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Classical rising stars inspire the next generation at The Glasshouse

Posted on 22 January 2024

Julia Pusker with a young violin player credit Barry Pells
  • ECHO Rising Stars led masterclasses for the venue’s Make Music Young People programme on Sunday, 21 January 2024
  • The ECHO Rising Stars worked closely with the young people, playing their instruments and sharing experiences.
  • The masterclasses followed performances by the ECHO Rising Stars on Saturday, 20 January at The Glasshouse

On Sunday, 21 January, the European Concert Hall Organisation’s (ECHO) Rising Stars of 2024 led rare masterclasses for musicians from The Glasshouse’s Make Music programme for young people.

The up-and-coming ECHO artists Julia Pusker (violin), Sean Shibe (guitar) and Mathis Stier (bassoon) worked closely with the young people, playing their instruments and sharing experiences. They also worked on improving the young people’s technique and boosting their confidence.

Imogen Haslam plays the clarinet and was part of Mathis Stiers’ workshop. She said,

“It was nice to have a different perspective on a piece I play from Mathis. He gave me good advice. It was inspiring to hear a younger player talk so passionately about music. It was relatable, and he was really approachable.”

Carl Schenker plays the guitar and was a part of Sean Shibe’s class. He said,

“At the start of the workshop, Sean played one of his performance pieces, and it was great to listen to. Having masterclasses from people in the industry shows us what life as a professional musician is like. Lots of people here want to have a career in music, so it’s good to have someone currently doing that come in.”

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

“It’s exciting that the young musicians on our programme had 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 heard the international artists play. They asked questions and gained direct input from them.

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

The masterclasses followed a day of performances on Saturday, 20 January, as the ECHO Rising Stars performed throughout the day at The Glasshouse.

Audiences enjoyed the artists performing solo in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall and Sage Two. As well as the main recitals, there were free mini-concerts on the Concourse. To end the day, there was a panel discussion with last year’s Rising Star and friend of The Glasshouse, Jess Gillam.


For press enquiries please contact Beverley Knight: 0191 443 4583

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Julia Pusker leading her masterclass: image – credit Barry Pells
Sean Shibe leading his masterclass: image – credit Barry Pells
Mathis Stier leading his masterclass: image – credit Barry Pells

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.