Avison Ensemble > Collections

The Avison Ensemble is delighted to have welcomed Benjamin Zander to present a series of music workshops in Newcastle for musicians and listeners as part of our ongoing commitment to music learning in the North East. These workshops were held from 13th to 16th August 2012 in Newcastle University’s King’s Hall; they were open to amateur and professional musicians of all ages and to listeners, including those with no previous experience of classical music.

These workshops were transformative and inspirational for the musicians participating as they discovered new possibilities in interpretation, expression and performance. Ben explored the ‘hidden language’ of music and the impact of its use on both performers and listeners. However, these were not technical master classes – they were full of surprises and often emotional experiences which transformed the audience and players’ outlook on the relationship of music to life.

The Avison Ensemble is the outstanding period instrument orchestra based in Newcastle upon Tyne, which plays and popularises the music of Charles Avison (1709-1770) and other English classical composers of the Baroque period, such as Garth, Arne and Herschel. The Ensemble also performs Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, Geminiani, Pergolesi, Teleman, Rameau, Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. The Ensemble is strongly committed to music learning in North East England and has an active education programme and its own annual Young Musicians’ Awards competition.


Ben Zander is the acclaimed conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a passionate musician and speaker of world renown. He has collaborated in performances with many of the world’s greatest musicians, amongst whom have been Rostropovich, Oscar Shumsky, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Martha Argerich, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jaqueline Du Pré.

Ben’s work with young people and youth orchestras is world renowned and he has recently been awarded the Youth Orchestra of the Americas 10th anniversary award for his invaluable contribution to the youth symphony movement across the Americas. He has recently formed the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra to “… shape the musical leadership of tomorrow”.

Ben is one of the most sought-after speakers in the world. Bringing his insights as the conductor of major symphony orchestras to business leaders involved in transformation and change, Ben has become a much sought-after speaker to major organizations all over the world including Shell, IBM, Arthur Andersen, KPMG, Sprint, NASA and the US Army.