Kingsmead crowns the festival

The Kingsmead String Quartet.

The Kingsmead String Quartet.

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ONE of the UK’s leading string quartets is presenting a double bill of top class music.

The Kingsmead String Quartet is performing in the Northumberland Music Festival next month.

The quartet is playing an evening concert at Doxford Hall on November 1 and a lunchtime recital at Eshott Hall on November 2.

Performing an exciting programme of contrasts from across the classical repertoire, the quartet will play Haydn’s Fifths Quartet and The Lark Quartet, and Dvorak’s American Quartet.

The Kingsmead Quartet has been together for more than 12 years and is regarded as one of the UK’s leading quartets.

It has performed for the BBC and ITV and appeared at the Houses of Parliament.

Northumberland Music Festival organiser Barbara Huddart said the quartet is looking forward to its first performances in Northumberland.

She said: “Kingsmead are smooth and accomplished performers who delight audiences wherever they perform. Eshott and Doxford Hall’s are the sorts of backgrounds that music like this was composed for, and it is rare to experience the two together.

“This combination of music and architectural setting is definitely an unmissable experience.”

The evening recital at Doxford Hall starts at 7pm and costs £35 including a canapé reception and two-course dinner.

The programme features Haydn’s Fifths, Lullaby by George Gershwin, Three Idylls from Frank Bridge and Dvorak’s American Quartet.

The lunchtime concert at Eshott Hall starts at noon and costs £20, including a buffet lunch after the concert.

The programme is Haydn’s Lark, Phantasie for String Quartet by Frank Bridge and Mozart’s Dissonance.

Kingsmead is performing as part of week-long celebration of classical and traditional music. The music festival, sponsored by the Morpeth Herald, is supporting the Great North Air Ambulance, MacMillan Cancer Support and HospiceCare North Northumberland.

Other highlights include gala opera concerts presented by Robin Newton, head of music at the renowned Garsington Opera, and featuring soprano Samantha Crawford, mezzo soprano Adriana Festeur and tenor Charne Rochford; Polyphonic Brass Quintet, classics and jazz from a group of young musicians; Gilbert & Sullivan, featuring former singers of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company; a piano concert by pupils from Chetham’s School of Music, the UK’s largest specialist music school; dance tunes, lively rhythms and slow airs from Northumbrian Pipes and Fiddles and traditional music from The Northumbrian Ranters.

The festival is the brainchild of Robert Parker, owner of Doxford, Eshott and Guyzance halls. It is hoped it will put Northumberland on the map as a major music destination.

For full details of the festival, visit www.nmfestival.com

Tickets are available from 01668 283100.

For anyone wishing to attend the concert and stay overnight Doxford Hall is offering a special rate of £60 per person sharing a room bed and breakfast.