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Sage Gateshead



Posted on 4 November 2020

The Futureheads

Sage Gateshead is pleased to announce that its ‘Sage Live 2020’ series of concerts is to be streamed live from the iconic venue.

Due to a change in government guidelines, Sage Gateshead is unable to welcome audiences into the venue for the remaining live performances, but are delighted to continue with the ‘Sage Live 2020’ performance series as live streams.

Seeing that changes to government guidelines were possible, Sage Gateshead had planned live streaming as an alternative for its audiences. They had already delivered four Sage Live 2020 concerts before changes in guidance were announced.  They are delighted to offer audiences the opportunity to listen and enjoy the experience from the comfort of their own homes. Audiences are able to book live stream tickets from the venue’s website.

Performances, which will be streamed from the stage of the Sage One hall, include orchestra of Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia; RNS Moves, a Pay What You Decide concert with our inclusive ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians; Mercury Prize nominees Lanterns on the Lake; Sage Gateshead favourites The Futureheads performing a special acoustic show; and a rare show from British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed.

Royal Northern Sinfonia will perform well known works from the classical repertoire. Programmes include Mahler’s orchestral reworking of Schubert’s great Death and the Maiden quartet, directed from the violin by Alina Ibragimova; Mendelssohn’s irrepressible Italian Symphony, conducted by the young Portuguese conductor Dinis Sousa; and arrangements for chamber orchestra by Iain Farrington of Debussy’s Prélude a l’après midi d’un faune and La Mer, featuring RNS Chamber-Pianist-in-Residence Alasdair Beatson. The final programme, conducted by Duncan Ward, will include Louise Farrenc’s stormy third symphony, which the orchestra performed to great acclaim last season.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said:

“We’ve always known how much audiences and musicians value live music, and our recent experience of inviting them back to our building was a very positive one. Whilst not the same as coming to Sage Gateshead, we hope audiences will continue to enjoy these shows in live stream. We look forward to welcoming socially distanced audiences back to Sage Gateshead once these new current restrictions are lifted.

“Our 3-year, £3 million Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance fundraising campaign continues to be vitally important.  The new restrictions will mean a further reduction in our box office income. We’ll continue to invest in our digital education programmes, reaching thousands of children, young people, and adults across the region.

“We would like to thank audiences and donors from across the North East and beyond for supporting our organisation through a very challenging period. Every ticket purchased and donation given helps to secure our future and means a great deal to our staff, musicians, and Board. Thank you.”

Ticket holders for the remaining ‘Sage Live 2020’ performances will be contacted directly and offered a full refund.

Live stream tickets are available now from 


For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

Notes to Editors
Sage Live 2020: Full programme listing

Friday 6 November
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Chloé van Soeterstède conductor
Steffan Morris cello
Elgar Serenade for Strings
Ylva Skog They Call Her Love
Tchaikovsky Andante Cantabile
Sibelius (arr. Farrington) Symphony No.5

Saturday 7 November
Lanterns on the Lake

Friday 13 November
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Alina Ibragimova director/violin
George Walker Lyric for Strings
Bach E Major Violin Concerto
Schubert Death and the Maiden

Saturday 14 November
Yazz Ahmed

Friday 20 November
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Dinis Sousa conductor
Stravinsky Pulcinella Suite
Caroline Shaw Entr’acte
Mendelssohn Symphony No.4

Friday 27 November
Royal Northern Sinfonia

Kyra Humphreys director/violin
Alasdair Beatson piano
Debussy (arr. Farrington) Prélude a l’après midi d’un faune
Sally Beamish Piano Concerto No.1: Hill Stanzas
Debussy (arr. Farrington) La Mer

Saturday 28 November
RNS Moves

Saturday 4 December
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Duncan Ward conductor
Schumann Overture, Scherzo, and Finale Op.52
Berlioz Rêverie et caprice
Farrenc Symphony No.3

Sunday 5 December
The Futureheads


  • Since opening 15 years ago, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be major employer and has brought investment and tourism into the region, generating c. £500 million contribution to the local economy.
  • More importantly, Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity.
  • Last year Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark.  80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020-21 £10 million in revenue will be lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis, but further challenges lie ahead. 90% of the workforce has been on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and its fundraising campaign aims to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. However, income levels are likely to be drastically reduced well into next year, and so the charity is redoubling its fundraising efforts.
  • Arts and Culture in the North East had a turnover of £400 million, providing employment for 2,450 people in 2016 (last year for which figures are available)
  • Performing arts accounted for 33% (i.e. >£133 million) and 700 jobs
  • Gross Value Added of arts and culture sector to the NE is £203 million


Royal Northern Sinfonia
Thomas Zehetmair Conductor Laureate
Lars Vogt, Julian Rachlin Principal Artistic Partners
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, including La folle journée in Nantes. In recent seasons they have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.

RNS has worked with many international conductors and soloists including Christian Tetzlaff, Sir Roger Norrington, Paul McCreesh, Jess Gillam, Nicholas McGegan, Mahan Esfahani, Viktoria Mullova and Jessica Cottis, and also collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds, John Grant, Mercury Rev, Field Music and Maxïmo Park.

RNS has commissioned new music by David Lang, John Casken, Tansy Davies, Errollyn Wallen and James Weeks amongst others, and runs an annual Young Composers Competition.

In order to engage with the widest possible range of artists and audiences, in 2018 RNS founded its inclusive ensemble RNS Moves, and also increasingly programmes accessible and relaxed performances throughout the season.

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 In Harmony Newcastle.

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.

We are a charity and rely on the support of donors to ensure everyone in the North East community can experience the joy of music.

Every year we welcome more than two million visitors. More than 400 concerts featuring all kinds of local, regional and international music, take place all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region, with 190,000 people of all ages taking part in over 10,000 music classes and workshops.

The iconic building, designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia and is a place where emerging artists are nurtured through dedicated programmes and festivals.