Below is a selection of reviews of the Northern Chamber Orchestra’s recent concerts.

NCO with Matthew Sharp (cello), Wednesday 4 March 2020 | The Forum Theatre, Romiley

” The audience instantly on his side before a note played, after which you could have heard a pin drop as those glorious sounds that can only eminate from a cello…filled the theatre.

Honorary Manc Blog, March 2020

Read more: https://honorarymancblog.com/2020/03/14/review-cellist-matthew-sharp-and-the-northern-chamber-orchestra/


NCO with Colin Currie (percussion) and Elizabeth Jordan (clarinet), Friday 17 January 2020 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“[The NCO] sounded pretty magnificent under the first-desk leadership of Nicholas Ward.”

Robert Beale, The Arts Desk, January 2020

Read more: https://theartsdesk.com/classical-music/currie-jordan-nco-stoller-hall-manchester-review-major-marimba-music


NCO with Colin Currie (percussion) and Elizabeth Jordan (clarinet), Friday 17 January 2020 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“movingly performed by the NCO who as always find that perfect pace which lifts their performances to the sublime. This was a rich and sumptuous experience.”

Aaron Loughrey, Reviewer Number 9, January 2020

Read more: http://number9reviews.blogspot.com/2020/01/music-review-northern-chamber-orchestra.html


NCO with Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Friday 8 November 2019 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“[Wallfisch’s] virtues were matched by the playing of the Northern Chamber Orchestra… their quality of chamber music-style listening to each other’s sound and forging an interpretation collectively were to the fore”

Robert Beale, The Arts Desk, November 2019

Read more: https://theartsdesk.com/classical-music/wallfisch-northern-chamber-orchestra-stoller-hall-manchester-review-weinberg-uk


Eugene Onegin, July 2019 | Buxton International Festival

“the Northern Chamber Orchestra…on thrilling form.”

George Hall, The Stage, July 2019

Read more: https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2019/eugene-onegin-review-at-opera-house-buxton-musically-impassioned/


Eugene Onegin, July 2019 | Buxton International Festival

“The pit orchestra were The Northern Chamber Orchestra and I was impressed with how tight they were throughout the evening, under the baton of Adrian Kelly, with perfectly pitched French horn introductions and some gorgeously sonorous cello passages.”

Robert Gainer, Bachtrack, July 2019

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-eugene-onegin-humphreys-jackson-buxton-festival-july-2019


NCO with Martin Roscoe (piano), Friday 15 March 2019 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ symphony (no. 35) closed the evening in high spirits…its energy, virtuosity, precision and fun epitomized much of what the NCO has always embodied in its playing.”

Robert Beale, Manchester Classical Music, March 2019

Read more: http://manchesterclassicalmusic.blogspot.com/2019/03/review-of-northern-chamber-orchestra.html


NCO with Martin Roscoe (piano), Friday 15 March 2019 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“The woodwind ensemble… displayed virtuosity in every instrument and a wonderful variety of tone and technique which created a delightful performance.

Reviewer Number Nine, March 2019

Read more: http://number9reviews.blogspot.com/2019/03/review-northern-chamber-orchestra.html


NCO with Katherine Baker (flute) and Lucy Wakeford (harp), Saturday 12th January 2019 | The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield

“impassioned playing from the Northern Chamber Orchestra.”

Peter Connors, Bachtrack, January 2019

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-baker-wakeford-ward-northern-chamber-orchestra-macclesfield-january-2019


NCO with Freddy Kempf (piano), Friday 28 September 2018 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“[Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture] requires careful phrasing and dynamic balance; the players appeared ever mindful of this and the shifting landscapes and contrasting scenes were deftly executed. This being a chamber orchestra, this was a more intimate performance and special credit must be bestowed upon the clarinettists for a delightfully gentle account of the famous solo…There was perfect synchronisation and opportunities a plenty to pick out all the individual writing.”

Aaron Loughrey, Bachtrack, September 2018

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-freddy-kempf-northern-chamber-stoller-hall-manchester-september-2018


NCO with Freddy Kempf (piano), Friday 28 September 2018 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“The NCO’s unique (or rare) quality is that it’s conductor-less. Leader Nicholas Ward and his experienced band of men and women are able to produce very good performances without a stick-waver in front of them.”

Robert Beale, The Arts Desk, September 2018

Read more: https://theartsdesk.com/classical-music/psappha-kok-kempf-northern-chamber-orchestra-stoller-hall-manchester-review-new-and


Idomeneo, July 2018 | Buxton International Festival

“lean playing and punchy period attitudes from the Northern Chamber Orchestra”

Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, July 2018

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-idomeneo-medcalf-kok-nilon-pierard-buxton-festival-july-2018


Alzira, Buxton International Festival | July 2018

“Stephen Barlow led the Northern Chamber Orchestra in a rousing account of Verdi’s score”

Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, July 2018

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-alzira-verdi-moshinsky-ladner-yun-cleverton-buxton-festival-july-2018


NCO with Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Sunday 13 May 2018 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“Thirty years since the NCO became one of the first ensembles to dispense with a conductor, it is still a shock to see veteran artistic director Nicholas Ward arranging affairs from his leader’s chair. Now the Stoller seems the perfect home for such an approach.”

Neil Sowerby, Manchester Confidential, May 2018

Read more: https://confidentials.com/manchester/music-review-raphael-wallfisch-and-nco-stoller-hall


NCO with Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Sunday 13 May 2018 | The Stoller Hall, Manchester

“whilst the Cellist took literal centre stage, the rest of the Orchestra more than shared the limelight and reasons for myself and fellow concert-goers’ captivation and awe.”

Honorary Manc Blog, May 2018

Read more: https://honorarymancblog.com/2018/05/18/the-northern-chamber-orchestra-mozart-and-elgar-and-beethoven-oh-my/


NCO with Elizabeth Jordan, 25th September 2017 | Penrith Music Club

“Led with authority by Nicholas Ward this was a fine performance of deeply felt music which demanded total commitment from each player. They certainly rose to the challenge – and full marks for programming an unfamiliar but stimulating piece.”

John Upson, Penrith Music Club, September 2017

Read more: https://penrithmusicclub.com/review%202017-09-25.html


Albert Herring, July 2017 | Buxton International Festival

“The Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Justin Doyle, delivered all the bewilderingly complex layers of Britten’s score”

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, July 2017

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-albert-herring-matthews-doyle-buxton-july-2017


Macbeth, July 2017 | Buxton International Festival

“The Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Barlow, dived into Verdi’s score with gusto, picking out its insistent, demonic pulses with forensic accuracy in an authoritative account.”

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, July 2017

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-macbeth-verdi-moshinsky-gadd-barlow-ladner-buxton-intervational-festival-july-2017


I Capuleti e i Montecchi, July 2017 | Buxton International Festival

“the Northern Chamber Orchestra performed with skill and power, as always.”

Buxton Advertiser, July 2017

Read more: https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/review-i-capuleti-e-i-montecchi-buxton-festival-1221478


I Capuleti e i Montecchi, July 2017 | Buxton International Festival

“The Northern Chamber Orchestra under Justin Doyle gave the best performance I’ve heard from them at Buxton; scarcely a single slip, entirely comfortable with Bellini’s long, beautiful lines and surprisingly loud when needed to be.”

Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack, July 2017

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-capuleti-montecchi-fehr-buxton-festival-july-2016


NCO ‘Echoes of Vienna’, Saturday 4 March 2017 | The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield

“an intense, energetic performance”

Peter Connors, Bachtrack, March 2017

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-gilbert-beethoven-osborne-northern-chamber-orchestra-macclesfield-march-2017


Leonore, July 2016 | Buxton International Festival

“moments of exceptional playing, particularly from the woodwind”

Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack, July 2016

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-beethoven-leonore-medcalf-buxton-festival-july-2016


NCO with Craig Ogden (guitar), Saturday 14 May 2016 | The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield

“[the] nine string players plus harpsichord continuo seemed completely at home with this joyful work and imbued every phrase with meaning.”

Peter Connors, Bachtrack, May 2016

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-northern-chamber-orchestra-macclesfield-may-2016


NCO with Ben Hudson (bassoon), Saturday 31 October 2015 | The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield

“fine chamber orchestra playing.”

Peter Connors, Bachtrack, November 2015

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-haydn-northern-chamber-orchestra-ward-hudson-october-2015


Louise, July 2015 | Buxton International Festival

“…the Northern Chamber Orchestra played excellently…With many exposed solos in the woodwind, brass, and harp, the collective effort resulted in a well balanced, entertaining performance”

Andrew H. King, Bachtrack, July 2015

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-charpentier-louise-pierard-buxton-festival-july-2015


Lucia di Lammermoor, July 2015 | Buxton International Festival

“a flourishing sound from the Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Barlow”

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, July 2015

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-lucia-lammermoor-unwin-pritchard-buxton-july-2015


Giovanna d’Arco ,July 2015 | Buxton International Festival

“The Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Stuart Stratford, made a spectacular sound all night: my spine didn’t stop tingling.”

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, July 2015

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-giovanna-arco-moshinsky-buxton-festival-july-2015


NCO with Stephen Hough (piano), Saturday 7 March 2015 | The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield

“their familiar incisiveness and flair shone”

Robert Beale, Manchester Evening News, March 2015

Read more: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/review-northern-chamber-orchestra–8797653


Intermezzo, July 2012 | Buxton International Festival

“The Northern Chamber Orchestra, directed by Stephen Barlow, tackled Strauss’ score with aplomb…their performance was splendid”

Andrew H. King, Bachtrack, July 2012

Read more: https://bachtrack.com/review-buxton-festival-2012-intermezzo