Thursday 18 March 2021

A new season, a return to live performances and a new principal conductor: exciting times for the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Sage Gateshead

Dinis Sousa
Dinis Sousa

The Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) returns to live performance with a live-streamed concert from the Sage Gateshead on 16 April 2021 when they will be joined by Dame Sarah Connolly for Berlioz' Les Nuits d’été plus music by Haydn and Lili Boulanger. This concert marks the start of the Sage's New Beginnings season, returning to live performances. As if that was not exciting enough, the concert on 16 April will also feature a young Portuguese conductor, Dinis Sousa who has just been appointed the sinfonia's principal conductor.

Sousa will be moving his base to the region and playing an active role in its musical life, including the Sage and RNS' work reaching new audiences. This activity is part of a deliberate campaign by the Sage and RNS to meaningfully respond to the communities in the North East's need for music and the arts at such a challenging time. The RNS is also looking to fill all open positions by launching a fast-track recruitment drive.

Sousa was introduced to the orchestra via the Classical Futures Europe scheme and has conducted them twice already. First at the launch of the Beethoven 2020: The Next Generation series in Carlisle and Middlesbrough in January 2020 when the orchestra performed Beethoven alongside the winning work from a composition competition the orchestra held. More recently Sousa was at the helm in a concert of Stravinsky, Mendelssohn and music by the young American composer Caroline Shaw, as part of the Sage Live 2020 series last autumn. 

Sousa is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra that brings together Portuguese musicians living around the world, for which in recognition of his work he was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry in Portugal. He also works closely with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles, having been appointed the first-ever Assistant Conductor of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras in 2018.

Dates announced so far include 16 April's Dawn to Dusk concert and Paul McCreesh conducting a concert themed on Spring on 30 April 2021 with violinist Jennifer Pike. On 1 May, RNS will launch a large-scale participation project bringing community and professional singers and players together in a moment for a performance of Verdi's Requiem.

Full details from the Sage Gateshead website.

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