Saffron Hall’s new 2016/17 Season

Saffron Hall’s 2016/17 season of concerts is now on sale. The daring 740-seat concert venue built alongside Saffron Walden County High School builds on its successful three years since launch with a characteristically ambitious programme that pulls in big names at the same time as giving a platform to local performers and groups.

Forty concerts over ten months are on offer including performances from the London Philharmonic, English Touring Opera, St Petersburg Philharmonic, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, pianist Stephen Hough, and Sir Andras Schiff. Resident orchestra Britten Sinfonia play a prominent part too.

I’m particularly drawn to hearing violinst Nicola Benedetti performing Brahms’ Violin Concerto No. 1 in what is an intimate setting on 24 September, the Britten Sinfonia’s Steve Reich gig with student hero Clark Rundell on Sunday 6 November, and the Robin Hood live screening with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on Saturday 25 February.

The Royal Academy, Wigmore and Saffron Hall collaboration for dementia sufferers and carers also makes for an interesting proposition. I’m really pleased to see oboist Julian West’s great work to date now gaining greater recognition. Email for further information about the taster session in August 2016 and the main project in Spring 2017.

Full details on the Saffron Hall website. If you’re a Londoner and wondering why you’d even consider a concert in rural Essex, then consider this: the last train home leave nearby Audley End at 11.10pm, the journey takes just over an hour, and a single is £16. A bargain.

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