Top quality performers set for a summer of music to suit all tastes

Spiro.
Spiro.

A feast of musical riches should offer something for all tastes as the Alwinton Summer Concerts return.

The 2019 season, brought together by artistic director John Casken, offers a vast range of musical styles, from funky folk and theatrical melodrama to a classical string quartet and early music for tenor, lute and viol.

Marmen Quartet. Picture by Marco Borggreve.

Marmen Quartet. Picture by Marco Borggreve.

And setting off the whole programme is the inspiring venue of the Church of St Michael and All Angels in Alwinton, Upper Coquetdale.

The series begins on Sunday with the award-winning Marmen Quartet offering pieces by Haydn and Beethoven.

There will also be a fascinating early work by the Hungarian composer György Ligeti, his First String Quartet, subtitled Métamorphoses Nocturnes, which is haunting and at times explosive.

The concert takes place at 7.30pm.

Sir John Tomlinson. Picture by Robert Workman.

Sir John Tomlinson. Picture by Robert Workman.

There’s no let-up in quality for the next of the season’s concerts when Sir John Tomlinson and the ensemble Counterpoise present The Art Of Love, a theatrical evening focusing on the early life of Alma Mahler.

Young mezzo-soprano Rozanna Madylus recreates the figure of Mahler, telling her story through music by Wagner, Zemlinksy, Gustav Mahler and Alma Mahler herself.

Sir John, described as ‘the greatest British operatic bass-baritone of our times’, takes the role of the great Viennese painter Oskar Kokoschka, and John Casken’s vivid melodrama Kokoschka’s Doll explores the relationship between Kokoschka and Mahler.

It takes place on Saturday, May 25, at 7.30pm.

Alwinton Summer Concerts artistic director John Casken. Picture by  Sarah Jamieson Photography.

Alwinton Summer Concerts artistic director John Casken. Picture by Sarah Jamieson Photography.

Acclaimed lutenist Jacob Heringman, viol player Susanna Pell and tenor John Potter will introduce audiences to some of the finest early music in The Lute Unbound on Saturday, June 15, at 7.30pm.

The trio are well known for their performances of 16th century music, but also play more recent compositions, and their programme will include work by Tallis and Byrd and songs by Warlock, Peter Pope and Sting.

There will also be an afternoon workshop, from 2pm to 3.30pm, offering the opportunity to hear new pieces submitted for the third Alwinton Composers’ Competition.

Bringing the series to a fitting finale is Spiro, described as a “dazzling instrumental quartet”, with the sounds of guitar, mandolin, violin and accordion.

The group will offer an upbeat, foot-tapping end to the season on Saturday, July 6, again at 7.30pm.

Full details of the series can be found online at www.alwintonconcerts.org

Tickets cost from £8 to £16, free for under 16s.