Welcome to Alnwick Music Society

Welcome to the Alnwick Music Society which has existed for almost forty years following the demise of Midnag. Based in Ashington, Midnag organised a wealth of cultural events including classical music concerts which often took place either in the Northumberland Technical College or an Alnwick venue.

The Alnwick Music Society began to arrange concerts in 1978 in the Olympic Room at the White Swan Hotel and subsequently the Duchess’s High School.

In 1994 the Society took the decision to buy its own Steinway D in order to attract the very best recitalists to Alnwick. Duchess Elizabeth, our President, invited the Society to store the new acquisition in the castle Guest Hall and hold our concerts there.

The annual programme consisted of six concerts, usually two or three piano recitals, a string quartet, perhaps a trio and either woodwind or brass soloists with piano accompaniment. Membership grew to in excess of one hundred and attendance at concerts grew to between 150 and 200 such was the calibre of the artists we engaged. At varying times we engaged: Martin Roscoe, John Ogden, Angela Hewitt, Katherine Stott, Ben Grosvenor, Freddie Kempf, Michael Collins, Jennifer Pike and many of the leading Quartets in the country.

When it became impossible to continue to hold our concerts in the Guest Hall we moved venue to the Alnwick Playhouse and had use of its Steinway B. Here we continue to offer a diverse programme each season the details of which you will be able to find on this website. The Society has been obliged to sell its own Steinway which now resides at Budle Hall near Bamburgh and where additional concerts continue to be organised.

Following the death of Duchess Elizabeth the Society invited Martin Roscoe to be its President and he accepted partly because of the quality of music the Society presented but also in recognition of the enormous amount of work our long serving Vice Chairman, Myra Armistead, had devoted to constructing the programmes.

In this last year the Society broke new ground by commissioning a Song Cycle by the contemporary composer John Casken, sung by Marcus Farnswoth. The Society has also spawned the Alnwick Recorded Music Society which meets monthly to discuss and listen to classical music.