Norrington Presents: Dr Haydn's London Academy
Symphony No.103 ‘Drumroll’, movements 1 & 2 (17 mins)
Set of English Canzonettas (15 mins)
String Quartet Op.76 No.5 (19 mins)
Symphony No.103 ‘Drumroll’, movements 3 & 4 (10 mins)
March for the Prince of Wales (5 mins)
Set of English Canzonettas (14 mins)
Symphony No.101 ‘The Clock’ (29 mins)
Sir Roger Norrington conductor
Susan Gritton soprano
Steven Devine fortepiano
Royal Northern Sinfonia
In what promises to be a very special evening, Royal Northern Sinfonia are celebrating not only the music of Haydn but Sir Roger Norrington himself, as he takes to the stage for what he has decided will be his final night on a conductor’s podium. Norrington has established himself as a true icon of classical music, known worldwide for his radical and innovative approach to performance. Throughout his distinguished career spanning seven decades he has championed fresh approaches to the work of composers from Monteverdi to Mahler and actively encouraged audiences to hear and experience music in new and engaging ways. Royal Northern Sinfonia are honoured to welcome him back to Sage Gateshead, for what is sure to be a truly memorable and historic performance.
As a pioneer of the movement for historically informed performance, there is nobody better suited to lead this recreation of Dr Haydn’s London Academy. In 18th Century London, concerts were often known as academies, but despite the scholarly-sounding title these evenings were pure entertainment, comprising a mixed bill of orchestral, solo and chamber music. Stripping back modern conventions and traditions, this all-Haydn programme breaks up symphonic movements with songs and chamber music, as it would have been experienced by audiences at the end of the 18th century.
Alongside Sir Roger in the spotlight will be soprano Susan Gritton and fortepianist Steven Devine, who will perform two sets of Haydn Canzonettas or songs, written in London during his visit in the 1790s. The movements of the ‘Drumroll’ Symphony will be broken up not only by songs, but also Haydn’s dramatic String Quartet Op.76 No.5 featuring players from Royal Northern Sinfonia. Bringing our academy to a close will be one of the composer’s best loved symphonies, No.101 ‘The Clock’.
Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult
Concessions are available for:
- North East First Timers
- 17 & Under and Unemployed (in receipt of benefit)
Can’t make the live concert? Streaming passes are available!
Join us from the comfort of your own sofa for the live stream of the concert, which will be streamed as a live experience from our iconic Sage One hall. The live stream will be also be available to watch on demand for 48 hours from midnight on Thursday 18 November.
We now have three ticket options for our livestreams: Single Viewer (£8), Pair of Viewers (£15) and Family Viewers (£30). Please select the best option for you. On Sale Friday 17 September at 12noon.
To get the best possible experience, please read our Streaming FAQs, which includes information on how to view the stream on your TV.
Sir Roger Norrington, conductor
For 50 years Roger Norrington has been at the forefront of the movement for historically informed orchestral playing. Whether with his own London Classical Players in the 1980s, with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, or Zurich Chamber Orchestra in recent years, or with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment from its foundation, he has sought to put modern players in touch with the historical style of the music they play. The work involves orchestra size and seating, tempo, phrasing, articulation and sound.
Sir Roger (he was knighted by the Queen in 1997) sang and played the violin from a young age, and began to conduct at Cambridge. He studied at the Royal College of Music and in 1962 founded the first of several groups for the performance of early music, the Heinrich Schütz Choir. This was followed ten years later by the London Classical Players, which established Norrington as a leading exponent of historical style.
Susan Gritton, soprano
Winner of the 1994 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Award, British soprano Susan Gritton read botany at St Hilda’s College, Oxford subsequently attending the Britten-Pears School and National Opera Studio winning an Arts Foundation Fellowship. Recognised as one of the finest and most versatile singers of her generation she has performed in concert, recital and opera on many of the world’s major stages in roles such as Ellen Orford, Countess Madeleine, Tatyana, Micaela, Theodora, Donna Anna and Blanche with conductors such as Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Colin Davis, Steuart Bedford, Richard Hickox and Paul McCreesh. A noted interpreter of classical repertoire she has performed and recorded Haydn masses including Harmoniemesse (Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle) and Nelsonmesse and others (Collegium Musicum 90, Hickox on Chandos). Her Grammy nominated recordings include Holst The Mystic Trumpeter (BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis) which she performed at Snape in December 2019 (BBC Concert Orchestra, Wordsworth). Other career highlights include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at Carnegie Hall, New York in celebration of a significant birthday of Sir Roger Norrington, Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, Ravel L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Bach Johannespassion (Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle); Britten The Rape of Lucretia (Female Chorus, Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble, Sir Oliver Knussen), and Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony (London Symphony Orchestra, Hickox). In the last few years, Susan refreshed her botanical studies at Reading University and subsequently developed a successful career as a professional botanist now managing a nature recovery project in a lowland wetland. She dedicates this performance to our precious coral reefs.
Steven Devine, fortepiano
Steven Devine read Music St Peter’s College, Oxford and studied at the Royal College of Music. He currently holds the positions of Conductor & Artistic Advisor of The English Haydn Festival; Music Director of New Chamber Opera, Oxford; Director of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment series Bach the Universe & Everything; Artistic Advisor of the York Early Music Festival and Principal Keyboard of Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is a member of the ground-breaking electronic music group The Art of Moog.
On the concert platform he has directed the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; BBC National Orchestra of Wales; the English Haydn Orchestra; Trondheim Barokk; Victoria Baroque Players, British Columbia Arion Baroque Ensemble, Montreal; the Academie d’Ambronay, the Mozart Festival Orchestra and St Paul’s Chamber Orchestra.
As a harpsichordist Devine’s recordings include Francesco di Fiore Concerto Ostinato on Zefir, Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier and the complete solo harpsichord works of Rameau on Resonus and Bach Italian Concerto and Goldberg Variations on Chandos. He directed a recording of Dido & Aeneas with the OAE and Sarah Connolly in the title role.
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. 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.