Autumn Festival 2023

Babies & toddlers

Hear that sound!

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Wednesday 20th September 2023
  • 10.30am – 11.15am
  • Free

Our popular concert for babies and toddlers is back! A chance for pre-schoolers and their grown-ups to hear live music performed by some of the country’s best musicians. See the instruments up close, dance to the music, sing along, and feel free to cry, squawk, feed or change – in short, be yourself, relax and enjoy.

This event is free but advance registration through our box office is strongly recommended to secure a place.

Day One

Thursday 21st September 2023

Beethoven 1

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 9.15am - 9.45am
  • £5

Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 1 in F major

This festival we celebrate the wonderful cellists on the New Paths roster! As five different cellists join pianist Libby Burgess across the festival, they offer the rare chance to hear all five of Beethoven’s cello sonatas

With their drama, fieriness, beauty and profundity, these works take us on a journey through the compositional life of the composer himself, from the first, written in his mid-twenties, to the last, published a decade before his death, by which time he was profoundly deaf.

The first sonata, in F major, features Alice Neary, Principal Cellist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and distinguished chamber musician and soloist.

Alice Neary (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)

Coffee concert

Earthly Comforts

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 11.15am – 12.25pm
  • £15

Mozart: ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio
Saint-Saëns: Oboe Sonata
Handel: Two arias from Nine German Arias
Babadjanian: ‘Andante’ from Piano Trio in F sharp minor
Shostakovich: Prelude, Gavotte, and Polka, from 5 Pieces for 2 Violins and Piano

A smorgasbord of musical delights to introduce you to this year’s musicians! Our Georgian theme is kickstarted with Mozart’s effervescent ‘Kegelstatt’ trio, written in a skittle alley. The joys of life are also espoused by Brockes, whose words are set to music by Handel in arias for soprano with oboe and violin obbligato.

Nature features in Saint-Saëns’ lyrical Oboe Sonata, whose central movement imitates birdsong, and in Hilary Tann’s atmospheric vocal duet The Moor, while our string team is profiled in a passionate piano trio movement by Armenian composer Arno Babadjanian and light-hearted filmic duets by his friend Shostakovich.

Alexandra Kidgell (soprano) | Jessica Gillingwater (mezzo-soprano) | James Turnbull (oboe) | John Slack (clarinet) | Meesun Hong Coleman (violin) | Charlotte Scott (violin) | Jane Atkins (viola) | Leo Popplewell (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)

Film showing

The Madness of King George

  • Parkway Cinema
  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 2:15pm – 4pm
  • £10

We take a festival trip to Beverley’s independent cinema for the first time, for Nicholas Hytner’s Oscar-winning 1994 film, The Madness of King George. Adapted from Yorkshireman Alan Bennett’s play, the film delves into the mental illness of a major public figure, featuring a sensational performance by Nigel Hawthorne as the eponymous monarch.

Battling challenges to both public and private life, and nodding to issues of the time including the Independence of America and the Abolition of Slavery, the film also stars Helen Mirren, Rupert Everett and Ian Holm, and is enriched by a glorious musical soundtrack, filled with the music of G F Handel.

“Nigel Hawthorne gives the performance of his life” (The Observer)

Beethoven 2

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 5.15pm – 5.45pm
  • £5

Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor

Leo Popplewell, cellist of the Mithras Trio – current BBC New Generation Artists – is the second in our line-up of Beethoven performers, with the Sonata No 2 in G minor.

Leo Popplewell (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)

Evening concert

Sunlight on Water

  • Memorial Hall
  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 8pm - 9pm
  • £15

Holst: String Quintet
Mendelssohn-Hensel: String Quartet in E flat major

A showcase for the outstanding string team who have convened for this year’s festival. They perform two exceptional works of the chamber repertoire, neither of which is played regularly, but both of which pack a real punch.

Imogen Holst was one of the most significant British musical figures of the twentieth century, winning the Cobbett Prize for composition, establishing the music programme at Dartington, and co-directing the Aldeburgh Festival with Britten. Her beautiful Quintet, featuring two cellos, is partly inspired by rivers – in her words, ‘the sudden glitter of sunlight on the water and the sudden splashes of rain.’

Meanwhile Fanny Mendelsssohn-Hensel’s only string quartet is highly charged: romantic, extrovert, and reaching a helter-skelter close with its breathtaking final movement.

“Holst’s music is potently expressive and generous, reminiscent but never maudlin…” (The Guardian)

Martyn Jackson (violin) | Charlotte Scott (violin) | Meesun Hong Coleman (violin) | Jane Atkins (viola) | Tim Lowe (cello) | Alice Neary (cello)


  • Beverley Minster
  • Thursday 21st September 2023
  • 10pm – 10.30pm
  • Free

“…Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping…”

Join us in the beautiful medieval Quire of the Minster for the ancient monastic ritual of Compline. A thoughtful, calming way to end the day – to make peace with its challenges and give thanks for its blessings – this tradition goes back over 1,500 years. The festival’s resident vocal team leads us through the service with plainchant and polyphony, including music by William Byrd, whose 400th anniversary falls this year.

Attendance at this service is free but you can register through our box office to be sure of a place in the Quire.

New Paths Voices

Day Two

Friday 22nd September 2023

Beethoven 3

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Friday 22nd September 2023
  • 9.15am – 9.45am
  • £5

Beethoven: Sonata No. 3 in A major

The sunny A major sonata from Beethoven’s middle period is presented by popular New Paths performer Cara Berridge.

Cara Berridge (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)

Coffee concert

Visions at Sea

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Friday 22nd September 2023
  • 11.15am – 12.15pm
  • £15

Dring: A Bay in Anglesey
Schubert: Der Zwerg
Fauré: Les berceaux
Clarke: The Seal Man
Roukens: Visions at Sea for String Quartet
Elgar: Sea Pictures

Mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones was catapulted to fame when at the last moment she stepped in for the 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, reaching the final and walking away with the Audience Prize.

Inspired by the Georgian era’s ambitious exploration of the high seas, this concert with pianist Libby Burgess features Elgar’s rapturous Sea Pictures, maritime songs by Gabriel Fauré, Franz Schubert, Rebecca Clarke and Madeleine Dring, and the atmospheric 2011 quartet by Dutch composer Joey Roukens, Visions at Sea.

“Her rich, burgundy mezzo has terrific body” (Limelight Magazine)

Claire Barnett-Jones (mezzo-soprano) | Charlotte Scott (violin) | Meesun Hong Coleman (violin) | Jane Atkins (viola) | Leo Popplewell (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)


Old Sounds, New Histories

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Friday 23rd September 2023
  • 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • Free entry: just turn up

Ask any classical music lover about famous composers of the past, and a string of familiar names will fall from their lips: Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Brahms; Wagner and Debussy; Shostakovich and Elgar. Yet beyond the cosy confines of these household names lie many brilliant musicians whose circumstances – their race, gender, politics, nationality or a host of other factors – have placed them beyond the boundaries of the ‘canon of greats’. Katy Hamilton introduces some of the less familiar composers featured in this year’s festival, from Arno Babadjanian and Madeleine Dring, to Hilary Tann and the Chevalier de Saint-George.

Katy Hamilton (speaker)

Matinée concert

Gran Partita

  • Memorial Hall
  • Friday 22nd September 2023
  • 4.30pm – 5.30pm
  • £10

Mozart: Serenade No. 10 ‘Gran Partita’

“…This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God…”

Salieri’s description of Mozart’s Gran Partita in the popular film Amadeus celebrates its iconic high oboe entry, but in fact it’s the rich texture of all thirteen wind players that creates the special soundworld of this celebrated serenade.

From basset horns to bassoons, horns to clarinets, this ensemble combines familiar New Paths faces with musicians from the country’s top orchestras, in a performance of Mozart’s elegant, radiant work.

New Paths Winds

Evening concert

Singet dem Herrn

  • St Mary’s Church
  • Friday 22nd September 2023
  • 8pm - 9pm
  • £15

Bach: Lobet den Herrn
Van Eyck: Divisions on Onse Vader in Hemelryck
Bach: Komm, Jesu, komm
Martini: La Luna
Bach: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied

A handpicked consort of singers, including members of the Sixteen, the BBC Singers, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral Choirs, come together especially for this performance of Bach motets, directed from the keyboard by Libby Burgess.

From the intimate, end-of-life contemplation of Komm, Jesu, Komm to the extrovert, celebratory Singet dem Herrn and Lobet, Bach’s virtuosic vocal writing and multi-layered dialogue between different voices make for a thrilling experience for listeners and performers alike. In between these astonishing vocal works, recorder player Ian Wilson provides interludes on a celestial theme, both ancient and modern.

“Bach’s motets constitute the most perfect set amongst his works” (John Eliot Gardiner)

New Paths Voices | Ian Wilson (recorder) | Libby Burgess (chamber organ)

Late-night concert

Peace on Earth

  • St Mary’s Church
  • Friday 22nd September 2023
  • 10pm - 10.30pm
  • £10

Vasks: String Quartet No. 3

“My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.”

Pēteris Vasks’ spacious, otherwordly music captures the sadness and struggle of human experience – perhaps informed by his own life in Latvia under the Soviet regime – and yet creates a powerful sonority of hope.

A profound emotional journey, his third String Quartet features birdsong and shimmering strings, and takes ‘Peace on Earth’ as its theme – a message every bit as relevant now as when the piece was written in 1995.

Meesun Hong Coleman (violin) | Charlotte Scott (violin) | Jane Atkins (viola) | Nathaniel Boyd (cello)

Day Three

Saturday 23rd September 2023

Beethoven 4

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023
  • 9.15am – 9.45am
  • £5

Beethoven: Sonata No. 4 in C major

The final day of our Beethoven pilgrimage begins with Yorkshire cellist Tim Lowe playing the fourth sonata, in C major.

Tim Lowe (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)

Coffee concert

Cello Sensation

  • St Mary’s Church
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023
  • 11.15am – 12.15pm
  • £10

Boismortier: Concerto in A minor (for Cello Quartet)
Grützmacher: Consecration Hymn Op 65
Kuznetsov: Andantino 
Albinoni: Adagio in G minor
Goltermann: Romance for Four Cellos Op 119 No 1
Goltermann: Serenade for Four Cellos Op 119 No 2
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Bernstein: ‘Maria’ from West Side Story 

This year’s festival features no fewer than five cellists! Here they join forces to present a feast of music for massed cellos – a sound that is soulful and deeply lyrical.

In a programme ranging from famed Adagios by Albinoni and Barber to Serenades and Romances, our stellar team of cellists show the different facets of the instrument – and nod to our Georgian theme en route in elegant music by Boismortier. The concert concludes with music from Bernstein’s West Side Story, one of the most-loved musicals of all time.

“When I started learning the cello, I fell in love with the instrument because it seemed like a voice – my voice”(Rostropovich)

“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable” (Bernstein)

Cara Berridge (cello) | Nathaniel Boyd (cello) | Tim Lowe (cello) | Alice Neary (cello) | Leo Popplewell (cello)

Matinée concert

Dr Johnson’s Dictionary

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023
  • 2:15pm – 3:15pm
  • £15

Elwyn-Edwards: Cloths of Heaven
Ireland: Sea Fever
Lehmann: Music when soft voices die
Finzi: Rollicum Rorum 
Anon arr. Quilter: Ca’ the Yowes
Weir: Sonnet 116
Britten: The Plough Boy
Korngold: Suite from Much Ado about Nothing, Op 11 for violin and piano
Roger Quilter: Three Shakespeare songs
Songs by Korngold, Jurmann and Ravel

The first English dictionary was compiled by Samuel Johnson during the Georgian era, and to celebrate that delight in the English language, acclaimed baritone James Newby joins Libby Burgess in a programme of English song. Poets from Yeats to Shelley and Hardy to Burns are represented in musical settings that span continents and centuries – from John Ireland’s Sea Fever and Dilys Elwyn-Edwards’ Cloths of Heaven to songs by Liza Lehmann, Walter Jurmann and Maurice Ravel.

We also take the chance to nod to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, with Roger Quilter’s Three Shakespeare Songs, Judith Weir’s Sonnet 116 and Hollywood composer Erich Korngold’s wonderfully syrupy incidental music from Much Ado About Nothing, performed by violinist Charlotte Scott.

“Language is the dress of thought” (Johnson)

“Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable” (Johnson)

“Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content” (Johnson)

James Newby (baritone) | Charlotte Scott (violin) | Libby Burgess (piano)


  • Memorial Hall
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023
  • 3:30pm – 4pm
  • Free: just turn up

The culmination of a day of workshops led by New Paths musicians for young intermediate wind and brass players from the East Riding Music Hub and neighbouring hubs from across the wider region. They will have been working on communication, sound production and musical confidence. Come and hear the fruits of their work!

For further information about taking part in the day, please email us

Beethoven 5

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023
  • 5.15pm – 5.45pm
  • £5

Beethoven: Sonata No. 5 in D major

The final performance in our Beethoven sonata series features Nathaniel Boyd, in the sparkling D major sonata.

Nathaniel Boyd (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)

Closing concert

Autumn Equinox

  • Toll Gavel United Church
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023
  • 8pm - 9pm
  • £15

Holst: The Fall of the Leaf
Songs by Britten, Vaughan Williams, Schubert and Strauss

Instrumental music by Edward Elgar, Clara Schumann, Joseph Bologne, Alexis French and Ola Gjeilo

The closing day of the festival lands on the Autumn Equinox. Falling leaves, northern lights, balance, justice, day and night are all interwoven in this programme which draws together the array of musicians who have featured in the festival and captures the magic of the turning of the year.

The Fall of the Leaf by Imogen Holst, based on a sixteenth-century tune, stars cellist Nathaniel Boyd, and more music of earlier times is present in folksongs arranged by Holst’s colleague Benjamin Britten. Songs by Vaughan Williams and Strauss mark the passing of day to night, alongside Elgar’s much-loved violin miniatures Chanson de matin and Chanson de nuit.

Our Georgian theme is wrapped up with the fourth String Quartet by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint George – the lesser-known contemporary of Mozart who was a celebrity in his day but whose music has lain hidden because of the colour of his skin. This mixtape programme concludes with reflective and uplifting music for strings and piano by contemporary composers Ola Gjeilo and Alexis Ffrench, and the Danish Quartet’s joyous folk arrangements, Wood Works.

Claire Barnett-Jones (mezzo-soprano) | James Newby (baritone) | Emma Parker (violin) | Charlotte Scott (violin) | Jane Atkins (viola) | Cara Berridge (cello) | Nathaniel Boyd (cello) | Tim Lowe (cello) | Libby Burgess (piano)