Curtain comes down on society’s season

Northern Sinfonia
Northern Sinfonia

A performance by the principal string players of the Northern Sinfonia will bring the curtain down on Alnwick Music Society’s concert season.

These talented musicians, who regularly appear at The Sage Gateshead, will play at Alnwick Playhouse on Tuesday, May 14, from 7.30pm.

The programme will be a very varied and interesting one, comprising two works by composers in their youth, one the work of maturity and one a contemporary work.

The evening will begin with Shostakovich’s Prelude and Scherzo for String Octet, written during his early years before moving on to the contemporary Brett Dean’s Five Epitaphs for 20th-century Australian cultural figures.

The second half begins with the Strauss Prelude for his Opera Capriccio before Mendelssohn’s famous Octet for Strings in four movements.

The leader of the Octet is Kyra Humphreys. She will be joined by Iona Brown (first violin), Sara Wolstenholme and Jenny Chang (second violins), Mike Gerrard and Malcolm Critten (violas) and Louisa Tuck and Daniel Hammersley (cellos).

Tickets, priced £14, £13 conc, are available from the Playhouse, on 01665 510785 or from www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk. Non-Society members are welcome. Students in full-time education will be admitted free of charge.

○ At its last concert (review below) the Society announced that its new president, in succession to Duchess Elizabeth, will be international pianist Martin Roscoe.

Society chairman, Roy Todd, said: “He has been a great friend and supporter of the Society over many years and a regular performer at many of its concerts.”

However, it was with great sadness that the Society’s vice-chairman, Myra Armistead, passed away. She was a pivotal figure throughout its existence.

Mr Todd added: “Myra, an accomplished pianist, was a fund of knowledge and contacts in the musical world and her expertise will be greatly missed.

“The Society will hold a memorial concert for Myra in next season’s programme.”

At a Society concert earlier this month, Roscoe performed an encore of Schubert’s last Moments Musicaux, dedicated to Myra.