Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Classic FM Celebrates Its Birthday in the North East; with a National Radio Station Taking over the Sage Today, DAVID WHETSTONE Dips into Some Classical Offerings

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Classic FM Celebrates Its Birthday in the North East; with a National Radio Station Taking over the Sage Today, DAVID WHETSTONE Dips into Some Classical Offerings

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

THE North East has featured prominently on the BBC over the weekend with the Bupa Great North Run and Great North CityGames - but the broadcast coverage doesn't end there.

Throughout today commercial rival Classic FM is broadcasting from The Sage Gateshead as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.

The schedule starts with Tim Lihoreau's More Music Breakfast, from 6-9am.

Nick Bailey follows from 9am to 1pm, Jamie Crick from 1-5pm and John Brunning, presenting Classic FM Drive, from 5-8pm.

This evening, from 8pm, in The Full Works Concert with Jane Jones, you can hear last night's Northern Sinfonia concert of light music conducted by Gateshead-born John Wilson.

With an audience of about 5.5m listeners, Classic FM's day-long residency is brilliant coverage for the Gateshead music venue which has a longstanding relationship with the station.

It is also a timely build-up to the new 2012/13 classical music season at the Sage.

Given extra prominence this year with its own distinct programme, the season gets fully into its stride - after last night's Wilson warm-up - with the concert in Hall One on September 28.

Music director Thomas Zehetmair will conduct the Northern Sinfonia in the first of a series of concerts, under the Romantic Symphony heading, featuring the symphonies of Schumann and Brahms.

Robert Schumann was the established master, Johannes Brahms the exhilarating new kid on the block. Each benefited from the presence of the other, as this season will attempt to demonstrate.

The season is punctuated by four Romantic Symphony concerts, the last of them taking place in Hall One next June.

But the two composers also spring up elsewhere. A Sinfonia concert in Hall Two on September 29 features their chamber music and particularly the Frei Aber Einsam sonata, a work in three movements dedicated to the violinist Joseph Joachim. …

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