Thursday 12 May 2022

Saffron Hall's new season: from resident orchestras & distinguished visitors to Saffon Opera Group, plus Saffron Sessions, Saffron Foyer, and Saffron Sounds

Saffron Hall
Saffron Hall (Photo from

Saffron Hall has announced its programme for Autumn 2022, from 11 September 2022 to 2 January 2023, with the return of the hall’s resident orchestras – Britten Sinfonia and London Philharmonic Orchestra – plus visits from the Dunedin Consort, English Touring Opera, Hallé Orchestra, Tenebrae and The Sixteen, with soloists and conductors including Karina Canellakis, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Jess Gillam, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Courtney Pine, Zoe Rahman and Anoushka Shankar.

The hall is also launching Saffron Sessions, a programme of creative, boundary-challenging performances including American pianist and composer Chad Lawson, Manchester Collective and Pekka Kuusisto. Also the informal Saffron Foyer nights return with jazz and folk artists including Katriona Taylor, Django’s Tiger and the Dan Forshaw Quartet.

However, performers don't just include distinguished visitors, there is plenty of local talent too. The season opens with Saffron Opera Group in Wagner’s Tannhäuser with tenor Peter Auty in the title role and Samantha Crawford as Elisabeth, conducted by Michael Thorne. Saffron Walden Choral Society perform Haydn’s Creation with Chameleon Arts Orchestra, whilst the Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra returns with violinist Alex Redington for a programme including Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.12 commemorating the 1917 revolution.

The hall is launching the second iteration of its education initiative Saffron Sounds. This is a an online resource hub, including filmed performances and demonstrations from the Jess Gillam ensemble, which will be available to all primary schools, and will be the starting point for a programme of workshops and live performances offered to schools across Essex and beyond. Artists from across the programme, including A4 Brass, will visit local primary schools for performances. 

This Autumn will also see the introduction of A morning with… events for secondary schools, featuring performances, masterclasses and Q&A’s from artists including Isata Kanneh-Mason. And Saffron Hall Trust continues to deliver Together in Sound - its music therapy programme for those living with dementia and their carers in Saffron Walden. Together in Sound is delivered in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University, and a pilot programme is now also underway in Braintree in partnership with Braintree District Museum. 

Saffron Hall is a 740-seat concert hall that opened in 2013 as a sustainable model of arts and community outreach. Sited in the grounds of Saffron Walden County High School, a comprehensive school in North Essex, Saffron Hall’s programme runs alongside an extensive Schools and Community programme. Since opening, the hall has engaged with over 40,000 participants and sold over 205,000 tickets, with 21% of audiences travelling 30 miles or more. 10% of tickets sold were to under 18s. Saffron Hall is a registered charity and receives no regular funding from the local authority or Arts Council England; it is solely reliant on donations from individuals, trusts and foundations and ticket sales.

 Full details from the Saffron Hall website.

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