The Full Works Concert – Tuesday 4 June: Northern Sinfonia Week

Jane Jones presents the second of her week of concerts showcasing the Northern Sinfonia, Classic FM's orchestra in North-East England.

sage gateshead

The Northern Sinfonia has built a distinctive reputation as a fresh thinking, versatile orchestra, performing repertoire spanning three centuries as well as newly commissioned new work.

The orchestra’s activities span concerts, broadcasts, recordings, and touring with Music Director Thomas Zehetmair, who started with the 2002-2003 season for an initial contract of 3 years. He is currently signed to stay in post through the 2013-2014 season. Together they have forged one of Europe’s most dynamic musical relationships, securing them a growing international reputation.

Tonight Jane features Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major with Thomas Zehetmair as both conductor and solo violinist. Their performance of the work received a rapturous reception and this recording was made at the Northern Sinfonia's home, The Sage Gateshead, pictured above.

The concert opens with Benjamin Britten's A Simple Symphony, with Steuart Bedford at the helm of the Northern Sinfonia. Bedford personally collaborated with Britten and has conducted his operas around the world, including the world première of Death in Venice in 1973.

Another major force in English music was Richard Hickox, who was a master of the 20th-century British and choral repertoire. One of the most recorded of all conductors, Hickox is heard tonight at the helm of the Northern Sinfonia playing Vaughan Williams' 2 Hymn-Tune Preludes.

The concert ends with John Field's Piano Concerto No.2 in A flat major. The British soloist Benjamin Frith has performed with several major international orchestras and conductors, including Zubin Mehta, and has played at the Edinburgh International Festival. Tonight he tackles the Field concerto with his customary lyricism and flair.


Benjamin Britten: A Simple Symphony

Conductor: Steuart Bedford
Northern Sinfonia

Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major
Violin/Director: Thomas Zehetmair
Northern Sinfonia

Ralph Vaughan Williams: 2 Hymn-Tune Preludes
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Northern Sinfonia

John Field: Piano Concerto No.2 in A flat major
Piano: Benjamin Frith
Conductor: David Haslam
Northern Sinfonia