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Panel for the 19 September (L-R): Jaswinder Singh, Stu Herring, Katherine Hambridge, Helen Savage

Durham Music Department lecturers James Weeks and Katherine Hambridge recently took part in the opening concerts of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s season at the Sage Gateshead, which were programmed to mark the exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Newcastle’s Laing Gallery.

For concerts on the 17 and 23 September, music historian Katherine coordinated two ‘pre-concert conversations’ on the theme of Music and Spirituality with panellists drawn from a wide range of faith, academic and artistic backgrounds. The second of the concerts was explicitly themed around the Lindisfarne gospels, and the programme of Hildegard of Bingen, John Tavener, Henry Purcell and Arvo Pärt, featuring mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, was conducted by James Weeks. James also participated in the pre-concert conversation, where speakers made connection between the patterns, aesthetics and rhythm of the spectacular gospel images and the music about to be heard, all of which was drawn from traditions of religions chanting, as well as the visual installation designed for the evening by the Novak collective.