University Events

Newcastle Early Music Festival

Early Music @ Newcastle

Festival background

The Newcastle Early Music Festival was founded in 1996 with the aim of bringing together many of the best early music practitioners in the region alongside some of the leading names on the national and international early music scene.  The festival, normally held each spring, was relaunched and renamed in 2020 as Early Music @ Newcastle.  The festival offers an exciting programme of early music to audiences, whether virtually or in person, depending on circumstances,  in the North East.

The Newcastle Early Music Festival was established as a joint promotion between Newcastle University’s International Centre for Music Studies and Newcastle Baroque, the North-East based period instrument orchestra using primarily players from the region.  The orchestra, founded by trumpeter George Parnaby, has worked with various directors over the years including Catherine Mackintosh, Simon Jones and Adrian Chandler. The Festival has developed to promote historically-informed performance using instruments and performance styles appropriate to the particular work being performed, reflecting the historical and social context of its origins.  Over the years the Festival has included a wide range of different musics from different periods, with concerts of early folk music and jazz, and has worked with leading artists such as Dame Emma Kirkby, James Bowman, Crispian Steele-Perkins and Anthony Robson.

The 2024 Early Music @ Newcastle festival has in-person events.   There will also be a series of a short videos and podcasts that will be released throughout February and March.  These range from short concerts exploring particular repertoire and lecture/demonstrations from leading exponents of historic brass instruments, to talks on music-making in 17th and 18th century Newcastle.  

The Festival starts on 7th February with a vocal masterclass.

For details of the 2024 festival, please visit  or download the 2024 Early Music @ Newcastle programme from here 2024 Early Music @ Newcastle Festival Brochure


Updated 05.02.2024