University Events

Newcastle Early Music Festival

Newcastle Early Music Festival

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.  Held each spring, the festival offers an exciting programme of early music to audiences 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 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. 

For details of the 2019 Newcastle Early Music Festival please see the Upcoming Events' Section.  The Festival starts on 21st February 2019 with Ensemble Hesperi performing music from the Scottish Baroque period, accompanied by a Highland dancer.