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About Northern Sinfonia
Northern Sinfonia is noted for its dynamic approach to programmes and performances, ranging from small-scale ensembles in intimate locations to the full orchestra in the major concert halls of Europe including The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, The Philharmonie in Berlin and the Musikverein in Vienna.
There is an equally flexible approach to the times of performances, incorporating concerts throughout the day, and early and late evening.
Out and About
Touring forms an integral part of Northern Sinfonia’s work. From its home at The Sage Gateshead it continues to perform across the North of England and fly the region’s flag throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. Recent touring included a residency at the Hong Kong Festival with Northern Sinfonia Chorus, and a European tour with Ian Bostridge.
Classic FM Partnership
Northern Sinfonia is delighted to be Classic FM’s orchestra in the North East, Our Classic FM Concert Series of eight concerts includes many of the masterworks that appear regularly on the radio station with a special leaning towards those that appear in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, the world’s biggest annual survey of classical music tastes.
Northern Sinfonia is proud to work with its Music Director, Thomas Zehetmair, Principal Conductors Simon Halsey, John Wilson and Mario Venzago and distinguished visiting musicians including Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Franz Bruggen, Imogen Cooper, Thierry Fischer, Lesley Garrett, Evelyn Glennie, Heinz Holliger, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Heinrich Schiff.
A full series of classical concerts is complemented with regular collaborations with artists from other genres and art forms. Sting, Pet Shop Boys, Joanna Newsome, Debbie Harry and Raul Malo have worked with the orchestra and the musicians have taken an active role in The Sage Gateshead’s celebrated festivals including Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Fiddles on Fire and SummerTyne. In 2012 Northern Sinfonia also joined forces with Danish band Efterklang for their UK ‘Piramida’ tour – watch a short film of the project.
“I used to watch the Northern Sinfonia as a kid at City Hall. I can’t believe I’m standing up here in front of them singing, it’s beyond fantasy.“
Recordings and broadcasts form an integral part of the orchestra’s work. The most recent recording is ‘Christmas at The Sage Gateshead: Rejoice!’ Northern Sinfonia, the Chorus and our Quay Choirs along with Simon Halsey were recorded live at The Sage Gateshead during their annual Christmas concert.
Previous releases have also won critical acclaim, including: “Thomas Zehetmair directs the concerto from the violin; he brings the work alive marvellously.” four stars in The Guardian for a new recording of Symphonies 3 & 6 by Sibelius and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto; and “(Zehetmair and) Northern Sinfonia’s interpretation achieves a level of intimacy between soloist and orchestra that is almost unrivalled elsewhere.” BBC Music Magazine CD of the Month July 2007 for the Brahms Violin Concerto and Schumann Symphony no. 4.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Northern Sinfonia celebrated its 50th Anniversary Season in 2008/09, which opened with Northern Sinfonia and Music Director Thomas Zehetmair performing a complete cycle of Beethoven’s nine symphonies over five concerts in chronological order to critical acclaim. The orchestra celebrated the 5th Birthday of its Norman Foster-designed home, The Sage Gateshead, in December 2009.