Events 2023

Berwick Music Series 2023

Classical music – Folk influences

featuring Chris Ormston (Northumbrian pipes)

Radio Rooms, Berwick-upon-Tweed

September 22, 7.30 pm

We kick off BMS 2023 with a folk session featuring famed Northumbrian piper, Chris Ormston. Post-performance, there’ll be an open mic and a tunes session, so bring along your instrument. All are welcome.


Saint Andrew’s Church

September 23, 1.00pm

Solo Violin: Darragh Morgan


N. Paganini
Caprice no. 16 

JS Bach
Gigue from Partita no. 2 in D minor 

Sam Hayden
Picking up the Pieces

The programme also includes a selection of classical works influenced by folk music from around the world, and some Irish, Turkish and Greek folk melodies.

Described by The Strad Magazine as ‘hugely impressive, he plays with seemingly effortless control’, Irish violinist Darragh Morgan is a renowned exponent of contemporary music, He has appeared as a soloist at Aldeburgh Festival and BBC Proms. A passionate chamber musician, Darragh is founder member of ‘the virtuosic Fidelio Trio’ (Sunday Times). Darragh was for several years violinist with the award-winning Smith Quartet, praised by The Guardian as ‘Britain’s answer to the Kronos’. He regularly leads London Sinfonietta, including recently at The Esplanade Singapore and Venice Biennale. He has recorded over 50 chamber music and solo albums. Darragh plays an 1848 Giuseppe Rocca violin, generously on loan from the Morgan-Rocca Instrument Trust which is administered by The Royal Society of Musicians and a bow by Joseph Alfred Lamy.


JS Bach and his suites for cello

Parish Centre, October 5, 1.00 – 3.00 pm

Presenter: Dr. Mike Worboys

Mike Worboys’ popular talks continue with a discussion of JS Bach’s Suites for solo cello. The talk will review Bach’s residency at the court of Prince Leopold at Köthen (1716-1723), where much of his secular music, probably including the great cello suites, was composed. Mike will focus on the second suite, as this will be performed in viola transcription in one of the concerts. Mike holds a PhD in Music from the University of Durham.


Saint Andrew’s Church, October 7, 1.00pm

Solo Viola: Fiona Winning

György Kurtág
Movements from ‘Signs, Games and Messages’

JS Bach
Cello Suite in D minor (viola version)

Michael Worboys
Promising Flight (world premier)
(with vocalist Margaret Rowland)

Robert Fokkens

Sally Beamish
Recent Earth  

Plus: The winning piece from the Berwick Music Series Composition Competition!                                                  

Scottish violist Fiona Winning was until 2014 Principal Viola of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and before that the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. During her years in London, she was a regular guest principal of the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestras, including four seasons at Glyndebourne Opera. She is also a regular guest principal viola of the Aurora Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. For seven years she was a member of the Scottish Ensemble with whom she performed at the Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, and at the Edinburgh International, Aldeburgh and City of London Festivals, and broadcast regularly on Radio 3. Fiona plays on an Antonio Gragnani viola from 1780 for which she gratefully acknowledges support from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Loan Fund for Musical Instruments.

SPECIAL EVENT (joint with Berwick Literary Festival)

Baptist Church, October 11, 6.30 – 7.30 pm

Kate Molleson in Conversation

Credit: David Grinly (image in Buzz Magazine)

Kate Molleson is a journalist and broadcaster. She presents BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show and Music Matters. Her documentaries (BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service) have investigated music in Greenland, opera in Mongolia, lost recordings of Arabic classical music and the Ethiopian nun/pianist/composer Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou. Her articles are published in The Guardian, The Herald, BBC Music Magazine, Opera, Gramophone and elsewhere. She was commissioning editor of Dear Green Sounds, a history of Glasgow’s music venues commissioned by UNESCO. She teaches music journalism at Darmstadt and Dartington.  

Kate grew up in various parts of Scotland and the far north of Canada and studied clarinet performance at McGill University (Montreal) and musicology at King’s College London, where she researched the operas of Ezra Pound. She was a copy editor, music critic and cycling columnist for the Montreal Gazette and deputy editor of Opera magazine before moving home to Scotland as the Guardian’s classical music critic in 2010. She lives in Edinburgh.


Folk influences in classical music

Parish Centre, October 19, 1.00 – 3.00 pm

Presenter: Dr. Mike Worboys

Folk music has had an influence on ‘classical’ composers, from Hildegard von Bingen to composers of the present day.  This talk will provide an historical whistle-stop tour, before focusing in greater depth on specific composers and works, including Schubert, Bartok and Dvorak, whose String Quartet, Op. 96 (American) will be performed at a later concert in the series.


Saint Andrew’s Church, October 22, 1.30pm

Frankland String Quartet

James Weeks
weatherworld (world premier)

Janet Graham
Earth Shout (world premier)

Antonin Dvorak
String Quartet no 12 in F minor  (
American Quartet)

Formed in 2017, the Frankland Quartet’s musical identity is embedded in the North East of England. Long-time colleagues in Royal Northern Sinfonia, the region’s professional chamber orchestra, all four of its members base their careers in the North East, and a deep commitment to the cultural life of the area lies at the heart of the Quartet’s work, inspired by its landscape, its history and communities. 

The Frankland Quartet’s music-making is dedicated to an equal marriage of past and present, and a desire to look beyond the standard repertoire, championing composers from outside the traditional canon. They are also committed to the voices of the North East, and work regularly with the region’s leading composers.