The Avison Ensemble play almost exclusively period instruments and are thus best experienced live, in the smaller more intimate venues where we prefer to play. Below is a diary of our upcoming performances, so check back often as we regularly add new performances throughout the year. Alternatively, signup for our mailing list to be kept informed of new concerts and Avison Ensemble events.


Sep Sun 02

Exhibition: Charles Avison

Exploring the music and heritage of Britain's foremost concerto composer

Charles Avison (1709-1770) played an outstanding role in 18th century Newcastle as organiser of the town’s most important musical entertainment. He successfully ran subscription concerts from the mid-1730s until his death in 1770. He also composed extensively and is regarded as Britain’s foremost composer of concertos in the 18th century. Of national importance in his day, Avison’s international reputation today rests not only on his important compositions but also on his Essay on Musical Expression, the first book in English to discuss the aesthetics of music.

The exhibition will celebrate Avison’s life and legacy through examples of his music compositions and works. The exhibition includes a rare opportunity to view his two manuscript Workbooks – volumes containing more than 600 manuscript pages of his music composition sketches and music by others. These Workbooks are very rare survivals showing how 18th century composers wrote their music.

The exhibition will look at Avison’s significance to Britain’s heritage and explore his important local connections and colleagues. The exhibition will also showcase the international revival of Avison’s music and reputation by the Avison Ensemble.

The exhibition will appeal to anyone with an interest in Newcastle’s history as well as anyone who is passionate about 18th century music and culture.

The exhibition has been organised by the Avison Ensemble in conjunction with Newcastle City Library and has been made possible with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Charles Avison Exhibition is part of our Avison Workbooks Project.

Newcastle Collection Showcase, Level 6
Newcastle City Library
Charles Avison Building
33 New Bridge Street West
Newcastle upon Tyne
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The Charles Avison exhibition is part of our Avison Workbooks Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Click here for more information on our Avison Workbooks Project.


Dec Sat 15 7:30pm

Handel's Messiah at Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral Choir
The Avison Ensemble
Conducted by Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral

We are delighted to be performing Handel's famous oratorio with the Choir of Durham Cathedral in the stunning surroundings of Durham Cathedral and under the direction of Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral.

Handel composed his Messiah in 1741 and continued to work on it after its initial performance, finally arriving at the version we know today in 1754. Impressive solo arias, including 'Ev'ry valley shall be exalted' and 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion' are interspersed with compelling choral sections telling the story of Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection, and final victory over sin and death. And of course the rousing 'Hallelujah' Chorus is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music, and by far the most widely-known section of Messiah.

Join us for a wonderful festive performance of Handel's ever-popular Messiah and enjoy this wonderfully upliftling music in the run-up to Christmas and in the splendour of Durham Cathedral.

Durham Cathedral
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Tickets: £8 to £28.

Tickets available from Durham Cathedral Visitor Desk, by phone on 0191 3387 178 or online here.