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Sat, 25 Sept


St Mary's Church

Gala Opening Concert with Bradley Creswick

with David Murray on Piano. Elgar - Violin Sonata in E Minor | Bartók - Rhapsody No. 1

Registration is Closed
Gala Opening Concert with Bradley Creswick
Gala Opening Concert with Bradley Creswick

Time & Location

25 Sept 2021, 19:30

St Mary's Church, Claremont Gardens, Whitley Bay NE26 3SF, UK


We are delighted that Bradley Creswick MBE, Leader Emeritus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, has accepted an invitation to open our season in September with Elgar's Violin Sonata in E Minor, and Bartók's Rhapsody No. 1. 

If you haven’t attended one of Bradley’s previous performances at St Mary’s – now is your chance!  We are assured of a great evening. He will be accompanied by the exceptional pianist David Murray.

Bradley Creswick MBE

Bradley was born in West Sussex and began learning the violin aged 12. Born to a circus and fairground performer (his father) and jazz singer (his mother) he was destined to entertain.

He went on to study at the Royal College of Music before moving to Newcastle to join Northern Sinfonia – bestowed its Royal title in 2013. Since joining the orchestra in 1984 Bradley has become a firm favourite with audiences, bringing a unique energy, warmth and animation to performances. Bradley stood down as leader of the orchestra at the end of their 60th anniversary season. 

'Regional treasure' Bradley's contribution to music was recognised with an MBE in the New Year's Honours.

Bradley on Elgar's Violin Sonata

“One of the features of growing up in West Sussex were frequent visits to Lodge Hill near Fittleworth, first from Primary School and later on residential courses with orchestra, wind band and for drama.

It was only later that I discovered that Elgar lived for a while at “Brinkwells” very close by ,and knew the area very well .He wrote his piano quintet ,string quartet and violin sonata here and was strongly influenced by a ghostly legend connected with a particular group of trees in a nearby wood.

"For most orchestral music students in the 1970s The" Dream of Gerontius “, Cello Concerto and many other works by Elgar were a regular part of concert life and came to represent for me a British tradition that seeped into my unconscious.

"Gradually over the years it has dawned on me that Elgar’s music also encapsulates a very personal aspect of his humanity - for example in his Violin Concerto and the slow movement of the First Symphony.

Whilst studying the piano quintet I connected with my own early experiences of Lodge Hill and it was amazing !

In the violin sonata one can sense again Elgar’s deep feeling, his nostalgia , love of friends and of course one of his favourite markings in musical scores : “Nobilemente" ."

David Murray - piano

"I started having piano lessons when I was about 8, and at the same time my parents thought I sang quite well. So the next thing was I was a chorister at Newcastle Cathedral , and I stayed there in the choir for the next six years, eventually rising to the dizzying heights of head chorister . My piano playing wasn’t  great - my teacher was far too nice to me and I seemed to spend a lot of time messing around with music from the shows and not practicing properly .

"My dad was a policeman and thought the whole idea of me going the Royal College of Music was potty . There weren’t any clear employment prospects - (still aren’t !) and I think he thought the whole was a bit sissy. But he eventually agreed - prevailed on by my mum I think - and it was there that my piano playing got a bit better. Well it should have done really because I used to practice 6/7 hours a day.

"I didn’t know what I was going to do when I left college but it wasn’t long before I was in a post at College of Education in London, and not long after that before I was back in my native North East, teaching and playing quite a bit with the Northern Sinfonia - where I met Bradley.

"Our association had been a long and very special one - so many great concerts, and such fun . He really is an exceptional violinist on many different levels, and his continuing  love and enjoyment of performing is infectious. It affects audiences and it certainly affects me."

At a previous performance of this sonata with Bradley, David wrote -

"We haven’t done the Elgar before - we’ve done a lot of the romantic repertoire but not this. Its about time we did though, as its the great twentieth century English sonata - nothing comes close. Beautifully written for both instruments and written as a real duo with equal importance attached to violin and piano. Its rich textures and sweeping romantic gestures make it a thrill to play and listen to".

A licensed bar is available before and during this concert. 


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