Summer concert series is best yet

Barbican String Quartet
Barbican String Quartet

Organisers of an increasingly-popular series of summer concerts have released details of its line-up for this year.

The Alwinton Summer Concerts take place in the village’s St Michael and All Angels Church and bring first-rate musicians with national and international reputations to Northumberland, as well as champion the work of living composers.

Artistic director John Casken believes the 2017 series is one of the most diverse and exciting programmes yet.

He said: “The diversity and range of music in the 2017 season of concerts is both thrilling and out of the ordinary. From classical string quartet to the best of British jazz, with an intriguing dual concert for accordion and percussion, and a talented young chamber choir singing a cosmopolitan programme of folk-inspired music for summer, each offers an unforgettable musical experience.”

The series begins on Saturday, May 20 with virtuoso accordionist Bartosz Glowacki and the percussion ensemble O Duo.

Glowacki, a leading light in a new generation of accordionists, will play music by Domenico Scarlatti, Arvo Pärt, Sofia Gubaidulina, and a selection of Polish, Balkan Klezmer, Brazilian and French folk music.

John Casken

John Casken

O Duo will perform arrangements of Antonio Soler and Spanish Dances by Granados, their own piece Bongo Fury, Philip Glass’s Mad Rush, and more.

On Saturday, June 3 the Barbican String Quartet will play music from the 18th to 20th centuries by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Webern and the series’ artistic director John Casken.

Then on Sunday, June 18, Ad Solem, a talented group of young singers from The University of Manchester, perform unaccompanied choral music that brings together different folk traditions connected by the theme of summer. The programme will include early music, folk-inspired pieces, music by Delius, James MacMillan and Ligeti, as well as music by composers from the Baltic States.

The season will close on Saturday, July 1 when world-class jazz musicians Mike Walker, Iain Dixon and Les Chisnall will play a programme of music by Messiaen, Finzi and Walton, alongside pieces by Gwilym Simcock and Mike Walker.

Ad Solem

Ad Solem

The three Saturday concerts will take place at 7.30pm, and the Sunday concert will take place at 3pm.

In addition to the four concerts, there will be three workshops.

On Saturday, May 20, from 11am to 12.30pm, Bartosz Glowacki will run an accordion workshop, open to players of all abilities. The same day, from 2pm to 3.30pm, O Duo will offer a percussion workshop for youngsters between six and 14 years old. Finally, Mike Walker will provide a guitar workshop on Saturday, July 1, from 2pm to 3.30pm.

See www.alwintonconcerts.org for more details.