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Book a ticket        Sunday 24th September 2017  7.30 pm        Book a ticket

Pre-concert talk by members of the Royal Northern Sinfonia at 6.45 pm

Sunday 24th September 2017   7.30 pm

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Bradley Creswick  director/violin

Michael Gerrard  viola

Peter Francomb  horn

Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola in E flat K.364

Horn Concerto No.1

Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’

   RNS savage

The 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 year.

The concert is generously supported by Orchestras Live and Arts Council England, the thirteenth in the Orchestras Live Cumbria series, and by United Utilities.

peter francombe horn

Peter Francomb
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 Harris.
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 North.

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 Orchestra.

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’.
RNS Bradley

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 in Manchester.

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.
mike gerrard

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.

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