A series of summer concerts, established as one of the major cultural events in the North East, has been relaunched for 2016.
Tickets are now on sale for the Alwinton Summer Concerts, which take place in the church of St Michael and All Angels in Alwinton.
The concerts can be summed up as folk and jazz inspired, with a touch of music from the reign of Elizabeth I, and a unique programme of music from Finland and Austria.
There will be four different groups performing in May and June.
The series begins with one of the country’s leading folk musicians, Kathryn Tickell, who brings her new band The Side to Alwinton, with their vibrant mix of folk and classical traditions, on Saturday, May 7. Organisers are also collaborating with Kathryn and her band in the Alwinton Composers’ Competition as part of the concert.
The Apollo Saxophone Quartet will play on Saturday, May 28. The band has done much to develop the repertoire for saxophone quartet in the UK, drawing on both classical and jazz traditions.
On Saturday, June 11 Fretwork will be taking to the stage. They are a leading ensemble exploring music of the great English consort tradition from Taverner to Purcell, but they have also become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols. Their Alwinton programme focuses on Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80.
To end the season, Royal Northern Sinfonia Ensemble will play on Saturday, June 25, with players from the region’s international chamber orchestra and orchestra of Sage Gateshead performing a rarely heard arrangement of Sibelius’ En Saga, a beguiling work by Sibelius’ fellow countryman Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Schubert’s Octet.
Artistic director John Casken said: “This year’s Alwinton summer concerts feature music rooted in landscape and traditional culture, from our very own border traditions through European tales to the music of the New World’s indigenous peoples. Concerts explore how music communicates where language fails or is absent.
“In addition to outstanding and internationally renowned musicianship, we are delighted to be bringing new work to this year’s concerts through our second national composers’ competition.
“The 2016 concerts are a wonderful opportunity to hear music of the highest calibre performed in an outstandingly beautiful location.”
Adult tickets are available from £12 for a single concert and from £42 for all four, while under 16s are able to attend all concerts free. For any ticketing enquiries, go to www.alwintonconcerts.org/tickets or call 01669 640382.