Sunday 24th September 2017 7.30 pm
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Bradley Creswick director/violin
Michael Gerrard viola
Peter Francomb horn
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola in E flat K.364
R.Strauss: Horn Concerto No.1
Beethoven: Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’
season begins with the verve and brilliance of Royal Northern Sinfonia
with their colourful director and leader Bradley Creswick and a
wonderful programme! Opening with violin and viola soloists and
orchestra in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, followed by Richard
Strauss’s 1st Horn Concerto and finally Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony
with the heroic funeral march. A resounding celebration of well-loved
music for the start of the Keswick Music Society’s 70th anniversary
The concert is generously supported by
Orchestras Live and Arts Council England, the thirteenth in the
Orchestras Live Cumbria series, and by United Utilities.
began playing the horn at the age of 10. His early studies were in
Eastbourne with Jane Allen, and in London with Ifor James and Ron
Early performing experience was gained with the Brighton Youth
Orchestra. In 1974 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music,
where he studied with Douglas Moore. In 1976 at the International
Festival of Youth Orchestras, he won the Van Cliburn Foundation
Scholarship, which funded a further year’s tuition with David Cripps
and Tony Halstead at the Guildhall School of Music.
On leaving college, he worked as guest principal horn with the BBC
Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Chamber
Orchestra of Europe and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In the field
of chamber music he has worked with the Nash and Prometheus Ensembles,
and since 1985 has been a member of the Albion Ensemble.
In 1988 he was invited to become the principal horn of Royal Northern
Sinfonia, and in 2013 he celebrated 25 years in that role. During his
time in Newcastle/Gateshead he has played a large selection of the horn
solo repertoire. In 1992 he was invited to perform Giovanni Punto’s
Fifth horn concerto at the International Horn Convention in Manchester,
and he subsequently recorded this and three other concertos for Pan
Classics with Royal Northern Sinfonia.
Peter continues to be invited as guest principal with the Academy of St
Martin in the Fields, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Royal Scottish National
Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Opera
In 2015, Peter was invited to become principal horn with the London Mozart Players. He combines this work with his RNS duties.
Bradley Creswick has a long association with Royal Northern Sinfonia going back to 1984 when he was first appointed leader.
The musical life then, as now, was amazingly rich and varied, providing
some personal highlights such as the EMI recording of Vaughan Williams’
‘The Lark Ascending’ and Concerto Accademico with Richard Hickox,
performing Prokofiev’s Concerto no.2 for Radio 3 and recording all the
Handel op.6 Concerti grossi with George Malcolm. More recent recordings
include: Handel Concerti grossi op.3 for Naxos and the Sinfonia
Concertante for Violin and Viola by Mozart with the Zurich Chamber
In 1987 Bradley moved to London to lead the Philharmonia, still
maintaining his relationship with the Sinfonia, making guest
appearances, notably as soloist with them in the 1989 BBC Proms playing
‘The Lark Ascending’.
The London years continued as leader of the Orchestra of the Royal
Opera House before taking the opportunity, in 1994, to return to the
Sinfonia and the North East for a second time. Working at Sage
Gateshead now provides the chance to play with an even greater variety
of musicians, such as James Crabb and Bruce Molsky.
Recently, Bradley has been invited twice to Marlboro Music Festival in
America and is asked regularly to guest lead a wide range of
orchestras. Playing with friends is a vibrant part of life and he
relishes the chance to play with the pianist Margaret Fingerhut, giving
recitals around the country; and has occasionally been heard playing
western swing fiddle ‘back home’.
|Michael Gerrard was
nine years old when he took up the violin, changing to the viola six
years later. He studied with Jaqueline Leonard at Chetham’s School and
then with Patrick Ireland and Nobuko Imai at the Royal Northern College
of Music. In 1980 he was prizewinner in the Lionel Tertis International
Viola Competition. After a post-graduate year with Eli Goren he was
appointed associate principal viola with the Netherlands Chamber
Orchestra, and on his return to England two years later became, at the
age of 25, one of the youngest professors to teach at the Guildhall
School of Music in London. He also taught at Chetham’s School of Music
Michael has broadcast
frequently for the BBC with the Matisse Piano Quartet and recorded
chamber music with Divertimenti. He joined Royal Northern Sinfonia as
principal viola in 1987 and has appeared as soloist on several
occasions including performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 6
with the Russian violist Yuri Bashmet and performances of Mozart’s
Sinfonia Concertante under the baton of Heinrich Schiff.
Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only
full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a
world-wide reputation for the North East through the quality of its
music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make
with audiences. The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region
at the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms, this year performing
Handel’s Water Music at The Stage @ the Dock in Hull – the first Prom
performed outside of London since 1930. They appear frequently at
venues and festivals in Europe, and recently toured to South America,
China and South Korea.
In recent seasons RNS has worked with conductors and soloists Christian
Tetzlaff, Olli Mustonen, Reinhard Goebel, Katrina Canellakis, Nicholas
McGegan, a host of world-class singers including Sally Matthews, Karen
Cargill and Elizabeth Watts, and also collaborated with leading popular
voices such as Sting, Ben Folds and John Grant.
RNS has commissioned new music, recently by Benedict Mason, David Lang,
John Casken and Kathryn Tickell, and in the 2015/16 season launched a
new Young Composers Competition.
RNS has always been actively involved in local communities and in
education. This season the orchestra will perform across the region in
Kendal, Middlesbrough, Carlisle, Berwick, Barnard Castle and
Sunderland, as well as in Gateshead. Musicians support young people
learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for
Advanced Training and through In Harmony, a long-term programme in
Hawthorn Primary School in which every child in the school learns a
musical instrument and plays in an orchestra.
Find out more about the Royal Northern Sinfonia