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Classical rising stars are on the up at The Glasshouse

Posted on 16 January 2024

2 Sean Shibe © Kaupo Kikkas
  • European Concert Hall Organisation’s (ECHO) Rising Stars perform at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music on Saturday, 20 January 2024
  • Audiences can find new favourite artists and say, ‘I saw them here first.’
  • ECHO Rising Stars will run masterclasses for the venue’s Make Music Young People programme on Sunday, 21 January 2024

Four promising classical artists get their moment to shine at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music on Saturday, 20 January 2024. Fresh the next morning, they’ll inspire a new generation of musicians at masterclasses for the venue’s Make Music Young People programme.

The up-and-coming artists Julia Pusker (violin), Sean Shibe (guitar) and Mathis Stier (bassoon) were hand-picked as the European Concert Hall Organisation’s (ECHO) Rising Stars of 2024. Faye MacCalman (saxophone, clarinet), The Glasshouse’s Artist in Residence joins them.

A ticket at the venue lets audiences see the artists perform solo in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall and Sage Two throughout the day. As well as the main recitals, there’ll be free mini-concerts on the Concourse for everyone to enjoy.

There’s also a panel discussion with last year’s Rising Star and friend of The Glasshouse, Jess Gillam. Classical music fans can find new favourite artists and say, ‘I saw them here first’.

Abi Groocock, Projects Manager at The Glasshouse, said,

“It’s great to welcome the ECHO Rising Stars to The Glasshouse for a day of recitals and performances, and fantastic to feature one of our Artists in Residence, Faye MacCalman.

“They’ll perform a wide range of music, including new commissions for this project, so audiences can enjoy familiar favourites alongside discoveries that show off what these virtuosos can do.

“We’re also grateful to Jess Gillam for hosting our panel discussion with the ECHO artists on what being a Rising Star means. She’ll also be chatting to Faye about her journey.”

On Sunday, 21 January, the ECHO Rising Stars will lead rare masterclasses for musicians taking part in The Glasshouse’s Make Music programme for young people. The programme puts young people’s love of music at the centre of everything they learn and one of the great things about being part of the programme is the chance to work with skilled people working in the industry.

Rebecca Johnson, Senior Producer, Make Music at The Glasshouse, said,

“It’s exciting that the young musicians on our programme have the fantastic opportunity to work with the ECHO Rising Stars.”

“As a young person, having inspiring role models is essential and can be life changing. Our young musicians will hear the international artists play. They can ask questions and gain direct input from them.

“We’re delighted to be able to continue this partnership with ECHO at The Glasshouse.”


For press enquiries please contact:

Beverley Knight: 0191 443 4583

Image Links:
Julia Pusker image
Sean Shibe image– credit Camilla Greenwell
Mathis Stier image -credit Sophia Hegewald
Faye MacCalman image – credit Victoria Wai

Notes for editors:

Website link: ECHO Rising Stars 2024 | The Glasshouse (
A day ticket is £16 – £21 and includes the option of a hot drink and cake.


Julia Pusker
12 – 1pm | Northern Rock Foundation Hall

  • Lili Boulanger 2 Morceaux pour violon et piano
  • Claude Debussy Violin Sonata
  • Eric Tanguy Trois Pièces
  • Johannes Brahms (arr. Joachim) Hungarian Dance No. 11
  • Johannes Brahms (arr. Kreisler) Hungarian Dance No. 17
  • Jeno Hubay Carmen, Fantasie Brillante

Sean Shibe
2 – 3pm | Sage Two

  • Heitor Villa-Lobos Prelude No.3
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos 12 Guitar Etudes Nos. 1, 5, 10
  • Agustín Barrios Mangoré La Catedral
  • Johann Sebastian Bach Prelude, Fuga and Allegro
  • Thomas Ades Forgotten Dances

Mathis Stier
4 – 5pm | Northern Rock Foundation Hall

  • Philipp Friedrich Böddecker Sonata Sopra ‘La Monica’
  • Maria Sigfúsdóttir Remembering (commissioned by ECHO)
  • Clara Schumann Drei Romanzen
  • Alain Bernaud Hallucinations
  • Heinz Holliger Klaus-Ur
  • Camille Saint-Saëns Sonata for Bassoon and Piano

Faye MacCalman
6.30 – 7.30pm | Sage Two

Faye fuses experimental songwriting with free-weaving melodies and enveloping rhythms, drawing on jazz, folk and rock music inspired by under-the-surface emotional worlds. Expect original compositions and improvisations.

Concourse performances
1.20 – 1.40pm

Mathis Stier bassoon

Johann Sebastian Bach Cello Suite No.3

3.20 – 3.40pm

Julia Pusker violin

  • Béla Bartók 1st Rhapsody
  • Franz Vecsey Valse Triste
  • Béla Bartók Romanian Dances

5.20 – 5.40pm

Sean Shibe guitar
Steve Reich Electric Counterpoint

Panel discussion

5.45 – 6.15pm

One of last year’s ECHO Rising Stars, saxophonist Jess Gillam, joins Julia, Sean, Mathis and Faye on the Concourse to chat about their musical experiences and highlights of the ECHO tour so far.

About the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO)

Since 1995, each year ECHO Rising Stars receive professional development, perform a concert tour across the halls of the ECHO network and get a new work commissioned for them to perform. The series has shaped the musical careers of many of today’s world-class artists.

Composers whose works will be premiered and performed by ECHO Risings Stars during the 2023/2024 season are Thomas Adès, Annelies Van Parys, Eric Tanguy, Moritz Eggert, Sofia Avramidou and Maria Sigfúsdóttir.

About The Glasshouse International Centre for Music

The Glasshouse International Centre for Music is a home for live music lovers.

It’s a place where you can hear rock legends or pop icons on the same night as folk trios or string quartets. Where new musicians are nurtured and showcased on the same stages as platinum-selling performers. And where youth choirs and tambourine-shaking toddlers practise in the same spaces as its acclaimed orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Because as an international centre for music they’re focused on creating and celebrating outstanding music – whether that’s unearthing or growing talent from the region or bringing the world’s best artists to their stages. And as a charity they’re focused on making sure all of that is available to anyone – no matter where you’re from, how old you are, how much money you have, or what challenges you face.

Which is why every year more than 2 million people are able to join for top-notch gigs, concerts, and classes – in their venue at Gateshead Quays, out in communities across the North East, and through livestreamed performances and digital lessons.

Whether you’re making it up or taking it in, you’ll find music lives and grows there.

More about The Glasshouse International Centre for Music

  • From global stars to artists starting out, The Glasshouse has hosted 10,022 performances, totalling 4.7m tickets. To have seen every performance would have meant seeing one show every day for 27 years.
  • It’s hosted over 220,000 music lessons for North East folk. The region’s young people have learnt to play, sing or produce with us, on over 1.7m occasions.
  • Royal Northern Sinfonia perform at The Glasshouse, tour the region, and have played to international audiences on four continents, with livestreams reaching people across five.
  • Like stepping stones, artists like Ward Thomas have worked their way from their free stages to selling out its big hall and getting global recognition.
  • The Glasshouse regularly opens its doors to a wide range of conferences and events. Since 2004, they’ve welcome over 400,000 delegates from the likes of Greggs, NHS and British Engines, and many, many more.
  • The charity is one of Gateshead’s biggest employers, and so far it’s generated £500m of economic value to the region.
  • The charity has been the proud guardians of The Glasshouse for almost 20 years, safeguarding it when live music was put on hold during the pandemic.
  • The centre has 630 panes of glass and stands 40m tall.