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Northumberland Brinkburn Festival to feature Benjamin Britten

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  June 2, 2013 | 0 Comments
Brinkburn Music Festival Northumberland

Brinkburn Music Festival Northumberland

Brinkburn’s 2013 anniversary programme will be another notable music celebration this year – the centenary of Benjamin Britten and his music.

Brinkburn Music Festival’s artistic director Paul McCreesh unveiled the programme, and also announced that this year, the festival’s 20th anniversary, will be his last in the role.

Making the announcement at the Festival’s 2013 programme launch night, he said that after 20 years the time had come to hand the festival over to someone as new as he takes up the role of artistic director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon.

“Brinkburn Music Festival has been a big part of my life for the past 20 years and I’m very proud that we achieved what we set out to do which is to bring world class music to this extraordinary 12th century priory in this quiet but beautiful corner of Northumberland.  It is hard to walk away but I do feel that the time is now right to pass it onto someone who can inject new ideas and passion into it and carry the legacy forward.

“We’ve invited back some of the festival’s most popular performers to help us celebrate our 20thanniversary.  The Carducci Quartet, who are one of the country’s most successful string quartets open the festival on Friday,5 July  with a concert that includes Britten, Shostakovich and Beethoven.

“We’re also delighted to have the region’s best loved and leading orchestra, Northern Sinfonia back with us for the second concert of the festival on Saturday 6 July with an evening that not only features Britten but also composers linked to his life like Mozart and Schubert.”

The weekend will close on Sunday with what promises to be a wonderful finale, not only for festival’s anniversary but also for Paul McCreesh.  “Ever since we started Brinkburn all those years ago, I have wanted to do Haydn’s The Seasons with the Gabrieli Consort & Players.  It really is the most amazing piece of music so I’m delighted that, along with the really talented North East Chorale, we have the opportunity to finally do it.”

Taking over as artistic director of Brinkburn Music Festival is conductor and musicologist, Gulliver Ralston.   Gulliver, who is director of Music at the University of Roehampton and at Oxford’s University Church, said:

“I am delighted to be joining Brinkburn Music Festival as artistic director in 2014.  It’s humbling to be following in the giant footsteps of Paul McCreesh, who was the founder and inspiration for its first 20 years.  Brinkburn Priory is an extraordinary building with a history and architecture which encourage creative thinking, and we already have a programme in place for 2014 which we will announce at this year’s festival.  All I can say at present is that it is going to be a mixture of the familiar and the innovative, with the same calibre of international artists and rising stars whom Paul has been able to attract.”

Tickets for this year’s festival are now on sale for donors and patrons; from May 13 for Festival friends and from May 20 for general public. For more details go to or call 01665 798007.

Full 2013 programme is as follows:

Friday 5 July 2013

7.30pm – Carducci String Quartet

Britten – String Quartet no. 1 in D major, op.25

Shostakovich – String Quartet no. 4 in D major, op.83

Beethoven – String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, op. 59 no.2


Saturday 6 July 2013

7pm – Northern Sinfonia

Mozart – Overture: Clemenza di Tito

Shostakovich – cello concerto no. 1 in E-flat major, op. 107

Britten – Sinfonietta, op. 1

Schubert – Symphony no. 5 in B-flat major


Sunday 7 July 2013

1pm – An Audience with Paul McCreesh

2pm – Gabrieli Consort & Players with the North East Chorale

Haydn’s The Seasons

A festival of classical music at beautiful Brinkburn Abbey, Northumberland
Starts: 07/05/2013
Ends: 07/07/2013
Brinkburn Priory
Brinkburn, Longframlington, Northumberland
NE65 8AR

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Category: News

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