Music for the summer

A POPULAR music showcase returns to north Northumberland this summer, bringing classical and choral music to a 12th century priory.

But this year, the Brinkburn Music Festival has a fresh format, running over one weekend instead of two at Brinkburn Priory in July.

Chairman of the board of trustees, Richard Maudslay, said: “Despite the ending of our Northern Rock Foundation funding, the Brinkburn Music Festival will go ahead this summer.

“In this transition year, while we put in place new funding support, we shall have only one weekend, but this will in no way diminish the quality of what we shall offer.”

The festival opens on Friday, July 8, with a performance from the Northern Sinfonia from 7.30pm.

On Saturday, July 9, at 7.30pm, festival favourites the Gabrieli Consort, accompanied by organist William Whitehead, will be premiering their new choral programme, which combines Byrd’s Great Service with 20th century and contemporary music, including two specially commissioned pieces by Jonathan Dove.

On the final day of the festival, on Sunday, July 10, the event welcomes, for the first time, Iestyn Davies, regarded as the finest of Britain’s young countertenors.

He will perform a programme of baroque music, including Couperin’s Holy Week Lecons and a work by Buxtehude, from 2pm.

At 4pm, there will be a performance of Fauré’s Requiem by the Gabrieli Consort and the North East Youth Chorale. The concert will also feature French harp music performed by Gabriella Dall’Olio and Debussy’s trio for harp, viola and flute.

Evensong will take place at 6.30pm.

For more details, visit www.brinkburnmusic.org or ring the festival office on 01665 833751.