Welcome to the 2018 season of great music performed by truly outstanding musicians. We hope you will join us and share in the enjoyment of music from the 13th to 21st centuries, in a programme that offers something for everyone - crossing the boundaries of folk and chamber music, bringing some of the best of the classical chamber music repertoire, and delighting us with the ear-tingling sounds of medieval music.

I am very excited by this year’s programme and hope that you will be tempted to come along to hear fresh interpretations of works you already know as well as discovering the new and unfamiliar.

John Casken, Artistic Director

Methera, Scintillating Folk - Saturday 12 May, 7.30pm

Methera is a unique ensemble: a string quartet with roots firmly planted in English traditional music. Their national tours, BBC broadcasts and collaborations have helped them establish a reputation as a scintillating live act, blazing a trail through the uncharted territory that lies between folk and chamber music.

Methera combine a deep knowledge of traditional music with a wide range of other influences and expertise and a deep sense of musical interaction. Newly composed pieces sit alongside timeless traditional material; their music is both sophisticated and earthy, groundbreaking and familiar, enchanting and thrilling - chamber folk at its best.

Philip Higham, Alasdair Beatson - Saturday 26 May, 7.30pm

Cello in Song

Philip Higham , Principal Cello of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, is one of the most outstanding young cellists of his generation. He has been described as “possessing that rare combination of refined technique with subtle and expressive musicianship…all the qualities of a world-class artist” (The Strad).

Alasdair Beatson is a remarkable and sensitive pianist, both soloist and accompanist, who is equally at home in both standard and contemporary repertoires, and whose playing has been praised for “musicianship of the highest order….artistry incarnate…a pianist to rank alongside the finest.” Their programme sings with the intimate drama and passion of these key works from the repertoire.

Hallé Soloists - Sunday 17 June, 3.00pm

Oboe plus Three

Music for oboe and string trio performed by members of the Hallé and led by Stéphane Rancourt, the orchestra’s Principal Oboe, whose tone and beauty of sound have captured the imagination of audiences in the orchestra’s home city of Manchester and across the world.

This unique programme unusually includes three oboe quartets, ending with Mozart’s exquisite and ever-popular Oboe Quartet. The string trio repertoire is less familiar than that for string quartet, but this trio by Beethoven is a major work and Sibelius’ little-known trio is a perfect gem.

Orlando Consort - Saturday 7 July, 7.30pm

The Anonymous Monk

The exciting space and fine acoustic of Alwinton’s church is an ideal setting for this concert of medieval music from the 13th century. The Orlando Consort is one of the world’s leading ensembles renowned for its authoritative performances of music of this period, music that still sounds fresh and new to our ears.

This concert traces the journey of a medieval monk known as Anonymous IV as he travels through Britain to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris where he immerses himself in the great polyphonic tradition led by Perotinus, whose magnificent motet Viderunt omnes is included in the concert.

Seductive and virtuosic polyphony will alternate with medieval plainsong and this will be sung by those who will have worked with the Orlando Consort in an afternoon workshop.

Plainsong Workshop - Led by the Orlando Consort

2.00 – 3.30pm, Alwinton Church

Alwinton Summer Concerts take place in the Church of St Michael and All Angels, located just outside of the remote, rural village of Alwinton in Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland. The series has established itself as one of the major cultural events in the North-East of England and the church, with its fine acoustic, is surrounded by beautiful and dramatic landscape.

John Casken Chairman and Artistic Director
Richard Marr Treasurer
Anne Jones Secretary

Alwinton Church Summer Concerts - Registered Charity No. 1140527