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Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 10 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

The Times recently rated the Northern Sinfonia as the third-best orchestra in the country.  I went to see them perform some Mozart yesterday, at home in The Sage Gateshead, and I reckon they’re better than that.

I’m no authority on classical music performance, but then I’m not an authority on anything and that’s not stopped me writing the last 974 missives.  But my limited knowledge does allow me to say that I thought the Northern Sinfonia was fantastic – an amazing three hours, in an amazing location.

If you’re looking for a bit of a different night out, it’s highly recommended.

This 973rd post was filed under: Reviews.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 7th May 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd April 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

Another British instituion mercilessly destroyed (published 5th October 2006)

This is how you healthcare (published 22nd February 2013)

Review: Cheats, Choices and Dumbing Down by Jerry Jarvis (published 22nd August 2012)

Photo-a-day 28: Eldon Garden (published 28th January 2012)


Comments and responses

Comment from Anonymous


by Anonymous

Comment posted at 14:04 on 5th May 2007.

You have not got a fucking clue about classical music. The northern sinfonia are by no means the 3rd best orchestra in the country. The gentleman who wrote that article was not thinking before he wrote – he mostly complimented the sinfonia on their hall, saying nothing about their playing and stating that apart from Zehetmair they had nobodys coming in to conduct. Recommend them by all means, but having later admitted you are not an expert, don’t suggest they shoudl be “ranked” even higher than 3rd. HAve you heard any others?! They must be about the 10th best if that!


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 14:15 on 5th May 2007.

I’m very sorry to have upset you.

I admit fully that I know little about classical music. But if you want to berate me based on the fact that I have little knowledge about the things I comment on, then there are better posts to start with that this. I also, for example, have never owned a Barbie doll.

I have heard many other orchestras, and felt that this was the best I had heard. I’m no expert, and it may well be because of the atmosphere in the building, my general affect, and so forth, but I enjoyed it.

Of course, as you choose not to post your name or any details of your qualifications for commenting, my readers and I have absolutely no idea whether you are more knowledgeable and able to rank this country’s orchestras than the Times’ Chief Music Critic, with whom you clearly disagree.

If you’d like to rectify that, and perhaps post a constructive comment about who your apparent ‘Top 10’ British orchestras are, then please do feel free.


Comment from a musician


by a musician

Comment posted at 15:00 on 15th December 2007.

Mr. Anonymous fairly reeks of that ol London bias. Having played with pretty much every major orchestra in this country and some damn fine ones abroad, I can say that the Northern Sinfonia is most definitely one of the best certainly and my favourite chamber orchestra. If less people had his closed attitiude maybe it might attract the quality of visiting conductors/soloists it deserves.


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