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The Glasshouse



Classical Immersion

Sage One

Classical Immersion_Website Image

Classical Immersion

Sage One


Nico Muhly Motion (8 mins)
Morton Feldman 
Between Categories (13 mins)
Charles Ives
 The Unanswered Question (6 mins)
Caroline Shaw 
Entr’acte (11 mins)
Steve Reich 
Eight Lines (16 mins)

Dinis Sousa conductor
Sonia Killmann visual artist
Royal Northern Sinfonia

For the first time at Sage Gateshead, we’re removing the seats in Sage One to create an immersive event like no other. Be enveloped in a relaxed atmosphere with a setlist of contemporary classical music performed by RNS and led by Principal Conductor Dinis Sousa. In turns minimalist and hypnotic, pulsating and meditative, with atmospheric visuals and lighting… this is an evening that will transform how you experience our sound.

We are excited to be collaborating with Sonia Killmann on Classical Immersion, a multimedia artist from Belgium who explores the relationship between sound and environment, through bold colours and immersive soundscapes. Sonia’s visuals will respond to and reflect the music, transporting the listening to a different world. | @soniakillmann_sound


Nico Muhly Motion
Drawing inspiration from his time as a boy chorister, Nico Muhly’s Motion tries to capture the nervous energy of obsessively counting bars rest. Taking fragments from Orlando Gibbon’s choral piece See, see the Word is incarnate written in the early 17th Century, the music spins a web of different melodies before an energetic ending.

Morton Feldman Between Categories
Morton Feldman’s music has the unique ability to instantly conjure an otherworldly atmosphere, and Between Categories is no exception. Written in 1969 for two pianos, two chimes, two violins and two cellos, he includes this note for the musicians: ‘Durations of simultaneous and single sounds are extremely slow. All sounds are connected without pauses unless otherwise notated. The dynamic level is extremely low, but audible.’

Charles Ives The Unanswered Question
One of the most influential American compositions of the 20th century, Charles Ives’ The Unanswered question divides musicians into three groups, each playing at different speeds. The slow, quiet strings represent “The Silence of the Druids”, while the solo trumpet asks “The Perennial Question of Existence”. The woodwind attempt to respond with “Fighting Answers”, but the dialogue becomes heated and dissonant before giving up, leaving the question unanswered.

Caroline Shaw Entr’acte
Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte was inspired by a piece of music from the classical period, Haydn’s String Quartet Op.77 No.2. Using a minuet and trio structure which is typical of the late 1700s, Shaw takes this idea and runs with it, saying “I love the way that some music suddenly takes you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, Technicolor transition.”

Steve Reich Eight Lines
American composer Steve Reich is one of the best known composers of Minimalist music, and a pioneer of the movement in the 1960s. Eight Lines sits firmly in this category, characterised by its hypnotic repetition of melodic fragments, with slow moving drones providing the foundation. The piece is divided into five sections (which flow seamlessly together), with alternating rapid piano lines and smooth cello melodies, before coming together in the final section.


First Violin
Caroline Pether
Iona Brown
Sarah Roberts
Dániel Máté Mészöly
Jane Nossek
Marie Schreer

Second Violin
Eva Aronian
Gaëlle-Anne Michel
The Anonymous Chair
Sophie Appleton
The BA Summers Chair
Jenny Chang
Alanna Tonetti-Tieppo

Michael Gerrard
The Rossiter Family Chair
Malcolm Critten
The Merle Rewcastle Chair
James Slater
Tegwen Jones
The Skews Family Chair

Steffan Morris
The Share Family Chair
Daniel Hammersley
The Freeman Chair
James Craig
Gabriel Waite
The Manning Chair

Double Bass
Philip Nelson
The Anonymous Chair
Siân Hicks


Charlotte Ashton
Helena Gourd

Michael O’Donnell
The Sylvia Fuller Chair

The Bragg Family Chairs
Cristina Mateo
Jessica Lee

Peter Francomb
The Friends of Royal
Northern Sinfonia Chair
Jonathan Quaintrell-Evans
The Richardson Family Chair

Richard Martin
The Alan Johnson Chair
Marion Craig

George Barton
Craig Apps

Siwan Rhys
Katherine Tinker