a revolutionary too, and one writer described his music as “cannons hidden in flowers”. One thing’s for sure, though: our piano soloist Mariam Batsashvili won’t stint on either poetry or power. Guest conductor Marta Gardolinska conducts the teenage Schubert’s joyous Third Symphony, and shares a discovery from her native Poland – the brilliant, supercharged Concerto by Grazyna Bacewicz.

4 Mar – Zehetmair plays Mozart

Conductor/Violin: Thomas Zehetmair
Viola: Ruth Killius
RAVEL – Le Tombeau de Couperin
MOZART – Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in E-flat major, K364-
MOZART – Thamos, King of Egypt K336a [345] (Entr’actes)
SAINT-SAËNS – Symphony No.2 in A minor, Op.55

With Mozart, two’s company, and in his Sinfonia Concertante a violinist and a viola player dance, joke and pour out their very souls. RNS conductor laureate Thomas Zehetmair joins Ruth Killius for a masterpiece like no other, and surrounds it with elegance and emotion. First comes Ravel’s luminous dance suite. And then enjoy the rarely-heard Second Symphony by Camille Saint-Saëns: you’ll wonder why we don’t hear it more often!

11 Mar – Sounds of the Sea

RNS: Sounds of the Sea *live streamed*
11/03/2022
19:30

Director/violin: Kyra Humphreys
Royal Northern Sinfonia
RNS Moves

MENDELSSOHN – The Hebrides: Overture, Op.26
TAKEMITSU – Toward The Sea II
JOE CUTLER – Sage Gateshead Commission (world premiere)

VIVALDI – La tempesta di mare RV 570
GRACE WILLIAMS – Movements from Sea Sketches
HANDEL – Water Music Suite

RNS Moves is teaming up with Royal Northern Sinfonia for the very first time, as they take to the waves in Hall One for Sounds of the Sea. Mendelssohn braves wild Scottish seas, Vivaldi whips up a storm, and Handel puts a full orchestra on board a rowing boat for the ultimate 18th century pleasure cruise!

RNS Moves is an inclusive ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians known for their innovative and imaginative approach to classical music. They frequently perform new music by contemporary composers, and together with RNS will be performing a world premiere by British composer Joe Cutler.

Here on Tyneside, we’re never far from the sights and sounds of the sea, and tonight Royal Northern Sinfonia and RNS Moves dive straight in, with music that voyages from Takemitsu’s Pacific vistas to Grace Williams’ Welsh coast – and all without getting your feet wet.

Find out more about RNS Moves.

25 Mar – Eric Lu plays Beethoven

RNS: Eric Lu plays Beethoven
25/03/2022
19:30

Conductor: Dinis Sousa
Piano: Eric Lu
Royal Northern Sinfonia

MOZART – Overture to ‘The Magic Flute’
BEETHOVEN – Piano Concerto No.3

SCHUMANN – Symphony No.2

“A veritable poet of the keyboard” was how one critic described the young Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu; praising his “magic touch”. But hear for yourself, as the winner of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition joins Dinis Sousa and Royal Northern Sinfonia in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. With masterpieces by Mozart and Schumann on either side, it’s the passionate heart of a concert filled with drama, beauty, and melodies that simply soar. 

1 Apr – Visiting: The Halle

The Halle
01/04/2022
19:30

Conductor: Lionel Bringuier
Viola: Antoine Tamestit
The Hallé

BERLIOZ – Harold in Italy

SMETANA – Vltava from Má Vlast
TCHAIKOVSKY – Francesca da Rimini

In the mountains of Italy, a young man wanders and dreams – haunted by a tragic past. Amid the terrors of the Inferno, the poet Dante hears a story of doomed love. And in the hills of Bohemia, a river becomes the spirit of a nation. With Lionel Bringuier conducting Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra, and starring viola virtuoso Antoine Tamestit as Berlioz’s Byronic hero, this is Romantic music at its most unbuttoned – and unforgettable.