The students are back. Those who like their peace and quiet may be shuddering but it’s great for music lovers as it means there’s so much more going on. The university music societies are gradually announcing their programmes for the year: I’ve now added concerts for the Orchestral Society (DUOS) and the Opera Ensemble (DOE) to the events list, and I’m hoping soon to have dates for the Choral Society and the Chamber choir. Click here to view all student events
I’ve also added next year’s concert details for the Durham Singers, Durham Choral Society, Orchestra North East and the Caritas Ensemble. If you’re planning something, please get in touch.
The university’s concert series MUSICON also has another great programme of concerts by visiting artists; I’m delighted to see that the ever-entertaining Orlando Consort will be back in March, and the Brodsky Quartet are also coming that month. The series begins on 23 October with what looks like a fascinating concert by the Clerks called Tales from Babel.
Royal Northern Sinfonia began their first season with their marvellous new title last weekend, so I was up at the Sage reviewing their opening concert for Bachtrack. I also went to Hexham where I enjoyed a wonderful concert by Ben Rowarth’s choir Renaissance, which I wrote about here.
Congratulations to Camilla Harris, of Renaissance, who this week signed a recording contract with Decca with the vocal ensemble Celeste. You’ll be able to hear her as one of the soprano aria soloists in the Durham Singers St Matthew Passion, in November.
Ben Rowarth won the 19-25 category of the NCEM Composers’ competition in 2012, and so it was a nice coincidence that I found myself also writing this week about Alex Woolf, the other winner. Alex has just recorded his first album, of his piano works, and my short review was the most-read post on the site this week.
I’ve been listening to Handel’s Agrippina in preparation for English Touring Opera’s visit and I’ll be writing an introduction to the opera sometime next week. I’m also back at the Sage reviewing a Late Mix Britten concert.
Next Saturday is the Durham Singers’ Come and Sing St Matthew Passion workshop – there are still places available, or you can turn up on the day. I hope I’ll see you there.