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Barbour Foundation Supports New Classical Season

Posted on 16 September 2013

The Barbour Foundation is supporting leading music centre Sage Gateshead’s forthcoming classical season, the first showcasing the newly anointed Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Sage Gateshead, a registered charity, announced the news today, saying the support from The Barbour Foundation would enable it to develop its work in making world-class music experiences available to all.

The announcement comes soon after Her Majesty the Queen bestowed the title of ‘Royal’ on Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, recognising it internationally as one of the UK’s finest orchestras – the first time any UK orchestra has been so honoured for over twenty years.

Dame Margaret Barbour DBE DL, Chair of The Barbour Foundation, said: “The honour that Her Majesty The Queen bestowed on our superb orchestra in June 2013, renaming it Royal Northern Sinfonia, recognises the international quality of this exceptional group of players who are an asset to the UK as well as the North East.

“I am thrilled that The Barbour Foundation is able to support the inaugural ‘Royal’ Season in 2013-14 and I look forward to the very exciting season of concerts ahead of us.”

Anthony Sargent CBE, General Director of Sage Gateshead, said: “I am very grateful to The Barbour Foundation for supporting this, our first ever classical season showcasing Royal Northern Sinfonia. The Barbour Foundation has been a wonderfully generous long-term supporter of Sage Gateshead and all our plans and ambitions since Sage Gateshead’s inception, and The Barbour Foundation’s latest involvement now comes at an enormously exciting time for the exceptional family of virtuosi who make up our orchestra.

“Royal Northern Sinfonia sits at the very heart of Sage Gateshead’s mission to present a wide and varied programme of music, exploring new music alongside giving outstanding performances of the classics, and engaging new audiences alongside giving vital support and encouragement to young musicians in the North East.”

A star-studded roster of guest ensembles and artists join the newly honoured orchestra for its 2013-14 season, which begins on September 29. The season bids farewell to its world-renowned and longest serving Music Director Thomas Zehetmair. Known for his dedication to style and interpretation, he leads the orchestral programme at Sage Gateshead until June 2014 and conducts Royal Northern Sinfonia in their debut series at Milton Court, London, in October 2013 and June 2014.

Marking their 40th anniversary, Northern Sinfonia Chorus also join Thomas and the orchestra for three significant and memorable concerts as well as performing under their founding Chorus Master Alan Fearon.

Other highlights include a celebration of Benjamin Britten, a world premiere by internationally-renowned British composer John Casken and a new programme cycle of Beethoven’s complete Piano Sonatas.


Sage Gateshead Media Contact:
Emily Taylor, Head of Marketing & Communications, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4567

Notes to editors:

More about Sage Gateshead’s Classical Season 2013/14

Among the season’s many guests of Royal Northern Sinfonia are leading instrumentalists who each perform a concerto and then conduct the orchestra for the first time, bringing their unrivalled musicality to the podium. Violinist Julian Rachlin performs Mendelssohn, pianist Lars Vogt takes on Mozart and Beethoven and astounding trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger presents Bach, Haydn and Stravinsky.

The popular Classic FM Series, featuring Principal Conductor Mario Venzago, continues with a selection of the most loved concerti from classical music and many pieces from Classic FM’s ‘Hall of Fame’, whilst the Late Mix series inspires and challenges the mind with music from throughout time.

Chamber music is a unique and integral part of the work of Royal Northern Sinfonia, highlighted in the Sage Two series, which includes works from Brahms to Schoenberg whilst Section Leader Flute, Juliette Bausor, performs a vivid recital as an ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Star.

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