7 January – 8 May 2022
Dazzling concert schedule includes:
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Nicola Benedetti, Ian Bostridge, Miloš Karadaglić, Nitin Sawhney, Abel Selaocoe & Mitsuko Uchida
Britten Sinfonia, English Baroque Soloists, Les Arts Florissants, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Collective, Nash Ensemble &
National Youth Jazz Orchestra
William Christie, John Eliot Gardiner, Vladimir Jurowski & James MacMillan
Saffron Hall today announced its Spring 2022 season with a spectacular line-up of world-class artists and ensembles performing classical, jazz, world and dance, in the critically acclaimed venue that continues to provide vibrant, world-class cultural experiences for audiences across the region. Concerts from mid-May to August will be announced in the new year.
Angela Dixon, Chief Executive of Saffron Hall, said:
“We are delighted to welcome back so many wonderful artists to fully open houses, whilst also introducing so many new artists to the Saffron Hall programme of concerts and school & community work. Engagement with the arts is essential for the well-being of our communities as we come out of the pandemic and it also supports the local economy.”
Extraordinary debuts from two of the world’s most celebrated period-instrument ensembles are among the major highlights of the Spring season. John Eliot Gardiner and his flagship ensemble, the English Baroque Soloists, make their Saffron Hall debut with a rich programme of music by Haydn and Mozart: Kati Debretzeni leads the ensemble in Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 “Drumroll” and Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 and takes the solo violin part in the latter’s famous Sinfonia concertante with Fanny Paccoud as viola soloist [30 April]. Les Arts Florissants and its founder/director William Christie give a rare performance of Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, a musical ode based on the poetry of John Milton, in their first ever concert at the Hall [13 March].
Saffron Hall’s Resident Orchestras – the London Philharmonic and Britten Sinfonia – deepen their partnership with four glittering concerts between them. The LPO is conducted by Vladimir Jurowski in Beethoven’s Prometheus Overture and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6, joined by Mitsuko Uchida for Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 [10 April]. Britten Sinfonia celebrate the 150th anniversary of Vaughan Williams’ birth with a concert featuring his Lark Ascending and Concerto for Oboe and Strings, directed by Thomas Gould with the oboist Nicholas Daniel [11 February]. It returns, conducted by James MacMillan with Ian Bostridge, for a programme including Bartók and MacMillan’s own compositions [16 March], and then again for an all-Russian concert directed by Gould with pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen and trumpeter Matilda Lloyd [24 April].
Demonstrating the depth of the schedule at Saffron Hall and the breadth of its audiences, a number of outstanding boundary-crossing artists and ensembles make their debut this spring. The sensational cellist Abel Selaocoe joins forces with The Manchester Collective for a joyful mix of music from Mali, South Africa and the Ivory Coast alongside much-loved classical favourites [1 April], while multi-award winning cross-genre cellist and vocalist Ayanna Witter-Johnson showcases her stylistic range [7 January]. Cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney bringsmusic from his new album Immigrants, together with pieces from his vast back catalogue [25 February].
Among the outstanding recitals are Hall debuts for pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who performs Bach’s magisterial Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 [20 March], and guitarist Miloš with a programme ranging from Albéniz and JS Bach to Villa-Lobos [20 February].
Modern classical musicians rarely achieve the influence of Nicola Benedetti by the age of 34, and she returns to lead the Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio in performances of Schumann, Rihm and Brahms [26 February].
The Nash Ensemble makes a welcome first visit to the Essex venue with a programme including Haydn and Schubert [26 March].
Just months after his triumph at the Leeds International Piano Competition, Alim Beisembayev comes to the Hall for the first time for a recital of music by Ligeti, Ravel and Chopin [3 April], in one of a series of Sunday afternoon Young Artist Concerts, which also includes a Hall debut for the accordionist Samuele Telari in a concert of Schubert and Saint-Saёns, amongst others [9 January].
And – with Saffron Hall at the heart of its musical community – local ensembles also have the chance to shine. The Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra presents an evening of film music [5 February] before closing the season with Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky [8 May], the Saffron Opera Group perform Mozart’s comedy Così fan tutte [13 February] and the Saffron Walden Choral Society present a programme including Fauré’s Requiem [19 March]. And Elgar’s grand choral work, The Dream of Gerontius, is performed by Barnet & Bishop’s Stortford Choral Societies [9 April].
Jazz, world and more
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra perform a powerful tribute to an especially famous alumna, Amy Winehouse, in a concert that promises to be both poignant and thrilling [14 January]. Ahead of their concert, the Jazz Orchestra will be working with secondary school pupils in Saffron Walden, inspiring them towards a musical future, demonstrating how visiting artists can bring enriching work beyond the concert setting.
Kodō debut at Saffron Hall this season [18 February], bringing their primal power as part of their 40th-anniversary season. Gershwin gets a reimagining, with Ronnie Scott’s presenting Rhapsody in Blue, a Porgy and Bess medley and the overture to An American in Paris [12 March].
Also appearing for the first time is the brass ensemble, the Black Dyke Band, famous for their broad appeal across classical, jazz and film music [19 February].
The two dance events at Saffron Hall this spring have infectious kinetic energy. The Alexander Whitley Dance Company will perform Overflow to a new score by Rival Consoles[5 March]. Known for his innovative use of technology, choreographer Alexander Whitley’s performance will feature a light sculpture by Children of the Light. And Far From the Norm will present a hip-hop dance, BLKDOG, choreographed by Botis Seva, exploring what it means to be young in today’s rapidly changing world [7 May].
A regular on BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time, Bob Flowerdew will give a talk on efficient gardening, teaching how to ensure maximum produce with minimal effort [1 May].
Saffron Hall continues its programme of informal club nights with table seating, bar and street food in the foyer. From the folk band Camus [21 January] to the jazz ensemble Gabriel Latchin Trio [13 May], these events offer an alternative musical experience to the traditional concert hall.
Saffron Hall is also setting new standards in musical and educational work for its local communities. It is delivering a series of primary school workshops, building on the programme Saffron Sounds Earworms, and continues to develop online learning resources that stimulate music-making and creativity in schools.
The Hall also continues its pioneering initiative Together in Sound, which uses music therapy to improve the lives of those living with dementia and their companions. In partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University, the programme focuses on group music-making, supporting communication and relationships, and will soon be expanding further afield.
The Come Together project continues this spring too, bridging generations from across Uttlesford and enabling them to connect using music, words, movement and theatre.
For more information and to book tickets please visit the Saffron Hall website.