Buxton Festival regulars, The Northern Chamber Orchestra have embarked on a thrilling new season at brand new venues in the nearby town of Macclesfield. The Northern Chamber Orchestra (NCO) has come a long way since it was set up in 1967. It has over thirty, critically-acclaimed recordings to its name and is known in every continent and its members (approximately twenty five in total) are distinguished chamber musicians who regularly appear as soloists. Playing for many of the main opera productions in Buxton’s International Festival, now’s your chance to experience a new episode in the orchestra’s history.
Reflecting this new beginning for the NCO, discounted tickets for under 30s are available for the first time, alongside free tickets for under 18s and students. The 2022-23 season follows the NCO’s move to the brand new, purpose built, auditorium at The King’s School in Macclesfield, and the beautiful, intimate St Michael’s Church. The season, entitled “Orchestrating the Future”, is the first since the departure of long-standing Artistic Director and leader Nicholas Ward, and sees a host of exciting conductors, directors and soloists, including cellist Guy Johnston, violinist Jennifer Pike, and conductor Jamie Phillips taking to the stage.
NCO Chief Executive Charlie Rowley, who said “A new and exciting chapter opens in the NCO’s long history in Macclesfield at two new venues: the beautiful and intimate St Michael’s Church and the impressively grand and brand-new King’s School welcome us for the first time, and we hope for many years hence. New places and faces, but we will continue to surprise and delight in bringing world-class music and exciting new talent to Macclesfield”.
The season opened on Saturday 15th October, when the Hallé’s assistant conductor Delyana Lazrova joined the youngest ever BBC Young Musician winner, violinist Jennifer Pike, for a concert of Beethoven works, including his revolutionary ‘Eroica’ symphony. The season continues in November and December with Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, ‘Jupiter’, conducted by Jamie Philips (5th November), and Haydn’s D major cello concerto, featuring soloist Guy Johnston and directed by his brother Magnus Johnston (17th December).
The NCO returns to Tatton Park on Friday 9th December for its annual Christmas Concert. The concerts (3.30pm and 7pm) will include festive favourites, readings and carols sung by the Choir of St Nicholas Catholic High School, Northwich, and the evening concert also includes a tour of the mansion.
2023 opens with the NCO in a reflective mood as it gives a concert at Macclesfield’s St Michael’s Church in remembrance of Holocaust Memorial Day. The concert features Rudolf Karel’s Nonet, written in Theresienstadt prison during WWII. Following this are a baroque and tango special, with violinist Sophie Rosa (18th February); a musical setting of the Stabat Mater sequence directed by Christopher Jones and sung by soprano Caroline Taylor and countertenor Ralph Thomas Williams (11th March, St Michael’s Church); and a concert devoted to the NCO’s outstanding wind section and directed by principal oboe of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, John Roberts (1st April).
Closing the series on Saturday 6th May, Spanish violinist Jorge Jimenez directs the orchestra in three of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos alongside two 20th century works, Arvo Pärt‘s Fratres and Alfred Schnittke’s Suite in the Old Style.
Chairman of the NCO board, John Phillips, said, “As well as established repertoire by composers such as Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart, we are also playing less familiar works by Copland, Shostakovich and Piazzolla. Less familiar, yes, but always accessible. This is a brand-new musical journey for the NCO and I invite everyone to take it with us”.
Tickets are on sale now from ncorch.co.uk, with season tickets and group discounts available.
Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Metropolitan University, Brooks Building, 53 Bonsall Street, Manchester, M15 6GX
T: 0161 247 2220