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"… shimmering strings and softly hypnotic waves of delicate woodwind are fabulously well played by the NCO." - The Independent, Buxton Festival.
Director and leader : Nicholas Ward, Violin“..playing from the Northern Chamber Orchestra that was quite simply world-class.” Opera Magazine, Buxton Festival The Northern Chamber Orchestra was formed in the 1960s and has gained a formidable reputation from its engaging and exciting concerts. Directed from the violin by Nicholas Ward, the ensemble tackles an extraordinary range of repertoire from Corelli to Stravinsky and beyond. The members of the orchestra are distinguished chamber musicians who play as principals with other orchestras and regularly appear as soloists. With over thirty CDs to its name, the majority being for Naxos, the NCO is now known in every continent; the series of Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn symphonies have received outstanding reviews and their recording of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale was considered by BBC Radio 3’s CD Review programme to be the best English version. Their recent recording for Naxos, Boccherini Cello Concertos nos. 9 – 12 with Raphael Wallfisch, has also received critical acclaim. They have recently recorded Arnold’s Symphony for Strings – due to be released late 2007. The NCO gives a series of 8 concerts at the Heritage Centre, Macclesfield each season and rush-hour concerts at St Ann’s Church, Manchester. They also appear regularly in Blackburn, Skipton, Lancaster and Tatton Park, Knutsford. They are the resident orchestra for the Buxton International Festival, accompanying the main productions and performing in concert. Soloists for 2007-2008 include Philip Langridge, Craig Ogden, John McCabe, Nick Daniel, Angela Whelan and Jennifer Pike. The ‘Orchestras Live’ scheme has taken them to Penrith, Egremont, Beverley, Ludlow and Hereford (Sept. 2007). The NCO is involved in an extensive education programme, giving workshops in most of the locations where they present concerts. Amongst these have been a project with the Royal Exchange Theatre and author Melvin Burgess under Creative Partnerships, projects with Withington Girls School and Trinity High School in Manchester, funded by DfES, and lottery-funded projects with music centres and schools in Blackpool, Chorley, Clitheroe, Harrogate, Skipton and Warrington. Our education work is led by our principal horn, Naomi Atherton.