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13 June 2013, 16:12
The Queen has bestowed a royal title on Classic FM's Orchestra in North-East England, now known as Royal Northern Sinfonia.
It's the first time a royal title has been bestowed on a UK orchestra in over 20 years and marks new recognition for the only full-time professional chamber orchestra working in Great Britain.
Classic FM's Anne-Marie Minhall spoke to orchestra leader Bradley Creswick to get his view on the new title. Creswick commented: "It's such an affirmation of the work we've done… It gives us a tremendous sense of fulfilment and anticipation. Every note we play will now have a gilt edge to it!"
The news was announced by Nigel Sherlock, Lord Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, to musicians at the Sage Gateshead, the orchestra's home since the building opened in 2004.
Music director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia Thomas Zehetmair commented: "What a wonderful title! I am very grateful to Her Majesty for honouring these outstanding musicians. The North East of England has become an important place in my life, and to be part of the cultural blossoming of the region fills my heart with joy."
Classic FM's Bill Overton spoke to Anthony Sargent, General Director of the Sage Gateshead, who said: "It's the most thrilling news we could possibly imagine. I think it will mean a terrific amount to the community… I think for things like touring, it will be a real help to us internationally."