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.


Apr Sun 05 7pm

Bach's St. John Passion 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 returning to the stunning surroundings of Durham Cathedral to perform Bach's St. John Passion on the evening of Palm Sunday with the Choir of Durham Cathedral and under the direction of Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral. Our orchestra will be led by our renowned period instrument violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk.

Bach's St. John Passion was the first setting of the passion story that he composed after assuming the prestigious position of cantor at the Thomas Church in Leipzig, being first performed on the afternoon of Good Friday, 7th April 1724. Of the two surviving Passions by Bach, the St. Matthew Passion is the more impressive, but the St. John Passion is the more dramatic. It is not as comforting and consoling as the St. Matthew Passion and is the more stark and painful evocation of the Passion story.

The St. John Passion is a compelling biblical narration of the crucifixion story, with a penetrating reflection of the meaning of the events as described by John. Listeners find themselves alternating between active participation in the events and meaningful contemplation. The conclusion of the St John Passion is very different from that of the Matthew; it is affirming, confident and assuredly looking forward to the life beyond, whereas Matthew leaves us simply with entombment.

Do join us for this unmissable concert on the evening of Palm Sunday 2020.

Durham Cathedral
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Tickets: £8 to £28.

Tickets available from Durham Cathedral Visitor Desk, by phone on 0191 338 7178 or online here.