A NEW season of chamber music concerts has been announced.

The Hexham and District Music Society's series starts at Hexham Abbey on Tuesday, October 19 with a performance by leading string quartet - Consone Quartet. The group play on period instruments and are currently members of the BBC's New Generation Artists scheme.

The first post-lockdown concert series brings six artists and ensembles to Hexham.

"It's a great feeling to be back running concerts again," said Martin Hughes, chairman of the society. "After so long without live music, this series feels really important both for our local community and the musicians who are, at last, able to play again in front of an audience."

The Consone is followed by Sacconi Quartet, who visit Hexham on November 29, with pianist, Emma Abbate, for a programme including the two great piano quintets by Elgar and Shostakovich.

The Sacconi last played in Hexham on the night before lockdown in March 2020.

January 18 will see another returning artist - Zeynep Özsuca was last in Hexham two years ago, accompanying the saxophonist, Jess Gillam. This time she is joined by Sacha Rattle for an evening of virtuosic music for clarinet and piano.

Meanwhile, period instrument ensemble, Florilegium, who have been hailed by the French magazine, Le Diapason, as 'great poets' and 'magicians', perform chamber versions of three of Haydn's London symphonies on February 20. They are followed on March 22 by another member of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, the Mithras Trio, who play three classic piano trios by Haydn, Brahms and Schubert.

The season will close on April 21 with French pianist, Patrick Hemmerlé, taking his Hexham audience on a musical journey to Indonesia, Spain and Italy.

Full details of the whole series - including information on subscription deals - can be found at www.hexhammusic.net.

Single tickets for all concerts cost £17.50 and are on sale at the Queen's Hall box office - www.queenshall.co.uk / 01434 652477.