News

Details of our latest news and press releases can be found here.

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October 2016

Our Handel recording is one of Gramophone Magazine's 50 finest Handel recordings

Our recording of Handel's Opus 6 Concerti Grossi on Linn Records is THE recording to have in Gramophone Magazine's list of the 50 greatest Handel recordings of all time.
The list is complete with the original Gramophone reviews of the 50 of the finest Handel recordings available and it's good to revist their review of our wonderful recording: 'The Newcastle-based Avison Ensemble, under the experienced direction of violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk, ranks alongside the best for musicianship, taste and style ... Beznosiuk is an excellent judge of textures and tempi, and his leadership of the concertino group is authoritative and nuanced ... The Avison Ensemble’s set may well remain rewarding long after the novelties of more precocious approaches have faded.'

We're delighted that our CD has been chosen as THE recording of choice for Handel's brilliant Concerti. Click here or on the image to see Gramophone's list. Have a listen on our website shop here and you'll hear why our set was chosen.

August 2016

Our Garth Accompanied Keyboard Sonatas CD praised by Audiophile Sound, Italy

Our wonderful world premiere recording of John Garth's Accompanied Keyboard Sonatas with the wonderful Gary Cooper has been praised by Audiophile Sound, Italy: 'The interpretation by the Avison Ensemble (one of the most interesting of British ensembles playing baroque music) and harpsichordist Gary Cooper makes the most of these works and highlights Garth’s skillful and versatile compositional technique.'  The review also highlights the influence Italian music played on Garth's compositional style. You read the review by clicking here or on the image, and listen to samples from our recording here.

Avison's to open new Cedars Hall concert hall in Wells

We're delighted to present almost the first concert in Cedars Hall, the outstanding new concert hall at Wells Cathedral School. To celebrate this new opening we've put together a programme fizzing with colour, excitement and vituosity. We'll be performing Concerti Grossi by Charles Avison and Handel, a Cello Concerto by John Garth and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Do join us for a very special concert in this brilliant new venue. Click here or on the image to book tickets.

 

July 2016

Our Geminiani recording praised by CD Classico

'The Avison Ensemble are a team of absolute excellence when it comes to the works of their namesake.'
So says CD Classico Italy in their new review of our wonderful, world premiere recording of Avison's arrangement of Francesco Geminiani's Violin Sonatas which clearly demonstrates the influence of Italian instrumental music on Avison's writing.
The review finishes with great praise saying '... the brilliance, the fluent phrasing and tempi; the attention to tone and structure, delivered with creativity and grace, and a generous set of programme notes, make this an ideal benchmark recording of these Concerti Grossi. Admirable!' If you haven't heard our recording of these have a listen here and you can read the full review here.

William Shield festival 10th to 16th July with the Avison Ensemble

As part of the week-long William Shield Festival organised by Community Music Whickham and Swalwell, the Avison Ensemble will heavily involved on the last day of the Festival. At 11am the Ensemble's Wandering Minstrels presents a programme specially designed for children aged 6 – 11. Soprano Poppy Holden and harpsichordist John Treherne with a guest cellist put Tyneside songs into their historical context with an engaging and participatory one hour workshop.

At 1pm the Ensemble's executive director and cellist Gordon Dixon will be performing Grieg's Cello Sonata in A minor with the pianist John Treherne MBE. Strongly influenced by folk song, Grieg has a strong relationship with William Shield, whose compositions are imbued with the spirit of traditional music. Also included will be a performance of Hummel’s piano variations on Shield’s song ‘The Ploughboy’.

To end the week-long Festival, the final event concert will feature ensembles from CMWS and also award winners from the 2016 Avison Young Musicians Awards. A fine ending to a memorable week celebrating the local composer William Shield and also the talented professional and young musicians in the North East!

All three events take place at the Lit and Phil, Newcastle, and further information can be found on our Events page here or on the William Shield Festival website here.

June 2016

Gordon Dixon performs Grieg's Cello Sonata as part of the William Shield Festival

Don't miss the William Shield Festival from Sunday 10th - Saturday 16th July on Tyneside which will be a cornucopia of delights designed to celebrate the life and times of this great, but often forgotten, composer. Shield was Master of the King's Musick, principal violinist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and is buried at Westminster Abbey.
Events include a performance of Grieg's Cello Sonata by Gordon Dixon, the Ensemble's founder, executive director and professional cellist, on Saturday 16th July.
Further details of events to follow, but find out more by clicking here or on the image.

March 2016

The myth of Avison the 'forgotten composer' dismissed in new article

Charles Avison - forgotten? NEVER!! Inveterate Charles Avison sleuth Dr. Simon Fleming has undertaken a massive - and we mean MASSIVE - search for posthumous references to Avison in the British press to discover whether his music was forgotten after his death, as is the fate usually given about the music of British 18th century composers.

Simon viewed over 16,000 references to Avison in the British press and also viewed numerous concert programmes and periodicals for references to Avison and his music. He has discovered that Avison's music continued to be performed regularly and discussed widely in the years following his death and in the 19th century. Simon's article about Avison's posthumous reputation will be published shortly in an edition of Early Music and we're really grateful to Simon for sharing his exciting findings and for all his serious sleuthing.

We're delighted to know that Avison's music was cherished in the years following his death and that Simon and the Avison Ensemble continue to bang the drum for his music and that of his contemporaries.

February 2016

Pavlo Beznosiuk & Paula Chateauneuf at Club Inégales, Thursday 11 February, 7pm

Avison Ensemble director Pavlo Beznosiuk and lutenist Paula Chateauneuf will be performing on Thursday 11th February at 7pm at Club Inegales in Euston, London, as part of the 'Found in Translation' series exploring new music in interactions beyond traditional music languages and featuring renaissance strings, kanun, counter-tenor, folk fiddle and more.
Doors open at 7pm and click here or on the image for information on the location and tickets on the Club Inegales website.

January 2016

New recording of Avison's Concerti after Scarlatti by Concerto Koln

Six of Avison's wonderful Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti are available in a new recording by the marvellous Concerto Koln.

The Times review describes Avison's Concerti as not "simply orchestrations of Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas, but represent the Georgie organist's attempt to improve them". And "Concerto Koln give six sparkling examples with their customary verve and pinpoint articulation." The recording includes Concertos 3 to 6, 9 and 11. Click here for a YouTube film of Concerto Koln recording and discussing Avison's Concerti.

December 2015

Download our Corelli Christmas Pastorale for FREE!

Stressed out with Christmas preparations? Download our Corelli Christmas Pastorale for FREE now from Linn Records and let us provide some pre-Christmas instant calmer. And you can download the track in 24-bit Studio Master for free too, so you'll hear our beautiful performance in the best quality reproduction available anywhere. Click here to start our instant Chirstmas calmer ...!

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Avison Ensemble!

November 2015

Our Vivaldi recording in Linn's top 10 composers collection

Linn Records has produced a limited edition recording collection bringing together ten specially selected recordings featuring works by ten of the greatest composers to ever live: J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Handel, Stravinsky, Vivaldi, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Chopin. Vivaldi is represented by our recording of his best-known work 'The Four Seasons' which forms part of his Op. 8 collection of twelve concerti.

Our recording presents an insightful performance of the masterpiece that is brimming with energy. As Classics Today said: '... ideally realized by the superb period-instrument Avison Ensemble and recorded in vibrant, extraordinarily detailed sound. Beznosiuk is as formidable--and engaging--as any virtuoso who's ever tackled these challenging pieces, and his orchestra provides consistently first-class support.' Click here or on the image to find out more about Linn's composer collection.

Song recital by Pamelina Oubinova

If you've been to our Young Artists' Concerts you'll know that Pamelina Oubinova is an outstanding young (12 year old!) soprano who has a wonderful voice and already an enormous repertoire. Join her on Sunday 15th November at 2:30pm at Jesmond URC for her free recital of songs by Bach, Purcell, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann. It will undoubtedly be a wonderful recital!

October 2015

'Sold out!' - our Sage debut concert is a sell-out triumph

Our Concerto in England concert at the Sage on Friday 9th October was sold out and received by a hugely supportive and enthusiatic audience of over 300 people. We're delighted to have at last been invited to perform at the Sage and it was entirely appropriate that we played music from the region by Charles Avison and John Garth. We also showcased organ concertos by Handel and Stanley, astounded the audience with William Herschel's virtuosic and typically eccentric Violin Concerto and ended with the triumphant fireworks of Handel's Concerto Grosso.

Thank you to everyone who came and supported this wonderful concert of music by English composers, played with our unique brilliance and verve. Photos from our concert at the Sage and from the London concert at Grosvenor Chapel are now on Flickr.

September 2015

Pavlo Beznosiuk in tights and a wig for Farinelli and the King!

Claire van Kampen's critically-acclaimed new play Farinelli and the King, starring Mark Rylance, features a small band of musicans including our musical director Pavlo Beznosiuk in tights and a wig!

Performances are from 14th September until 5th December at the Duke of York's Theatre, London.

 

 

August 2015

Richard Tunnicliffe performs and teaches at Dartington Summer School

Our principal cellist Richard Tunnicliffe will be performing and teaching at this year's Dartington Summer School. Since Pablo Casals’ ground-breaking recording in the 1930s, Bach’s six Cello Suites have been at the centre of cello literature. Richard has studied and performed these seminal works for over thirty years, and his experience of more than five centuries of music (as both cellist and gamba-player) enables him to set these evergreen works within the traditions of 17th century music – and relate them to many later works. Richard will be giving giving a masterclass on these Suites as well as a complete performance of them in two late-night concerts on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th August at 10pm.

Richard will also be performing a concert of music for Sir Francis Drake with Fretworks and narrator Simon Caland on Sunday 2nd August at 7:45pm and a concert of Bass Viol duos with David Hatcher on Tuesday 4th August at 5:15pm. For further details click here or on the image.

July 2015

Charles Avison's Dirge for Romeo and Juliet: new discoveries

We're delighted that the wonderful Dr Simon Fleming has unearthed more information about the manuscript of Avison's Dirge which was found in the music library of Burghley House.

In the 1750 London productions of Romeo and Juliet a Dirge for Juliet's funeral procession was added and for David Garrick's production William Boyce wrote the music. In his recent article in Early Music Performer Simon suggests that Avison's Dirge may have been performed in Newcastle in 1755 or possibly even earlier in a production in Edinburgh in 1751. Thanks to Simon's other recent research Avison's Scottish connections are now known to be stronger than previously thought.

Although it's not possible as yet to confirm whether and where Avison's Dirge was performed it is truly wonderful and is scored for two sopranos. Of course we've recorded it on our Rebellion CD and you can hear a sample of it by clicking here or on the image. Thank you Simon for more exciting research on Avison. More please!

Applications open for the Young Pianist of the North competition

The 8th Young Pianist of the North international piano competition is now open for entries and applications are invited from pianists under the age of 20. Nearly three hundred talented pianists from four continents and thirty three countries have been invited to perform on the YPN stage to date.

Young Pianist of the North aims to be more than just a competition. Its award-winning educational programme is designed to encourage and support the next generation's pianists and to promote excellence in learning and teaching the piano. YPN participants have the rare chance of meeting and receiving individual feedback from some of the leading piano pedagogues and artists of today. YPN has become a place for finding new friends, establishing contacts and making plans for the future.

The competition takes place at the Brunswick Methodist Church from 25th to 28th November 2015 and the application deadline is 12th October 2015. Click here or on the image for more information and an application form.

Vivaldi Concerti recording in Linn Records Deal of the Day promotion

Our recording of Vivaldi's Concerti Op. 8 including The Four Seasons has been chosen by Linn Records to be part of their July Deal of the Day promotion. On Friday 17th July you'll be able to buy the double CD or any download format direct from Linn's website with 25% off. The offer starts at 10am on the Friday and lasts for 24 hours only.

If you don't already have our recording here are a few comments from the press that might tempt you to buy it: Classic FM Magazine: '... one of the most vibrant, authentic and involving recordings of Vivaldi’s violin concertos I’ve heard.' International Record Review: '... this excellent UK-based ensemble showing why it is rapidly gaining respect as one of the finest period-instrument bands of our time ...'

Our recording was BBC Radio 3 CD Review Disc of the Week when it was released, so hurry to take advantage of the 25% off offer. Click here or on the image to go to Linn's website.

June 2015

Over 2 million views of our photos on Flickr!

We like to share photos of our concerts, rehearsals and learning events on Flickr ... and you like to see them! We've now had well over 2 million views of our photos which have been seen by people all over the world. Great! 1 million of those views have been in sinc last July, so thanks to everyone who's had a look at the great images of our activities. Please keep on looking as we'll be posting more over the summer.

Not seen our photos yet? Have a look ay Flickr today and see why they're so popular!

Richard Tunnicliffe teaching and performing at Dartington International Summer School of Music

Our principal cellist Richard Tunnicliffe will be giving a Baroque cello masterclass at this year's Dartington International Summer School of Music. Since Pablo Casals’ ground-breaking recording in the 1930s, Bach’s six Cello Suites have been at the centre of cello literature. Richard Tunnicliffe has studied and performed these seminal works for over thirty years, and his experience of more than five centuries of music (as both cellist and gamba-player) enables him to set these evergreen works within the traditions of 17th century music – and relate them to many later works.

Students are selected in advance for this course, so if you'd like to participate please send two contrasting recordings and a short CV to summerschool@dartington.org. Click here or on the image for more information.

Richard will be giving a complete performance of the Cello Suites in two late-night concerts. Click here for full details of the Dartington concerts Richard will be performing in.

Booking opens for our 'Concerto in England' concert at the Sage Gateshead

Booking is now open for our concert 'The Concerto in England' at the Sage Gateshead on Friday 9th October at 8pm.

In this fascinating survey of the concerto in 18th Century England we'll explore some highlights of the genre including two examples of the uniquely English phenomenon of the organ concerto. There'll also be William Herschel's very rare and striking Violin Concerto and one of John Garth's marvelous Cello Concertos. Bookended with Concerti Grossi by Charles Avison and Handel our concert will be marked by colour and variety throughout.

It's been a while since our last concert in the North East, so we are really hoping to see you again at what is our Sage debut concert. Tickets are selling very quickly, so do book today! Click here or on the image for more details.

May 2015

More young musicians' concerts at the Lit and Phil in June and July

The first in our young musicians' concert series at the Lit and Phil was a huge success, with wonderful performances and a very good audience. We enjoyed performances from participants and winners from our Young Musicians' Awards and were joined by performers from the Young Musicians Programme at the Sage. There were performances from pianists, cellists, singers and a string quartet and music from Bach to Kurt Weill.

We're delighted to be continuing these concerts in collaboration with the Lit and Phil and the next concerts will be on Saturday 20th June at 11am and Saturday 18th July at 2:30pm. Click here or on the image for further details.

Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque perform Charles Avison

Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque perform Charles Avison as part of their Baroque London: Music for Court & Salon concert on Wednesday 13th May.

Rachel and the ensemble will be performing Avison's Sonata for harpsichord, 2 violins and Cello Op. 8 No. 3 in D major as part of an English concert of Handel, Francesco Geminiani, Purcell, Boyce and Arne for the Aspect Foundation for Music and Arts.

The concert starts at 7:30pm and is at the 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA. Click here or on the image for further details.

March 2015

Pavlo Beznosiuk tutors Baroque Strings chamber orchestra on concerti by Corelli and Avison

Baroque Strings is a tutored chamber orchestra for amateur string players who want to play and develop their skills in playing baroque music. Their tutor for Spring 2015 is The Avison Ensemble’s director Pavlo Beznosiuk. Having performed and recorded all of Charles Avison and Arcangelo Corelli’s works Pavlo is an inspirational tutor for this term’s repertoire for Baroque Strings ~ Avison’s Concerto after Scarlatti no. 12 in D major and Corelli’s Concerto Grosso Opus 6 no. 4 in D major.

We joined Pavlo at the tutorial on Monday 16 March 2015 at the East London Tabernacle, Mile End, for an inspiring session on Corelli's Concerto. Click here or on the image to see some images of the session on Flickr. Click here for furthur details about Baroque Strings.

Lunchtime lecture-recital on Bach's Cello Suites by Richard Tunnicliffe, Royal College of Music, Wednesday 18th March

The Avison Ensemble's principal cellist Richard Tunnicliffe will be giving a free lunchtime lecture-recital on Bach's Cello Suites at The Royal College of Music Museum at 1:05pm on Wednesday 18th March where he will explore the musical contexts of Bach's solo suites. Richard has performed and researched these Suites extensively and MusicWeb International said of his recording of the Suites on Linn Records that 'the performances are excellent, with Richard Tunnicliffe irresistibly mixing grace and virtuosity.' Richard has also recorded Bach played on viols as a member of the highly lauded group Fretwork, so his lecture will undoubtedly be full of unique insights into the Suites, Bach's musical language and intepretation on period instruments.

Click here or on the image for further details of Richard's lecture-recital. This is a free event but tickets are required.

"There is much to enjoy here" says Limelight of our Garth Keyboard Sonatas recording

"There is much to enjoy here" says Limelight, Australia's classical music and arts monthly, in their review of our Garth Keyboard Sonatas CD with Gary Cooper (on harpsichord, spinet, square piano and organ).

Although the reviewer isn't convinced of Garth's musical worth (we are - just listen to his Cello Concertos! he does say that "if any band was capable of convincing me, it would be superb British early music outfit The Avison Ensemble." Praising us he continues that our "recordings not only of their namesake's music but that of Vivaldi, Handel and Corelli are renowned for a refined gutsiness that is quite unique. Their recording of Avison's Concerto Grossi after Domenico Scarlatti is especially fine."

Click here or on the image to read more of the review and here to listen to samples from our recording.

February 2015

Our Young Musicians' Awards 2013 Finals and this year's Awards winners

This year's Avison Ensemble Young Musicians' Awards Finals were held on Sunday 15th February 2015 at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle.

The Awards assessors heard fourteen finalists for the three categories of Grades 1-3, 4 - 6 and 7 and above and two small chamber groups. We had an excellent day and were delighted by the exciting performances, high standards and importantly the significant improvements that all the entrants had made since our first round assessments last month. This is at the heart of what our Awards are about - us offering guidance and encouragment to the young players to give them confidence and help as they start their musical journeys.

Click here or on the image for details about the winners and for more about our Awards. The winners will perform at a special concert on Saturday 18th April 2015 where they will be presented with their Awards engraved with their names. Click here for details of this event.

The Awards are engraved glass trophies created by the North East glass artist Dominic Fonde which are inscribed with music from the Avison workbooks. These are displayed in the winners' schools for a year. Our Awards were founded in 2006. A huge thank you to all the participants for their great performances, and thanks too to all the parents, teachers and accompanists who made the day possible.

January 2015

'A real sense of enjoyment in the music and in their music-making' says MusicWeb International of our Corelli Church Sonatas recording

Highly positive reviews of our Corelli recordings continue! MusicWeb International has just reviewed our Church Sonatas recording, saying 'there seems a real sense of enjoyment in the music and in their music-making. This results in very fine performances indeed; ones with which I find it very hard to fault.'

As noted in other reviews of our Corelli series the reviewer comments that he 'particularly enjoy[ed] the interplay between the performers on this new recording ... Add to this the excellent sound quality - something of a given with Linn - and the wonderfully helpful and informative booklet essay by Simon D. I. Fleming, and you are on to a real winner.' What more can we say? Click here or on the image to read the review.

Great start to 2015 with our Young Musicians' Awards 2015 first round assessments

We've had a great couple of days this week hearing some of the region's wonderful young musicians perform during the first round assessments of our Young Musicians' Awards 2015. We heard instrumentalists and singers, and also small chamber groups. There were some truly remarkable performances and it's great to see that classical music is thriving in our young people. We've shared some photos from the assessments on Flickr.

Everyone we heard went away with useful advice and guidance on performance techniques and on the pieces they played, and we look forward to seeing the finalists at the Lit and Phil Society on Sunday 15th February. Click here for more details on the Finals and here for more on our annual Young Musicians' Awards.

What a great way it was to start the musical year hearing these gifted young musicians!

November 2014

'Fine music with an excellent performance' says Fanfare Magazine of our new Garth CD

'This is fine music with an excellent performance' says Fanfare Magazine's new review of our Garth Keyboard Sonatas CD with Gary Cooper.

The reviewer goes on to praise us saying that the 'Avison Ensemble performs these two sonata sets with considerable attention to Garth’s clear phrasing ... and they have an outstanding sense of ensemble.' We agree completely with the closing comments that our recording 'demonstrates that we may well be missing out on a wonderful facet of the music of this period from England outside of London if this is any example.' Absolutely! Our recordings of Avison, Herschel and Garth have proven the wealth of musical creativity in North East England.

Click here to read more of Fanfare Magazine's review and click here to listen to extracts from the recording.

Soprano Rowan Pierce appears in Theatre of Royalty concert at Durham Cathedral, Saturday 15 November

Avison Ensemble violinist Caroline Balding will be leading The Durham Singers Ensemble for The Theatre of Royalty concert at Durham Cathedral on Saturday 15 November at 7:30pm.

The Durham Singers will be joined by soprano Rowan Pierce and the Durham County Youth Choir in anthems and arias for baroque kings and queens by Purcell, Handel and Blow. Rowan appeared to enormous acclaim in our music workshops with the international conductor Ben Zander where she wowed us all with her interpretations of arias from Mozart operas.

Now in her final year at the Royal College of Music she undoubtedly be wonderful in this concert celebrating the glamour of Baroque Royalty which also inspired Handel and Purcell in their sumptuous musical recreations of legendary kings, queens and goddesses.

For further information click here or on the image.

October 2014

Recording of Handel's 20 Sonatas Opus 1 features Richard Tunnicliffe

Loved our multiple award-winning Handel Concerti Grossi recording? You might like to try Handel's 20 Sonatas Op.1 which show him writing for the professional musicians of his London opera orchestra. Hyperion Records recording of these Sonatas has just been re-released and features our principal cellist Richard Tunnicliffe.

The Sonatas are among the most attractive Baroque solo sonatas and deserve their lasting popularity. Richard features strongly as the prominent bass part gives the sonatas a contrapuntal strength and vitality, demanding considerable skill and stamina from the continuo as well as the soloist.

This recording won rave reviews on it's release, with BBC Music Magazine saying 'here is all the 'Op 1' you could ever want, in performances which, in the present state of the art, I cannot see beaten'. It's available now at an amazing price both for the 3-CD set and downloads! Click here or on the image for more details.

September 2014

Violinist Caroline Balding leads the Durham Singers Ensemble at Newcastle Cathedral

Avison Ensemble violinist Caroline Balding will be leading The Durham Singers Ensemble for a concert of sparkling baroque music with The Durham Singers at Newcastle Cathedral on Friday 3rd October at 7:30pm.

The baroque trumpets of the period instrument orchestra will add extra brilliance to Handel's four coronation anthems, including the ever popular Zadok the Priest with its powerful slow-building introduction and jubilant choruses. The baroque oboes and bassoons will take centre stage in Bach's Orchestral Suite No.1, and Caroline will take the solo part in the E major violin concerto. As anyone who has heard Caroline play in the Avison Ensemble will already know she will undoubtedly bring off a magnificent and fascinating performance!

Click here or on the image for further details. Caroline can also be heard in our concert at Alnwick Playhouse on Wednesday 8th October at 7:0pm and further details can be found here.

Avison's Jacobite songs as relevant as ever as the Scots go to the vote!

Scottish Independence - yes or no? The Scots decide today ...

Charles Avison played his part in the history of Scottish independence when he wrote songs in tribute to the 18th century Jacobite uprising. The world premiere recordings of his Scottish songs on our Rebellion! CD include the rousing Chevalier’s Muster-Roll, The auld Stuarts back again and The Song of M’Rimmon Glash. Have a listen to a sample from the Chevalier’s Muster-Roll by clicking here or on the image.

As always Avison’s music is wonderful, inspiring - and as relevant today as ever!

Corelli Church Sonatas recording is BBC Music Magazine 'Chamber Choice' for October

The last recording in our Corelli series has been chosen as BBC Music Magazine's 'Chamber Choice' for October. 'I have enjoyed every one of the discs in this series from Linn Records so far, and this last set more than lives up to expectations'  says Kate Bolton in her review of the recording, adding that 'these are, in sum, sincere and poised accounts, a fitting tribute to the 'chaste and faultless' character of the composer and his music.' High praise indeed and to cap it all our recording has been given 5 stars for both recording and performance!

If you haven't bought the CD set or downloaded it yet have a listen to samples here and find out why our Corelli series has been so highly praised. You can read more great reviews here.

August 2014

Recently discovered letter sheds light on Charles Avison's music and life

' ... no true judge ever saw Mr Avison rise from his Harpsicord without regret' wrote the eighteenth-century Scottish antiquary John Callander about his friend Charles Avison in a letter that has recently come to light in the Music Library of the University of Western Ontario and which was donated by Drs James and Margaret Whitby. In September's edition of the Cambridge University Press journal Eighteenth-Century Music Dr Simon Fleming reveals the previously unknown connection between the two men and shows that they were in fact good friends, with Callander staying with Avison in his Newcastle home and even holding a copy of Avison's sadly now lost autobiography.

The letter reveals details of Avison's upbringing and educaiton, and much about his character. Callander writes with feeling that 'In private life he was most amiable. His good breeding was the result of elegant feelings, and the most unbounded Benevolence. An affectionate Husband, a most tender Parent, a most steady Friend, without gall, as without guile, he was most beloved by those who knew him best, and such was his general deportment that it captivated the hearts of all about him.'

Click here or on the image for more information about the article. As always we are grateful to the indefatigable Dr Fleming for his continued research into Avison and the North East's rich eighteenth-century music history.

'A highly entertaining set of discs' says new review of our Garth Keyboard Sonatas recording

'There is never a dull moment here ... a highly entertaining set of discs' says MusicWeb International's reviewer about our new recording of John Garth's Keyboard Sonatas. 'This is delightful music, very well written and with plenty of good themes' - we agree completely and are delighted to be sharing more of Garth's great music for everyone to enjoy. If you love his Cello Concertos - who doesn't? - then you'll enjoy these too. You can listen to samples and buy the CD by clicking here or on the thumbnail. Downloads are available from Divine Art and on iTunes.

July 2014

Linn's Super Audio Collection volume 7 includes our Corelli Violin Sonatas

The seventh volume in Linn Records' perpetually popular Super Audio Collection series is out now and features a captivating selection of tracks from its catalogue of award-winning artists. A track from our recording of Corelli's Op. 5 Violin Sonatas is included - the beautiful Sarabanda-Largo from the D minor Sonata Op.5 No. 7. The Super Audio Collections showcase the astonishingly beautiful recordings made by Linn which are available on SACD CD and as Studio Master downloads. Our recordings of Handel, Vivaldi and Corelli on Linn Records have been highly praised in the press for not only the performances but also the richness of the recorded sound. Click here or on the image for more.

The Strad magazine praises our Corelli Church Sonatas recording

'A fine conclusion to a tercentennial survey of the Baroque master,' says the July edition of The Strad magazine about our Corelli Church Sonatas recording. Reviewer Robin Stowell goes on to say 'the players’ refined musicianship and unanimous interaction draw one into the sensibility of the period ... Listeners will be captivated by the spirited interchanges between these players ... The unassuming eloquence and expressiveness of the slower music will also enchant.' There's more great praise in the review which you can read by clicking here or on the image. Better still buy the CD or download it today and relax in the hot weather with this wonderful music!!!

Over 1 million views of our photos on Flickr!

Photos of our concerts, rehearsals, education projects, Young Musicians' Awards and more on FLICKR have now had over 1 million views! Thanks to everyone who's had a look at the great images of our activities. Keep on looking! Have a look at our Photostream today if you've not already seen us on Flickr.

 

 

Our 'Wandering Minstrels' primary school project reaches 3,700+ kids

Our 'Wandering Minstrels' have now visited 28 schools in the North East and engaged over 3,700 kids in our tailor-made classical music workshops for primary schools. Our workshops project has introduced children to classical music and its instruments, plus given them the chance to develop their vocal skills and learn the basic steps of the minuet, with harpsichord accompaniment! We put special emphasis on the North East's musical heritage - including songs such as ‘Wor Geordie's lost his penka!’ For many children it was their first contact with professional musicians, and feedback from the children and staff has been 100% positive. Click here or on the image for more on this great project.

We believe that children should be given access to live high-quality classical music experiences at the earliest opportunity and we'd like to say a huge 'THANK YOU' to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for supporting this project to enable us to achieve this. The Foundation's support has also enabled us to run the Avison Ensemble Young Musicians' Awards, our 'In Celebration' concerts and Benjamin Zander's The Art of Possibility workshops.

June 2014

Corelli Church Sonatas recording  praised on Classical Ear app

Our recording of Corell's Church Sonatas is today's recording on the Classical Ear app for iPhones. Mark Walker describes our recording as a '... beautifully performed, ideally recorded double-disc', continuing that '... the near-ideal clarity of the Linn recording captures this ensemble's joyful, confident way with Corelli's dizzingly lyrical flights.' Download the app from the App Store to listen to this music today and to get a 14 day free trial. Click here or on the thumbnail for more information about Classical Ear.

Gramophone Magazine praises our Corelli Church Sonatas recording

The July edition of Gramophone says our Corelli Church Sonatas recording is a 'classy conclusion to [our] distinguished Corellian project.' In a detailed review of the recording David Vickers says the Opus 3 Sonatas 'are invested with an exquisite sense of harmonic balance by violinists Pavlo Beznosiuk and Caroline Balding' and that the Ensemble 'excel at the madrigalian counterpoint, perfect proportions and lyrical taste evident in the slow introductions to No 3 and No 12.'

The review continues with detailed praise of the continuo provided by Richard Tunnicliffe (cello), Paula Chateauneuf (archlute) and Roger Hamilton (organ and harpsichord). Click here or on the image to read more.

Harmonia Early Music podcast on Corelli and our recordings

In Harmonia Early Music's latest podcast All in a Life's work: Arcangelo Corelli Janelle Davis explores Corelli's six sets of works with excerpts from our recordings on Linn Records. Saying that "...all [our recordings] have been a joy to listen to" Janelle continues about our performances that "...the energy is bursting yet at the same time held, and always there is an essentially vocal lyricism that underlies the playing in these recordings."

She concludes by adding "...there are already many wonderful collections of Corelli’s chamber music recorded, but the Avison Ensemble adds something special and solid to the mix, and its worth hearing." Click here or on the image to enjoy listening to the podcast - and you can download it too!

Charles Avison's music at Louis XIV’s Chapel in Versailles

Charles Avison makes it to the Royal Chapel at Versailles! One of Avison's Concerti Grossi will be performed by Concerto Köln as part of their concert on Wednesday 25 June at 8pm. They are joined by counter-tenor Valer Barna-Sabadus to perform arias by Handel, and Avison's Concerto Grosso will be heard alongside concerti grossi by Scarlatti and Geminiani.

Avison's Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas were enormously popular then and now, and as Avison was taught by Geminiani it is entirely appropriate that Avison's music will be performed on the same programme. We're delighted and proud that our Geordie boy's music will be being performed in one of the most beautiful spaces in the world - Louis XIV's Royal Chapel at Versailles. Click here or on the thumbnail for more information.

'We who are left: music after conflict' concert with Avison Ensemble cellist Deborah Thorne, Saturday 21st June

Avison Ensemble cellist Deborah Thorne joins the Durham Singers to present a contemplative programme of music for choir and solo cello chosen to mark the centenary of the First World War. The Singers will perform William Byrd's Mass for Five Voices, Ne Irascaris Domine, Francis Pott's Lament and Richard Rodney Bennett's Farewell to Arms (for choir and cello). Deborah will be performing excerpts from Benjamin Britten's first and third cello suites and the Sarabande from Bach's cello suite no.5. The themes of mourning, loss and the search for peace which run through the works chosen are timeless and universal. The concert will take place on Saturday 21st June 2014 at 7.30pm at St Cuthbert's Chapel, Ushaw College, Durham. Click here or on the image for further details.

May 2014

International Record Review praises our new Corelli Church Sonatas recording

'Performances of captivating freshness, vitality and impressive depth of understanding' says International Record Review about our new Corelli Church Sonatas recording. The review continues that 'it is Beznosiuk’s daring leadership and audacious virtuosity that constantly brings these superlative accounts to life with palpable urgency and realism. ... The Avison’s more spontaneous and vital approach never lets historical or stylistic correctness obstruct enjoyment of the music. ... There is none better!' Have a listen to samples by clicking here and you'll hear why our recordings of Corelli's wonderful music are being garnered with praise. You buy the CD from us and downloads are available from Linn Records.

Garth's Keyboard Sonatas - new world premiere recording with Gary Cooper

Love our Garth Cello Concertos recording? GREAT NEWS - our world premiere recording of John Garth's Keyboard Sonatas Op. 2 & 4 will be released on Monday 19th May. We're delighted to have recorded these previously unheard but amazingly enjoyable sonatas. We're joined again by the amazing Gary Cooper who performs on harpsichord, spinet, square piano and organ. You'll want to hear this music as soon as possible!

You can listen to samples and pre-order the CD by clicking here or on the thumbnail. Downloads will also be available on iTunes soon.

By the way, this will be our 8th world premiere recording ... and these have all been of fantastic music from North East England. We're so very proud of the wonderful musical heritage in Newcastle and Durham!

April 2014

Corelli Church Sonatas #10 in BBC Music Magazine official classical chart

Our newly released recording of Corelli's Church Sonatas on Linn Records is #10 in BBC Music Magazine's official classical chart. It's great that our new recording is getting a good reception and is in the top ten of the best-selling specialist classical releases in the UK for the week ending 26th April. Listen to samples on our website here and you'll understand why we're so delighted that this wonderful music - so wonderfully performed by the Ensemble - is being enjoyed by so many people! And don't forget that you can download the album from Linn Records, Amazon, iTunes and also now from Hyperion Records.

Charles Avison and the Avison Ensemble on BBC Radio 3

It's been a busy few days for the Avison Ensemble on Radio 3!

In the Georgian Pleasures series Suzy Klein and Christian Curnyn explore key pieces of music from the Georgian period and Charles Avison's music was the subject on Friday 25 April. Discussing the richness of the music scene in the provinces at this time, and in Newcastle in particular, Avison's importance was highlighted and the high quality of his music noted. Avison's Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti and his own Concerti Grossi were explored using recordings by The Avison Ensemble. The significance of John Garth in Durham and John Hebden in York to the musical scene was also noted. You can listen again to the Georgian Pleasures programme by clicking here and scanning forward to 2hr03mins into the programme.

The Avison Ensemble's new recording of Arcangelo Corelli's Church Sonatas Op. 1 and 3 was on CD Review with Andrew McGregor on Saturday 26 April. The last two movements (Largo and Allegro) from Corelli's Trio sonata in F major Op.1 No. 1 were played. You can listen again to CD Review by clicking here and scanning forward to 5mins into the programme.

Mostra , a play in one act celebrating Avison's words and music, Saturday 26th April

Mostra, a play in one act celebrating the words and music of Charles Avison is on at St Mary's Heritage Centre, Gateshead, on Saturday, 26th April at 7:30pm. Do come along to the Centre (just next to The Sage) for a fascinating evening exploring Charles Avison's words and music, with performances from the Quartetto Damiate. Tickets are still available! Click here or on the image for information and to book tickets. Devised and performed by Gordon Russell, written by Sue Saunders, directed by Hugh Keegan.

 

March 2014

Final release in our complete Corelli recordings due out 21 April

The final recording in our greatly anticipated series of Corelli's complete chamber music on Linn Records will be released on 21 April. A fittingly satisfying finale to the our series of recordings, Corelli's church sonatas are exquisite, highly refined compositions representing a high point of Italian Baroque instrumental music. Corelli's contribution to the history of violin performance was immense. All six of his published collections of instrumental music demonstrate his exceptional skill as a violinist and composer. For further details, to listen to samples and to pre-order the CD please visit our Listen and Buy page. Downloads are available from Linn Records by clicking here.

2014 'In Celebration' children's concert and Awards presentation, 16th March

Our children's ‘In Celebration!’ concert was held in the presence of The Mayor of Gateshead Councillor Jack Graham at Newcastle University's King's Hall and it celebrated some of the best young musical talent in the North East. Winners from this year's Avison Ensemble Young Musicians' Awards performed and were joined by the Gateshead Schools Youth Orchestra (conducted by John Treherne MBE) and the Gateshead Schools Senior Wind Band ‘Notability’ (directed by David Milner). The concert included the presentation of the 2014 Young Musicians' Awards by The Mayor of Gateshead. Click here to see photos from our Concert on Flickr. This year's Awards and Celebration Concert have been supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

February 2014

Our Young Musicians' Awards 2013 Finals and this year's Awards winners

This year's Avison Ensemble Young Musicians' Awards Finals were held on Sunday 23rd February 2014 at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle.

The Awards judges heard twelve finalists for the three categories of Grades 1-3, 4 - 6 and 7 and above and two small chamber groups. Click here or on the image for details about the winners and for more about our Awards. The winners were presented with engraved glass trophies created by the North East glass artist Dominic Fonde which are inscribed with music from the Avison workbooks. These are displayed in the winners' schools for a year.

The winners will perform at our annual family concert on Sunday 16th March 2014 where they will be presented with their Awards engraved with their names. Click here for details of this event.

The Awards were founded in 2006 and this year's Awards have been supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. A huge thank you to all the participants for their great performances, and thanks too to all the parents, teachers and accompanists who made the day possible.

January 2014

Corelli Concerti Grossi album in iTunes promotion

Our Corelli Concerti Grossi album is in the Linn Records Mastered For iTunes MFiT promotion running now on iTunes. The promo is of the best-selling recordings from Linn’s catalogue, all Mastered for iTunes and accompanied by digital booklets, with 20% off each album. iTunes promotions are rare, so we're delighted that our Corelli CD has been included. Please do support us by buying this great album! The promo runs until February 11th 2014 on the US iTunes store only. Click here or on the image for more information.

Young Musicians' Awards assessments photos on Flickr

Photos from the first round assessments of our Young Musicians' Awards 2014 are now on Flickr. The judges were delighted to hear performances from soloists in all three Grade categories and also from chamber groups. We're delighted by the number of entries this year and thank all the participants for their performances. The Finals are on Sunday 23rd February at the Lit and Phil, Newcastle; do come along and support our young musicians! We're grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for supporting this year's Awards.

Our Flickr photos viewed over 1/2 million times

We've now had well over 1/2 million views of our photos on Flickr! Thanks to everyone for looking and enjoying the photos of our concerts, rehearsals, education projects, Young Musicians' Awards and more! Have a look today at our Photostream if you've not already seen us on Flickr.

 

 

November 2013

MusicWeb International praises our Corelli Chamber Sonatas recording

'Time spent with these chamber sonatas, performed with the utmost skill by five of the finest Baroque players of today, is time well spent' says MusicWeb International about our Corelli Chamber Sonatas recording on Linn Records. 'To hear the intertwining lines spun by the violins of Pavlo Beznosiuk and Caroline Balding is to suspend worldly cares ... Linn have now recorded Corelli's complete published oeuvre with The Avison Ensemble. I would advise finding space on your shelf for all of them.' Our Chamber Sonatas recording is available here on CD and as downloads here, and is perfect for relaxing to after stressful Christmas shopping! Don't forget our recording of Corelli's Christmas Concerto is available here too!

October 2013

Our Young Musicians' Awards 2014 are now open!

Our annual Awards encourage young musical talent across the North East region by offering professional advice and encouragement plus the opportunity to perform in front of a friendly audience. It's open to instrumentalists, singers and small small groups up to the age of 18. This year's Awards are supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Further details, including photos from previous Awards, and an application form can be found by clicking here or on the image. Come on - be a part of a really exciting and unique opportunity supporting young classical musicians in the North East!

5 star review from BBC Music Magazine for our Corelli Chamber Sonatas CD

November's edition of BBC Music Magazine praises our new recording of Corelli's Chamber Sonatas Opp. 2 and 4 saying 'The Avison Ensemble captures their essence in graceful, finely controlled performances'. The review goes on to describe our performances as 'by turns lyrical, fleet, playful, imbued with an effortless style that eschews mannerisms and fireworks but rather lets the music speak for itself. The string sound is silky and clean; the ensemble neat and subtly articulated.' Click here or on the image to read more reviews and to buy the CD.

September 2013

Gramophone praises our Corelli Chamber Sonatas CD

"The Avison Ensemble continue their stunning Corelli anniversary recording project" says Gramophone Magazine's October issue about our new Corelli Chamber Sonatas recording. They continue "Pavlo Beznosiuk and the Avison Ensemble have clearly given much thought and attention to their performances: beautifully understated, and allowing the music to speak for itself." They continue "Perhaps the most striking feature of this recording is the Avison's careful attention to ensemble textures and timbres."  There's further praise for the variety of continuo instruments used, whether harpsichord, archlute or cello in combination or solo: "Others before them have experimented with the continuo forces but rarely with such effect." Read more reviews and listen to sample tracks by clicking here or on the image.

Young Musicians' Awards winner Sarah Gardner to give piano recital as part of the Hexham Abbey Festival, Friday 27th September

Young Musicians' Awards 2011 winner Sarah Gardner will be performing a piano recital as part of the 2013 Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts, on Friday 27th September at 1pm. Sarah has recently started her scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and her exciting recital programme will include works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Ravel. Click here or on the image for further details of her recital and the 2013 Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts.

 

New release of Corelli Chamber Sonatas CD

Our recording of Corelli's Chamber Sonatas Opp. 2 & 4 will be released on Monday 9th September. This is the third recording in our greatly anticipated series of Corelli's complete chamber music on Linn Records. Popular since their publication, Arcangelo Corelli's trio sonatas are a pinnacle of Italian Baroque instrumental music. Even though there was nothing particularly new in these works when they were published, what distinguished them from those by Corelli's contemporaries was the superior level of craftsmanship; they are of the highest quality, exquisitely refined and a good example of perfection in music. Click here or on the image for more information and to listen to sample tracks.

August 2013

Cello recital by Avison Ensemble cellist Deborah Thorne, The Lit and Phil, Friday 6th September

Avison Ensemble cellist Deborah Thorne will be gicing a cello recital with pianist Nicholas Butters at The Literary & Philosophical Society, Newcastle, on Friday 6th September at 7:30pm. The programme will include Cello Sonatas by Prokofiev and Shostakovich and Stravinsky's Suite Italienne. Deborah Thorne read music at Clare College Cambridge and studied the cello at the Royal Academy of Music. Deborah performs with the Northern Sinfonia and has been a member of the Avison Ensemble for many years. Nicholas Butters studied music under Denis Matthews at Newcastle University and has had a busy career encompassing classical chamber music and recitals, jazz, blues and musical theatre. Click here or on the image for further details and booking information.

July 2013

The Strad praises the "thoroughly polished performances" on our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD

The June edition of The Strad magazine praises our second Corelli recording, saying our Violin Sonatas CD has "all the virtues expected of the Avison brand – an exemplary recording with immediacy and presence and idiomatic, thoroughly polished performances with laudable improvisational flair, internal rapport and blend." The review praises the Ensemble's use of varying continuo instruments - organ, archlute and guitar as well as the usual cello and harpsichord - saying "a true kaleidoscope of colours results." Click here or on the image to read the full review.

June 2013

Piano recital by Young Musicians' Awards winner Sarah Gardner, Friday 12th July

Young Musicians' Awards 2011 winner Sarah Gardner will be performing a piano recital at The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, on Friday 12th July at 7.30pm. Sarah has recently been awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and before she moves to London to begin her studies she is making a return visit to the Library to perform a programme of piano works. Reserve your seat by calling (0191) 232 0192, emailing library@litandphil.org.uk or by calling in. Click here or on the thumbnail image for further details.

May 2013

"Corelli, avec émotion" says new review of our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD

A new review of our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD on www.Pizzicato.lu says "the twelve sonatas are beautifully played. The Avisons approach this music with serenity ... and seek the depth of the message and develop a maximum of emotion."

The review praises our recording, saying "these rhythmically and dynamically controlled and serene performances of Corelli’s Opus 5 let the sonatas become more emotional than with other ensembles. Thus, the new Linn release is a very welcome addition to the existing recordings." Read more reviews and listen to sample tracks by clicking here or on the image.

Corelli Violin Sonatas CD is April CD of the month on Blog.codaex.de

A recent review of our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD on the German classical music review site Blog.codaex.de praises our recording, saying "This old music is alive! The Avison Ensemble has succeeded with their second Corelli release for the year, a stunning continuation of a great beginning." Particular praise goes to violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk, that "he is a phenomenally good baroque violinist" and the review ends by voting our recording their CD of the Month April 2013. Read more reviews and listen to sample tracks by clicking here or on the image.

April 2013

BBC Music magazine reviews our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD

BBC Music Magazine, May 2013The May edition of BBC Music magazine reviews our recent Corelli Violin Sonatas CD, saying "violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk offers lyrical, intuitively musical performances, imbued with a placid, unpretentious grace, while his spontaneous ornamentation adds a dash of Baroque bravura. Beznosiuk is well matched by the outstanding continuo players Paula Chateauneuf, Roger Hamilton and Richard Tunnicliffe - the quartet conversing with the ease and familiarity of old friends."

The review concludes that our recording offers "poised and eloquent accounts. The Linn recording is luminous and sensitively balanced, with the potential for SACD enhancing a particularly fine set." Read more reviews and listen to sample tracks by clicking here or on the image.

Avison Ensemble to perform in the English Music in Yorkshire festival tour organised by Martin Randall Travel

Martin Randall TravelWe're delighted to be performing two concerts as part of the English Music in Yorkshire festival tour in September 2013 organised by Martin Randall Travel. We'll be joined by soprano Mhairi Lawson and baritone Peter Harvey for our concert of English Dialogues: Music for the Stage under the Stuarts at the Mansion House, York, and for our second concert, English Concerti: Orchestral Music under the Georges, we'll be presenting some of the glories of English eighteenth-century orchestral music in the splendour of Hovingham Hall's ballroom. Click here or on the image for further details of our concerts or click here for information on the whoie festival tour, 22 - 27 September.

March 2013

Richard Tunnicliffe plays Bach on Radio 3 In Tune, 25th March

Richard Tunnicliffe (the Avison's principal cellist) will be on BBC Radio 3 In Tune on 25th March from 4.30pm onwards. Praised for the 'spiritual quality' of his playing, Richard will be talking to Sean Rafferty about the particular magic of Bach's Cello Suites and his complete cycle of the Suites at St. George's Bristol. He will also be performing selections from Bach's 5th and 6th Suites live in the studio (the 6th on a five-stringed piccolo cello of 1726). Click here or on the image for details of the Radio 3 programme. Click here for details of Richard's beautiful recording of the Bach Cello Suites on Linn Records (on CD or download). Click here for details of Richard's second cello concert at St George's Bristol on Wednesday 27th March at 1pm.

BBC Music magazine reviews our Corelli Concerti Grossi CD

The April edition of BBC Music magazine reviews our recent Corelli Concerti Grossi CD, saying "under the assured and affable direction of violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk, the Avison Ensemble eschews the flashy bravura of some of its competitors in favour of a subtle graciousness that seems to capture the essence of Corelli's polished style. They point up the fleet dance rhythms with lightweight bowing and clean articulation, while more expansive playing and measured tempos in the slow movements convey the ‘majestic, solemn and sublime' qualities that Corelli's contemporaries so admired."

The review concludes "Linn's spacious recording suggests resonant Roman churches and enhances the dramatic textural contrasts between concertino and ripieno groups. And with 5.1 surround sound, you can wallow in true Baroque splendour." Listen to sample tracks by clicking here or on the image.

Lit and Phil lecture on Newcastle's early Methodists, Avison and Wesley, 25th March

Revd. Terry Hurst will be presenting a free lecture 'Hatched, matched and dispatched: St Andrew’s church and the early Methodists' at Newcastle's Literary and Philosophical Society on Monday 25th March at 6pm. Exploring the early Methodists in Newcastle Revd. Hurst will reveal details about Charles Avison's grave at St Andrew's Church and his friendship with and influence on John Wesley. He will also mention the grave of Edward and Margaret Avison (Charles Avison's son and daughter-in-law) and their place in the story of the Orphan House. Reserve your seat by calling (0191) 232 0192, emailing library@litandphil.org.uk or by calling in. Click here or on the image for further details.

2013 'In Celebration' children's concert and Awards presentation, 17th March

Our children's ‘In Celebration!’ concert was held in the presence of The Mayor of Gateshead Councillor Malcolm Brain at Newcastle University's King's Hall and it celebrated some of the best young musical talent in the North East. Winners from this year's Avison Ensemble Young Musicians' Awards were joined by the Gateshead Schools Youth Orchestra (conducted by John Treherne MBE) and the Gateshead Schools Senior Wind Band ‘Notability’ (directed by David Milner).

The concert included the presentation of the 2013 Young Musicians' Awards by The Mayor of Gateshead. Click here or on the image to view images of the concert on Flickr. This year's Awards and Celebration Concert have been supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Read more about our education and outreach projects here.

Gramophone Magazine reviews our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD

"An immensely enjoyable release" says Gramophone Magazine's review of our new Corelli Violin Sonatas CD on Linn Records. The review in the April edition of Gramophone says Pavlo Beznosiuk "plays with enormous affinity and charm, his fluent and imaginative ornamentation always within the bounds of the pulse and good taste ... he retains the power to surprise and delight us even to the last sonata" and "particularly evident throughout this recording is the exceptional rapport between the members of the Avison." Click here or on the image to read more and listen to samples from the CD.

Our Young Musicians' Awards 2013 Finals and this year's Awards winners

This year's Avison Ensemble Young Musicians' Awards 2013 Finals were held on Saturday 9th March 2013 at the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead in the presence of the Mayor of Gateshead Malcolm Brain.

The Awards judges heard thirteen finalists for the three categories of Grades 1-3, 4-6 and 7 and above and one small chamber group. Click here or on the image for details on this year's winners and for more about our annual Young Musicians' Awards. The winners were presented with engraved glass trophies created by the North East glass artist Dominic Fonde which are inscribed with music from the Avison workbooks. These are displayed in the winners' schools for a year. The Awards were founded in 2006 and this year's Awards have been supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Corelli Violin Sonatas & Concerti Grossi CDs on BBC Radio 3 CD Review and Building a Library, Saturday 16 March

Our recording of Corelli's Violin Sonatas started BBC Radio 3's CD Review at 9am on Saturday 16 March. Andrew McGregor reviewed our new double-CD set on Linn Records and played part part of the variations from Corelli's famous Violin Sonata Op.5 No.12 ' La Folia'. At 9.30am in Building a Library David Vickers explored recordings of Corelli’s Op.6 Concerti Grossi including airing numerous excerpts from our recent highly-acclaimed recording on Linn Records. The programme is available on BBC iPlayer for seven days from 16 March. Click here or on the image for more information and to Listen Again.

First review of our Corelli Violin Sonatas CD on Linn Records

"The playing of the Avison Ensemble, and in particular of Beznosiuk, has enough audacity, daring and originality to make these astounding performances something truly special" says Michael Jamieson in International Record Review about our forthcoming recording of Corelli's Violin Sonatas. In his review he goes on to praise "this highly accomplished new recording", highlighting "one of the extraordinary attributes of this new recording is that all ornamentation was improvised spontaneously during the sessions: an impressive feat indeed." Jamieson commends the performances saying he "... relished the superb playing and thoroughgoing musical intelligence informing these new Avison Ensemble accounts." You can read the whole review here and the recording is released on 18 March.

February 2013

Avison Ensemble to perform in Music in the Round Festival, Sheffield, May 2013

We are delighted to be performing at Music in the Round in Sheffield's Crucible Studio Theatre as part of their May Festival, presenting a programme of music by the leading composers working in Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Our 'Baroque Britain' concert will include music by the now little-known Pasqualino de Marzis and Francesco Maria Veracini, as well as works by Avison, Geminiani, Handel, Locke and Purcell. For further details click on the image or here

 

New reviews of our Corelli Concerti Grossi CD set

Corelli Concerti Grossi Opus 6Our recording of Corelli's Concerti Grossi continues to attract favourable reviews. Reviews this month have included International Record Review who said “from the first bars of the First Concerto in D, the Avison Ensemble sets its unique seal on the performance … playing of almost breathtaking clarity. This may on the face of it be relatively simple music, but to deliver it at such high speed with such flawless ensemble is a noble achievement … a very impressive pair of discs.”

The Early Music Review said "The Avison Ensemble's playing is never less than silky perfection, impeccably blended sound, and never a hair out of tune. Their interpretation is also faultless and the concertino team are all highly skilled and informed … a beautiful disc.”

Our recording was also nominated for MusicWeb International's Recordings of the Year 2012. You can read more reviews and listen to sample tracks here.

Pavlo Beznosiuk on recording Corelli's Violin Sonatas in BBC Music magazine

Cover of March 2013 BBC Music magazineThe Fast Forward interview in the March 2013 BBC Music magazine (on sale 11th February) is about our recording of Corelli's Violin Sonatas Opus 5. On the eve of this new release, Pavlo Beznosiuk discusses recording the Sonatas in Cambridge and getting used to playing at a full tone below modern pitch. The double CD set on Linn Records is due out on March 18th - click here for further details and to listen to sample tracks.

 

Forthcoming release of Corelli Violin Sonatas Opus 5 CD set

Arcangello Corelli Violin Sonatas Opus 5We're delighted to announce the forthcoming release of the second recording in our greatly anticipated series of Corelli's complete chamber music on Linn Records. Arcangelo Corelli's contribution to the history of violin performance was immense. All six of his published collections of instrumental music demonstrate his exceptional skill as a violinist and composer, but it was in his Opus 5 Violin Sonatas that Corelli had the most significant impact on violin technique. The Opus 5 collection consists of eleven sonatas; the twelfth, and most popular, work is a series of twenty-three variations on the ‘Follia' of which Corelli was especially proud. All twelve pieces contain a variety of difficult violin techniques and violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk takes centre stage in this recording, his polished playing thrilling in its virtuosity.

This 2 CD set on Linn Records will be released on 18 March 2013 and will be available to buy from our website here. Studio Master, MP3 and CD quaility downloads will be available from Linn Records here. We will release two further recordings of Corelli in 2013 as part our celebration of the 300th anniversary of the composer's death.

Charles Avison is 'Composer of the Week' on BBC Radio 3, 4th-6th February

Donald Macleod presents the life and music of contemporary eighteenth century English composers Charles Avison and John Stanley. They were almost exact contemporaries, but living and working at opposite ends of the country, Avison in Newcastle and Stanley in London. In their day they were leading organists, composers, conductors and concert managers, employed by Royalty and admired by Geminiani and Handel. Tune in on Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 February at midday or at 6:30pm to explore Avison's life and music.

On Monday 4 February Donald Macleod explored Avison's early life and music with our recordings of one of his Harpsichord Sonatas and Concertos after Geminiani. Other recordings were also played of one of his Trio Sonatas and a Concerto from Op.2. For further details about this programme click here.

On Tuesday 5 February Donald Macleod explored Avison's later music, his subscription concerts and his criticism of his contemporaries, including Handel, in his Essay on Musical Expression. Our recordings of Concertos from Avison's Opp.3 and 6 and one of his Harpsichord Sonatas from Op. 7 were played along with other recordings of his Concertos after Scarlatti and one of his Harpsichord Sonatas from Op. 5. For further details about this programme click here.

On Wednesday 6 February Donald Macleod concluded his exploration of Avison by looking at his later years and his great success as a composer and organiser of subscription concerts in Newcastle. Our recordings of one of Avison's Op. 10 Concertos and one of his Op. 8 Keyboard Sonatas were played, as well as a recording of one of his Op. 9 Concertos. For further details about this programme click here.

January 2013

Previous Young Musicians' Award winner accepts RAM scholarship

Sarah GardnerPianist Sarah Gardner has recently accepted a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music for September 2013. Sarah was one of our Young Musicians' Awards winners in 2011 and she won the 2012 Next Brit Thing classical music award. As part of her Next Brit Thing prize she performed to a capacity audience at the Royal Albert Hall during the Classic FM Live 2012 20th birthday concert on Monday 24 September 2012. We congratulate Sarah on her continuing success.

 

The Independent praises our 'sheer excellence' in 5-star concert review

Rebecca Bottone and The Avison Ensemble at Kings Place, December 2012Michael Church reviewed our Corelli Trios and La Folia concert at Kings Place in the New Year's Eve edition of The Independent. In his 5-star review of the concert held on Friday 28 December he said "... the principal pleasure lay in the Avison Ensemble’s sheer excellence. Their period instrumentation – two violins, a cello, an archlute, plus an organ or harpsichord – was perfectly suited to the Kings Place acoustic, and the works were wittily introduced."  Click here or on the image to read the full review.

 

December 2012

Free Studio Master download track from our Corelli Concerti Grossi CD

Linn's Advent free downloads promotionA special Christmas gift from Linn Records to mark the last day of their Advent promotion: click here or on the image to download for FREE the Studio Master track of the Largo from our recording of Corelli's Christmas Concerto. The free download is available until Monday 31 December 2012.

 

 

Avison Ensemble live on Radio 3 In Tune, Thursday 20 December 2012

The Avison Ensemble appeared on Sean Rafferty's In Tune programme on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday, 20 December 2012 from 4.30pm onwards. Pavlo Beznosiuk (violin), Paula Chateauneuf (archlute) and Richard Tunnicliffe (cello) joined Sean live in the studio to perform Arcangelo Corelli's C Major Violin Sonatas and Alessandro Stradella's Sinfonia in D minor. Cick here or on the image to listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer (available until 26 December 2012). Click here to see Pavlo, Paula and Richard in the studio - Paula wears the golden paper crown from the Christmas cracker she got to open!

John Garth's music explored in the Winter 2012 edition of The Musical Times

Musical Times Winter 2012The Avison Ensemble's enormously popular recording of John Garth's Cello Concertos heightened awareness that there was more to Garth's music than had previously been thought. The Winter 2012 edition of The Musical Times contains an article by Simon Fleming in which he explores Garth's music in depth to determine the worth of his other works and thereby further undermines the myth that British provincial music of the eighteenth century was inevitably provincial in style. You can listen to excerpts from our recording of Garth's Cello Concertos here.

Gramophone Magazine reviews our Corelli Concerti Grossi recording

Gramophone Magazine December 2012The December Gramophone Magazine contains a review by Iain Fenlon of our Corelli Opus 6 recording: "The hallmark of Corelli’s style in these pieces is seemingly endless invention and variety of expressive means, and this is the main challenge in performance. In terms of recordings there is stiff competition here ... but these new performances are certainly part of the competition, supple and elegant, perfectly in harmony with the suave if at times austere character of the music and, above all, architecturally shaped with subtlety and finesse. Improvised ornamention has been added with discretion and care, and the sense of ensemble is faultless and, in the faster movements, breathtakingly impressive."  Click here or on the image to read the full review and other excellent reviews for this, the first in our series of recordings of Corelli's works.

November 2012

Andrew McGregor reviews our Corelli Opus 6 cd set on BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Andrew McGregor on BBC Radio 3 CD ReviewAndrew McGregor was joined by Simon Heighes on BBC Radio 3 CD Review on Saturday 10 November where they played excerpts from our recording of Corelli's 2nd, 3rd and 9th Concerti Grossi. They said this of our Corelli Concerti Grossi cd set: "This [recording] does work for repeated listening; I keep coming back to this one for the warmth and the sheer joy of the playing ... I feel these are quite English performances. They are warm, I think that’s entirely English, but slightly restrained, but when there is drama in the music ... the Avison Ensemble rises excellently to the challenge. ... It’s this simplicity, this gentility of style. They’re not over-amping things, no one’s pushing, no one’s directing ... and they’re letting the music flow and speak ... a very good opener to the series." Listen to the whole review on BBC iPlayer here - the review starts at about 1hr 19mins in.

October 2012

Radio 3 and The Independent review our Corelli Concerti Grossi CD

Corelli Concerti Grossi Opus 6 double CD set on Linn RecordsAndrew McGregor on BBC Radio 3 CD Review (Saturday 27 October) started with a review of our Corelli CD: "Delightfully amiable, effervescent performances of all twelve concertos recorded with an enjoyable level of warmth and detail. I’ve enjoyed these a lot … An early opener for the Corelli anniversary in 2013. And the Avison Ensemble’s promising us a further three Corelli recordings for the 300th anniversary next year; if they’re as enjoyable as the Opus 6 concertos I’ll certainly be listening." Recently The Independent said "What emerges in Pavlo Beznosiuk's supple performance with the Avison Ensemble is music of immense suavity and elegance - from the enchanting Largo of the 6th, to the tender pastoral of the Christmas Concerto." You can read more reviews here.

Classic FM reviews our Corelli CD set

Classic FMClassic FM reviews our Corelli CD set due for release next Monday: "... this album from The Avison Ensemble is certainly a celebration of his colourful music. Characterful and cheery, with bright violins accompanied by a solid continuo, the recording on period instruments brings a sweetness in tone and a dance-like levity to these Baroque classics. ... The Ensemble capture the magical interplay between the orchestral parts, and highlight some of the best qualities of Baroque instrumental writing."  Read the full review here.

Classic FM Drive features Avison Ensemble's Corelli Concerti Grossi CD

The Avison Ensemble's Corelli CD set on Linn Records is the featured album on Classic FM's Drive with John Brunning from Monday 8th to Friday 12th October, with tracks from Corelli's Bb major, F major and C minor Concerti getting airtime. The CD set is due to be released on Monday 15th October. Samples can be heard on our Listen and Buy page where you can also pre-order the CD.

 

September 2012

Sarah Gardner performs to capacity audience at Royal Albert Hall

Here's Sarah Gardner chatting to presenter Tim Lihoreau at Classic FM Live: click here or on the image to see Sarah performing to a full house at the Royal Albert Hall during the Classic FM Live 20th birthday concert on Monday 24 September. She performed Rachmaninov's Prelude: Alla Marcia in G minor from Preludes Op 23. You can listen to the event on Classic FM's Full Works Concert on Friday 28 September from 8pm to 10pm or catch-up online on Listen Again. Sarah was a previous winner of our Young Musicians' Awards - our congratulations to Sarah!

Forthcoming release of Corelli Concerti Grossi CD set

Corelli Concerti Grossi Opus 6We're delighted to announce the forthcoming release of the first in our series of Corelli's complete works on Linn Records. In this release we explore Corelli's inspirational Concerti Grossi, including a captivating interpretation of the much-loved Christmas Concerto. Although this is the best known, all twelve concertos are highly refined and reflect Corelli's exceptional skill at composition. These Concerti Grossi inspired Handel to compose his own set entitled Grand Concertos and native British composers also produced a large number of such works, the most prolific of whom was Charles Avison. This 2 CD set on Linn Records will be released on 15 October 2012 and will be available to buy from our website here. Studio Master, MP3 and CD quaility downloads will be available from Linn Records here.

August 2012

The Consort journal on our Vivaldi Violin Concerti CD set

We've received another great review for our our Vivaldi Violin Concerti CD set, this time from the The Consort journal: "... this is an interpretation characterised overall by lyricism - indeed gentleness - rather than panache, even on the soloist's part ... The effort pays off: this is a Vivaldi less visceral than some, but more transparent and revealing of detail than most ... I find it a refreshing antidote to the power-driven, impulsive interpretations so common in Vivaldi performances today ... this is a version to recommend. It presents Vivaldi not as a freak of nature but as a civilised musician with a well-developed taste for the experimental." Click here to listen to samples from the recording and to read the full review.

Corelli at Christmas concerts in Newcastle Cathedral and Kings Place, London

The Avison Ensemble will be presenting Corelli at Christmas concerts in Newcastle Cathedral and Kings Place, London. At Newcastle Cathedral the Ensemble will be joined by the wonderful soprano Rebecca Bottone to perform Scarlatti's Cantata Pastorale 'For the Birth of Our Lord' and Vivaldi's Salve Regina. The Ensemble will also be performing joyous concerti by Handel and Corelli, including the latter's Christmas Concerto, making this a truly celebratory way to begin Advent. Heralding his anniversary year in 2013 and our release of his complete works on CD (Linn Records) we're celebrating the genius of Corelli in two concerts at Kings Place, London. The two concerts in December will be of chamber music by Corelli and his contemporaries (on 28 December) and our second concert (on 29 December) boasts three of his finest Concerti grossi along with Scarlatti’s beautiful Cantata pastorale sung by Rebecca Bottone. Click here or on the image for further details.

Grand Concerts in Newcastle and London in October 2012

The Avison Ensemble will be presenting Grand Concerts in the splendour of The Assembly Rooms, Newcastle and in the baroque splendour of Wren's St James's Church, Piccadilly, London in early October 2012. They will be performing Italian and Italian-inspired English concerti interspersed with some dramatic Handel arias for the wonderful soprano Gillian Webster. A regular star at the Royal Opera House and a noted exponent of baroque music, Gillian Webster has sung under the baton of Paul McCreesh, Sir Colin Davis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Bernard Haitink, Marc Minkowski, Lord Menuhin, Sir Georg Solti and Jeffrey Tate. Click here or on the image for further details.

July 2012

Avison Ensemble's Vivaldi on Linn's Super Audio Collection volume 6

Linn Super Audio Collection volume 6The sixth volume in the continually popular Linn Super Audio Collection series features an appealing selection of tracks showcasing the breadth of talent in the award-winning label's catalogue of artists. Following up our hugely popular Handel disc on Linn is our recording of Antonio Vivaldi's virtuosic violin concertos and a track is included in the latest Super Audio Collection.  Under the direction of violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk we've released a recording which is colourful, fresh and emotionally charged.  ClassicsToday.com awarded the album 10 for Artistic Quality and 10 for Sound Quality stating 'this set...will serve you as well or better than any other in the catalog'. Click here or on the image for details, to buy the SACD or to download tracks.

100, 000 views of our Flickr photos

Flickr logoPhotos of our concerts and education activities have now had over 100, 000 views on Flickr. Since adding our first photos to Flickr back in July 2009 we've been delighted by the number of views our photos have had as they are a great record of the many concerts and events we've put on in the North East and around England.  We're particularly pleased to be able to record and share our extensive education and outreach work and to showcase the talented young musicians in the North East region. Click here or on the Flickr logo to have a look at our Flickr photos.

Music Celebration Festival ends with Royal Celebration Jamboree

This year's Music Celebration Festival ended in wonderful style with a Royal Celebration Jamboree attended by HM The Queen and Prince Philip. Hundreds of children performed to Her Majesty in the Gateshead International Stadium on Wednesday 18 July. The Avison Ensemble is delighted to have sponsored this year's Festival and wishes to thank our partner the Gateshead Music Service for presenting this vibrant showcase of musical talent in the region.  For details of the Festival and our education work click here or on the image.

June 2012

Latest Ensemble Newsletter now available

Our latest Ensemble newsletter is now available to view here or by clicking on the image. Read about our Autumn music interpretation workshops by Benjamin Zander, our forthcoming Corelli CD release on Linn Records, and our forthcoming concert at Lavenham. You can also find out about this year's Young Musicians' Awards and the Kids Concert. There are also some fascinating new discoveries about Charles and Edward Avison. Previous Newsletters can be found here.

 

Benjamin Zander presents music interpretation workshops in August

We are delighted to announce that Benjamin Zander will be presenting a series of workshops in August in the interpretation and performance of music for musicians and listeners. Ben is the acclaimed conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a passionate musician and speaker of world renown. Sir Simon Rattle recently said of Ben's new youth orchestra in Boston that 'these fortunate young people will experience an intense musical and emotional engagement which will remain with them for a lifetime.' Yo-Yo Ma has said that Ben 'is a visionary, playing the Dvorak cello concerto with him was like hearing it for the first time.'  We are delighted to invite young musicians and listeners in the North East to participate in what will be a transformative and inspirational course. Click here or on the image for more information.

Avison Ensemble sponsors the Gateshead Music Celebration Festival 2012

The Avison Ensemble is proud to sponsor this year’s Music Celebration Festival presented by the Gateshead Schools’ Music Service. The Festival will bring together hundreds of children and a wide range of partners in a series of vibrant concerts showcasing the wealth of musical talent in the region. There will be concerts by big bands, string ensembles, wind bands, choirs and a Wopping Big Barbeque musical ensemble bash! To celebrate the Festival there'll be a Grande Finale on Wednesday 18 July  to welcome a Royal Personage! Click here or on the image for more information.

May 2012

Mhairi Lawson and Paula Chateauneuf on Radio 3 In Tune

On Thursday 31st May as the Diamond Jubilee weekend approached, Radio 3's In Tune programme looked forward to the celebrations with live performances from guests soprano Mhairi Lawson and lutenist Paula Chateauneuf. Regular Avison Ensemble members Mhairi and Paula peformed music for British monarchs from the courts of Elizabeth I, James VI and I, Charles I, Charles II, and William and Mary, and compositions by Dowland, Lawes and Purcell. The In Tune programme is avaiiable on BBC iPlayer here.

April 2012

Gravestone of Edward Avison uncovered at St Andrew’s Church, Newcastle

Edward Avison gravestoneThe gravestone of Edward Avison has recently been uncovered by Rev Terry Hurst during his research into Newcastle’s early Methodist history. Edward, the eldest surviving son of Charles Avison, and his wife Margaret were personally known to John Wesley and Edward was a trustee of the Methodist Orphan House on Northumberland Street. They were married in St Andrew’s Church on Newgate Street, but both dying at a young age they were buried in the churchyard in a grave adjacent to Charles Avison’s. Click here or on the image for photos of the newly uncovered gravestone. We are grateful to Rev Hurst for sharing this news.

Organ Voluntaries by Charles Avison jnr: article in The Musical Times

The Spring edition of The Musical Times contains Simon Fleming’s article on the organ voluntaries by Charles Avison’s youngest son. Charles Avison jnr followed in his father’s footsteps as organist at St. John The Baptist Church and St. Nicholas's Church (later Cathedral), Newcastle. Fleming’s article explores the manuscript of ‘Voluntaries for the Organ’ which contains eleven organ and keyboard pieces by Avison jnr. Click here or on the image for The Musical TImes website. Seven of the voluntaries have been edited by Simon Fleming and David Patrick for manuals only and are available from Fitzjohn Music Publications.

Music in Country Churches: The Avison Ensemble at Lavenham, Suffolk

The Avison Ensemble will be performing at the Music at Lavenham weekend festival in August 2012 at The Church of St Peter and St Paul. The festival is one of the Music in Country Churches three annual concert weekends which aim to bring internationalally renowned artists to country churches of special beauty and historical importance and to raise funds to help these churches with maintaining and upkeeping their fabric. The Avison Enmsemble is delighted to be presenting a concert of Concerti Grossi by Avison and Handel and Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and renowned cellist Richard Tunnicliffe will peform one of Garth's Cello Concertos. For further information click here or on the image.

March 2012

Sarah Gardner in concert

Sarah Gardner at the 2012 Young Musicians' AwardsYoung Musicians' Awards 2011 winner Sarah Gardner will be performing a piano recital at The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, on Friday 27 April at 7.30pm. PROGRAMME: Scarlatti - Sonata K208 and K209; Beethoven - Sonata No 32 Op 111; Chopin - Etudes Op 10 No 3 and 4; Debussy - Reflets dans L’eau; Ravel - Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit; Chopin - Scherzo No 3. Do come along to hear this amazing young pianist who has recently been described in the press as “having an awareness of style and colour and a degree of musicality rare in one so young.” Tickets cost £3. Reserve your seat by calling (0191) 232 0192, emailing library@litandphil.org.uk or by calling in. Find out more here.

Richard Tunnicliffe at the South Bank

Richard TunnicliffeHear Richard Tunnicliffe's Bach live at London's Purcell Room on Saturday, 24th March 2012 at 3pm where he'll be performing Bach's Suites 5 and 6 as part of the Southbank's Bach Weekend. Richard's CD will be on sale at the venue from Foyles and he will sign copies of the new album following the concert. Click here to book tickets to hear these virtuoso performances.

 

Richard Tunnicliffe's Bach Cello Suites on Linn Records and on Radio 3

Richard Tunnicliffe's Bach Cello Suites CD on Linn RecordsRichard Tunnicliffe's Bach cello suites CD is officially launched today (March 19th) on Linn Records and you can hear him on Radio 3's 'In Tune' on Wednesday, 21st March at around 5.30pm. Read more about Richard and his Bach recording here.

 

 

Avison Ensemble kids concert success

Kids' Concert 2012Our Young People's Celebration Concert was a huge success with amazing performances! Congratulations to our 2012 Young Musicians' Awards Winners who during the concert were presented with their Awards by the Sheriff of Newcastle. And well done to all the Awards winners and entrants who performed at the concert. There were wonderful performances too by the Gateshead Youth Orchestra and Wind Band and by the Choir Boys of St Nicholas’s Cathedral. Well done to all the performers and a BIG THANK YOU to the teachers, parents and supporters who made the concert possible - it's great to see such support for the North East's young musical talent! Our special thanks to the The Sir James Knott Trust and Joel Cohen and Andrea Toon (American Friends of The Avison Ensemble) for their support which made this year's Young Musicians' Awards and Celebration Concert possible. Click here to see our photos of the concert on Flickr.

Sarah Gardner wins 2012 Next Brit Thing award

Sarah Gardner wins the Next Brit Thing classical award 2012Our congratulations to Sarah Gardner who has won the 2012 Next Brit Thing classical music award at London Indigo2. Sarah was one of our Young Musicians' Awards winners in 2011 and performed at our Celebration concert in Newcastle on Sunday night where she captivated us with her performance of Ravel's Ondine. As part of her Next Brit Thing prize she'll now perform at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Classic FM's birthday celebrations. BRAVO! Read more about Sarah's award here and watch her performance on YouTube here.

Young Musicians’ Awards 2012 winners announced

YMA winners 2012Congratulations to this year's Young Musicians' Awards entrants and winners! The winners were: Grades 1-3 category: Esme Collin (violin), Grades 4-6 category: Seth Collin (cello), Grade 7 and above (joint winners): Laura Armstrong (cello) and Miriam Nohl (cello), and small chamber groups: Laura Armstrong, Miriam Nohl and Josh Sanders (cello trio). Well done to everyone! Click here to see our photos of the Awards on Flickr and here to watch our film on YouTube.

 

February 2012

Avison Ensemble to open the 2012 Gregynog Festival

Gregynog concert, June 2012The Avison Ensemble opens the 2012 Gregynog Festival with a programme that includes Vivaldi's Four Seasons. This year's Festival theme 'Venezia' explores six centuries of music-making associated with Venice and the Ensemble continues the Grand Tour of North Italy with concerti by Tomaso Albinoni and Pietro Locatelli. And not to ignore Southern Italy the Ensemble will perform one of Charles Avison's facsinating Concerti after the keyboard sonatas by the Neapolitan Domenico Scarlatti. Click here for further details about the concert.

International Record Review on our Vivaldi CD

VIvaldi Four Seasons CD on Linn RecordsAnother great review for our Vivaldi Four Seasons CD set, this one from International Record Review: "... the Avison Ensemble flexes its muscles in some superlative playing. With Beznosiuk’s violin chattering away, ‘La Tempesta di Mare’ breaks out in waves of virtuosity and splashes of musical brilliance which is less a vivid musical portrait of a rough sea than a powerful display of superlative playing.

So it continues throughout the set, with this excellent UK-based ensemble showing why it is rapidly gaining respect as one of the finest period-instrument bands of our time, mercifully bereft of novelty factor or proselytizing zeal and offering up performances which are as entertaining, compelling and colourful as they are authoritative and polished." Click here to listen to samples from the recording and to read the full review.

Young Musicians’ Awards 2012 Finals - second Finals session announced

Young Musicians Awards 2012Due to the popularity of our Young Musicians' Awards this year we've added a second session of Finals! Session I on Sunday 19th February will be for entrants in the Grades 1-3 and 4-6 categories, and Session II on Sunday 26th February will be for entrants in our Grade 7 and above category and our NEW chamber groups category. Both Sessions will take place from 2pm onwards at the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead. GOOD LUCK to all our Finalists! Click here to find out more about the Awards.

Classic FM Magazine reviews our Vivaldi CD

The March Classic FM Magazine has a great review for our Vivaldi CD set: "The Avison Ensemble presents Vivaldi’s music with none of the affectation of some superstar performances in this thoughtful yet intensely musical reading ... The flowing, organic playing of the ensemble with all the right attention to detail highlights the composer’s intentions to explore our emotional reaction to – of all things – the weather! This has to be one of the most vibrant, authentic and involving recordings of Vivaldi’s violin concertos I’ve heard. This two-CD set is great value." Click here to listen to samples from the recording and to read the full review.

December 2011

New Avison interpretation board in Newcastle

We're delighted that a new interpretation board about the life and work of Charles Avison has been put up by Newcastle City Council at St Nicholas Cathedral where Avison was organist. Click on the image or here for more images of the board.

 

 

Garth Sonatas published

Garth Six SonatasJohn Garth's Six Sonatas op.2 for harpsichord or organ (manuals only) have recently been edited by Simon Fleming and published by Fitzjohn Music Publications. This is available direct from the publisher and from Allegro Music, and a review appears in the December issue of Organists' Review. Click here for more information from the publisher.

 

October 2011

Avison Ensemble Family Concert in Newcastle centre

Family concert in Brunswick Methodist Chapel, October 2012The Avison Ensemble is delighted to have continued its collaborations with young musicians in the North East region by presenting a Saturday afternoon Family Concert in the heart of Newcastle’s town centre in early October 2011. Performing at the Brunswick Methodist Chapel the Ensemble was joined by the Strings of the Gateshead Youth Orchestra and the Gateshead Viol Consort who performed lively works from the English Baroque period. The Avison Ensemble performed Vivaldi's Four Seasons on period instruments to coincide with the release of their new recording on Linn Records of Vivaldi's 12 Violin Concertos Opus 8. Click here or on the image to see our photos of the Concert on Flickr.

Avison Ensemble at the 59th Hexham Abbey Festival

Hexham Abbey Festival 2011The Avison Ensemble presented a concert at Hexham Abbey which included concertos by local composers Charles Avison and a cello concerto by John Garth with Cathy Rimer as the soloist. The Ensemble launched its new recording of Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos Opus 8 on Linn Records with a performance of ‘The Four Seasons’. The concert was part of the 59th Hexham Abbey Festival. Click here or on the image to see our photos of the Concert on Flickr. For details of the 60th Hexham Abbey Festival in 2012 click here or see www.hexhamabbey.org.uk

September 2011

Avison Ensemble's Vivaldi CD on Radio 3

BBC Radio 3Excerpts from the Ensemble's new Vivaldi CD may be played on Radio 3's In Tune programme tomorrow afternoon (29/09/11) @ 4.30pm. Do 'tune in' to hear all about this great new release. Click here for more information.

 

 

Forthcoming release of our Vivaldi CD

Vivaldi Four Seasons CD on Linn RecordsOur recording of Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos Op 8 including 'The Four Seasons' is due for release on Linn Records on 30 September 2011. Further details and audio samples are now available from our Listen & Buy page.

 

 

Grammy Nomination for our Handel CD set

Handel CD set nominated for GrammysOur Handel CD set has been shortlisted for the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2011 in the Baroque Instrumental category. Have a listen to samples and read the press reviews on our website Listen & Buy page and you'll see and hear why its been shortlisted! Winners will be announced in early October.

 

July 2011

Music Celebration Week 2011 - hundreds of kids involved in music making

Music Celebration Week 2011The Avison Ensemble is proud to have sponsored this year’s Music Celebration Week presented by Gateshead Schools’ Music Service. From 1th to 15th July 2011 hundreds of children across Gateshead were involved in workshops, sing-a-longs, demonstrations and concerts, as well as a WOPPING big, music-filled picnic at Gibside! Highlights from Celebration Week are now on Flickr and YouTube. Click here to see our photos on Flickr and click here to watch our film on YouTube. The Avison Ensemble is grateful to The Roland Cookson Fund at The Community Foundation and the Arts Council North East for supporting Music Celebration Week.