Saffron Hall reveals Autumn season filled with classical, contemporary and jazz performances by world-class artists

11 September 2022 – 2 January 2023

Major soloists and conductors including Karina Canellakis, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Jess Gillam, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Courtney Pine, Zoe Rahman and Anoushka Shankar

Return of the Hall’s Resident Orchestras – Britten Sinfonia and London Philharmonic Orchestra – in addition to Dunedin Consort, English Touring Opera, Hallé Orchestra, Tenebrae and The Sixteen

Launch of brand-new boundary-challenging Saffron Sessions and the return of Saffron Foyer informal nights

Saffron Hall today [6 May] announced its Autumn 2022 season featuring a diverse programme of classical, contemporary, folk and jazz performances by many of today’s leading artists. Alongside its main concert series, the Hall announces Saffron Sessions, a series of boundary-challenging performances, in addition to continuing its popular Saffron Foyer events. Throughout the season the Hall will continue to host a programme of engaging cultural events for its audience both in Saffron Walden and the wider region.

Angela Dixon, Chief Executive of Saffron Hall, said:

“Our 22/23 season represents the high quality and diversity that the communities in this region deserve. The integration of world-class performers into our schools and community programmes continues to be a matter of pride and we hope that all of our work will proceed without interruption. With artists and audiences eager to be back live there is much to look forward to.

As the pandemic recedes, we are advocating for culture to sit at the heart of local recovery strategies. Culture is a powerful tool that can unlock potential in a range of areas, from health and wellbeing and education to tourism and placemaking.”

Classical and contemporary

A wide array of leading soloists will perform at Saffron Hall in the Autumn including Isata Kanneh-Mason who makes her solo debut at the Hall in a programme centred around the theme of childhood with music by Fanny Mendelssohn, Claude Debussy and more [7 October]. After an important year in her career during which she received an MBE, Jess Gillam returns to the Hall with her ensemble to perform a selection of Christmas classics such as a medley from The Nutcracker [16 December]. Pianist Pavel Kolesnikov joins Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra for a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3 [8 October] and later that month English Touring Operamake a welcome return with fully-staged performances of Handel’s Agrippina [28 October] and Tamerlano [29 October].

Multi-Grammy-nominated composer and sitar player Anoushka Shankar performs with the Hall’s Resident Orchestra Britten SinfoniaJules Buckley and handpan and drum player Manu Delago in a performance featuring works and arrangements by Roxanna Panufnik, Delago and Buckley as well as Shankar herself [16 October]. The Hall’s other Resident Orchestra – the London Philharmonic Orchestra – returns with their Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis and soloist Johan Dalene to perform Sibelius’s Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s mighty Eroica [23 October], before returning with their Principal Conductor Edward Gardner for Tippett’s grand oratorio, A Child of our Time [27 November].

Three leading vocal ensembles are due to perform at the Hall in the autumn, starting with Scotland’s Dunedin Consort who celebrate their 25th anniversary season with a performance of Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor [19 November]. Nigel Short and Tenebrae return to the Hall to bring a festive programme including Britten’s popular Ceremony of Carols in addition to Joanna Marsh’s In Winter’s House, a piece written for the group in 2019 [10 December]. Harry Christophers and The Sixteen continue the Christmas programme with a performance of Handel’s Messiah [18 December].

Other highlights of the Autumn season include a performance by French string quartet Quatuor Agate [30 October], a first public performance of A4 Brass, a new group comprising principal players from some of the UK’s top brass bands[6 November], and the Hall debut of Cory Band from the Welsh Valleys [3 December], fresh from their recent victory at the European Brass Band Championships.

Saffron Sessions and Saffron Foyer

This autumn the Hall launches Saffron Sessions, a new programme of creative boundary-challenging performances. The series will include performances by American pianist and composer Chad LawsonManchester Collective and Pekka Kuusisto, amongst others. The Hall’s informal Saffron Foyer nights return in September with jazz and folk artists including Katriona Taylor, Django’s Tiger and the Dan Forshaw Quartet. More details of Saffron Sessions and Saffron Foyer line-up will be revealed in due course.


Audiences will have the opportunity to revisit the jazz music of the 1920s and 1930s with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra [15 October] before celebrating the big band era of the 1940s with the Glenn Miller Orchestra [11 December]. Other jazz highlights include Courtney Pine performing with jazz pianist Zoe Rahman as part of his Spirituality Tour [25 November]. South African male vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo take to the stage with jazz guitarist and singer Muntu Valdo as part of their much-anticipated return to the UK [22 October].


Bringing a totally different kind of performance to the Hall, restaurant critic and MasterChef judge Jay Rayner explores our most beloved food in a new show about our fascination behind last meals [20 October].

Local talent

Nurturing local talent as ever, the Autumn season opens with Saffron Opera Group performing Wagner’s Tannhäuser [11 September] with acclaimed tenor Peter Auty conducted by Michael Thorne. This dynamic programming of large-scale work reflects Saffron Hall’s ambition as a venue, something which is emphasised by Saffron Walden Choral Society performing Haydn’s Creation with Chameleon Arts Orchestra [12 November]. The Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra return with violinist Alex Redington for a programme including Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.12 commemorating the 1917 revolution [4 December].


Saffron Hall continues breaking new ground in their education initiatives. This includes launching the second iteration of Saffron Sounds this autumn. The Saffron Sounds online resource hub, including filmed performances and demonstrations from the Jess Gillam ensemble, will be available to all primary schools, and will be the starting point for a programme of workshops and live performances offered to schools across Essex and beyond. Artists from across the programme, including A4 Brass, will visit local primary schools for performances. This autumn will also see the introduction of ‘A morning with…’ events for secondary schools, featuring performances, masterclasses and Q&A’s from artists including Isata Kanneh-Mason. And Saffron Hall Trust continues to deliver Together in Sound – its pioneering music therapy programme for those living with dementia and their carers in Saffron Walden. Together in Sound is delivered in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University, and a pilot programme is now also underway in Braintree in partnership with Braintree District Museum. Further events and projects as part of the Hall’s learning series will be announced in due course.

For more information and to book tickets please visit the Saffron Hall website.

About Saffron Hall Trust 

Saffron Hall is a 740-seat concert hall that opened in 2013 and is a uniquely sustainable model of arts and community outreach. Cited in the grounds of Saffron Walden County High School, a comprehensive school in North Essex, Saffron Hall’s world class programme runs alongside an extensive Schools and Community programme. Since opening Saffron Hall has engaged with over 40,000 participants and sold over 205,000 tickets, with 21% of audiences travelling 30 miles or more. 10% of tickets sold were to under 18s. Saffron Hall is a registered charity and receives no regular funding from the local authority or Arts Council England. It is solely reliant on donations from individuals, trusts and foundations and ticket sales.


Sunday 11 September, 2.30pm

Saffron Opera Group: Tannhäuser

Saffron Opera Group Orchestra & Chorus

Michael Thorne, conductor

Peter Auty, Tannhäuser

Samantha Crawford, Elizabeth

Elaine McKrill, Venus

Richard Burkhard, Wolfram

Richard Wiegold, Landgraf

Paul Carey Jones, Biterolf

Brian Smith Walters, Walther

Ben Thapa, Heinrich

Pauls Putnins, Reinmar

Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser

Friday 16 September, 8pm

Foyer Jazz: Katriona Taylor

Friday 23 September, 8pm

Foyer Folk

Sunday 25 September, 3pm

Spooky Stories: Once Upon a Tune

James Mayhew & Antonio Reche-Martinez, narration & illustration

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hull, conductor

Programme to include:

Paul Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Camille Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre

Jean Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela

Richard Wagner: Overture to The Flying Dutchman

Friday 7 October, 7.30pm

Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano

Programme to include:

Fanny Mendelssohn: Easter Sonata

Claude Debussy: Children’s Corner L. 113

Clara Schumann: Scherzo No. 2 in C minor, Op. 14

Frédéric Chopin: Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38

Robert Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op. 15

Saturday 8 October, 4pm

Hallé Orchestra

Mark Elder, conductor

Pavel Kolesnikov, piano

Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Bedřich Smetana: Má Vlast: Vltava

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52

Friday 14 October, 8pm

Foyer Jazz: Django’s Tiger

Saturday 15 October, 7.30pm

Pasadena Roof Orchestra

Sunday 16 October, 7pm

Britten Sinfonia & Anoushka Shankar with Manu Delago

Anoushka Shankar, sitar

Manu Delago, handpan/drums

Jules Buckley, conductor

Programme to include:

Roxanna Panufnik: Indian Summer from Four World Seasons

Manu Delago: A selection of works

Anoushka Shankar: A selection of works

Thursday 20 October, 7.30pm

My Last Supper: One Meal a lifetime in the making with Jay Rayner

Friday 21 October, 8pm

Foyer Folk

Saturday 22 October, 7.30pm

Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Muntu Valdo

Sunday 23 October, 7pm

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Karina Canellakis, conductor

Johan Dalene, violin

Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”

Friday 28 October, 7pm


English Touring Opera

The Old Street Band

George Frideric Handel: Agrippina

Saturday 29 October, 7pm


English Touring Opera

The Old Street Band

George Frideric Handel: Tamerlano

Sunday 30 October, 4pm

Young Artist Coffee Concert: Quatuor Agate

Luigi Boccherini: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 32 No. 5

Johannes Brahms: String Quartet No. 3 in B flat major, Op. 67

Sunday 6 November, 4pm

Young Artist Coffee Concert: A4 Brass

Saturday 12 November, 7.30pm

Haydn: The Creation

Saffron Walden Choral Society

Chameleon Arts Orchestra

Quintin Beer,conductor

Rebecca Bottone, soprano

Bradley Smith, tenor

Morgan Pearse, baritone

Joseph Haydn: The Creation

Saturday 19 November, 7.30pm

Dunedin Consort: Mozart Mass in C Minor

Dunedin Consort

Anna Dennis, soprano

Lucy Crowe, soprano

Benjamin Hulett, tenor

Robert Davies, bass

Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 80 in D minor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Great Mass in C minor

Friday 25 November, 7.30pm

Spirituality Tour

Courtney Pine, bass clarinet

Zoe Rahman, piano

Guest string quartet

Sunday 27 November, 3pm

A Child of Our Time

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Edward Gardner, conductor

Michael Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Friday 2 December, 8pm

Foyer Jazz: Dan Forshaw Quartet

Saturday 3 December, 7.30pm

Cory Band

Sunday 4 December, 3pm

Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hull, conductor

Alex Redington, violin

Ralph Vaughan Williams: In the Fen Country

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12

Saturday 10 December, 7.30pm

Tenebrae at Christmas

Nigel Short, conductor

Programme to include:

Benjamin Britten: A Ceremony of Carols

Gustav Holst: In the Bleak Midwinter

Joanna Marsh: In Winter’s House

Herbert Howells: A Spotless Rose

Sunday 11 December, 4pm

Glenn Miller Orchestra

Ray McVay, musical director

Friday 16 December, 7.30pm

Jess Gillam Ensemble at Christmas

Jess Gillam Ensemble

Programme to include:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Medley

John Lennon and Yoko Ono: Happy Xmas (War is Over)

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Auld Lang Syne

Sunday 18 December, 4.30pm

Handel’s Messiah

The Sixteen

Harry Christophers, conductor

George Frideric Handel: Messiah

Thursday 22 – Thursday 29 December

Robin Hood

The popular pantomime returns to Saffron Hall brimming with comedy, dance and spectacular sets.

Monday 2 January, 4pm

A New Year’s Celebration

BBC Concert Orchestra

Emma Johnson, clarinet

Programme to include:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto K.622