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Alistair Anderson

Concertina Player, Northumberland, North East England




Durham Cathedral Concert of "A Lindisfarne Gospel"

Im very excited that we have been asked to perform A Lindisfarne Gospel - a piece I composed when the Gospels where on display in Durham in 2013 - at Durham Cathedral. The concert - part of the St. Cuthbert Festival is on Wednesday 16th March at 7.30 tickets from Gala Theatre 03000 266600

Durham Cathedral is the last resting place of St. Cuthbert and has a very special atmosphere.

Recording with Northlands

Following a great reception for the band at Whitby we spent a week in December recording an album which should see the light of day sometime in the spring.

I thought July was busy - here comes August!!

Really looking forward to Sidmouth - I am there Thursday and Friday lots of stuff including - Manor Pavilion on Thursday evening with the wonderful Andy May trio, Ham Marquee Friday afternoon, and a special "hour of calm" Friday morning - a concert all of slow airs and the gentler more lyrical end of the spectrum. Then off to Dartmoor Festival always a great favourite of mine - smallish with lots of local connection. Back home for a couple of days then Edinburgh Festival - this time as a punter. Then Whitby Week lots of solo stuff plus 2 concerts with the mighty Dan Walsh and a first festival appearance of Alistair Anderson and NORTHLANDS - brand new band with the wonderful singer Sarah Hayes who is also a fabulous flute player plus the amazing Sophy Ball on fiddle and the one and only Ian Stephenson on guitar

A busy July coming up

I am keeping busy in July and there are a couple of things you might like to come to.

I am performing with the Royal Northern Sinfonia quartet  a programme that includes “On Cheviot Hills” a piece I wrote about 15 years ago for string quartet and concertina.

The concert will include Mozart’s “Hunt” quartet, Schubert’s Quartettsatz - without concertina in case you didnt guess plus

Handing it On, a short piece of mine written for classical violin and concertina plus a couple of more traditional pieces.

We will be doing this concert on

Tue July 7 - Hall 2 -  Sage Gateshead

Mon July 13 - St Marys Church Bywell – Stocksfield NE43 7AD

Wed July 15 – St Marys Church – Holy Island

You can get tickets for the first two from Sage Gateshead 0191 443 4661

and for the Holy Island gig –

Alistair Anderson & Northlands

The other exciting concert is a brand new band – Alistair Anderson & Northlands I am joined by; the wonderful singer and flute player Sarah Hayes from Warkworth, the fantastic Sophy Ball on fiddle and the amazing Ian Stephenson on guitar. We have been having great fun working on songs and tunes, old and new, from the North East and beyond and are putting on an intimate concert at

Allendale Village Hall on Thursday July 16th. Tickets are £8 and will be available on the door

or you can reserve them by dropping me an email on


Olympic Torch & Northumbriana

The contemporary dance piece Torch was very well received at its first performance as part of eth evening celebration of the Olympic Flame at Alnwick Castle. The sound of the combined band - Ian Stephenson, Emily Ball Nik Alevroyiannis and teh wonderful youth band The Northumbrian Ranters - all playing my new music was heartwarming. The first performance of Northumbriana - a longer piece which intergarted inovative visaul projections into teh new dance and music was a real hit with the audience at the Playhouse Alnwick - despite the apalling weather and teh flooding the theatre was all but full and they loved both t new music and the dance.


Music for Contemporary Dance

Feb 23 2012

Emma Dunn, who created the exciting dance piece Native for Cragside last August, are now working hard on a new piece part of which will be premiered when the Olympic torch stops overnight at Alnwick. The whole work will involve professional dancers and musicians and musicians and dancers from the community.  I am writing new music rooted in the tradition but moving some distance from it and times and Emma is developing dance which, while being mainly for contemporary dancers, includes elements of older dance forms. We had a 2 day research trip to the Vaughan Williams Library in London in February and found some wonderful material that will inform the new work. We are hoping that an exciting Brazilian dancer who Emma met on a recent trip to Brazil may be one of the team; reflecting the fact that the next Olympics will be in Brazil and that their contemporary dancers take strong influences from their traditional dances. A performance at the Brazilian Embassy on July 15 is in the early stages of negotiation – keep your fingers crossed!


Hexham gathering

May 30 2011

What a great day at Hexham Gathering - it was a delight to see so many youngsters singing, playing and dancing despite the weather. The performance in the main evening concert went really well. It is amazing for me to play with Sophy and Emily Ball, Lillias Kinsman Blake and Andy Watt they are all such gifted players and so into the Steel Skies music which I wrote before they were born! - humbling for me but inspiring too.

Contemporary Dance piece

May 20 2011

I have been asked to create music for an interesting new contemporary dance piece to be staged in teh woods round Cragside - a National Trust property in Northumberland. The new work by dancer/ choreographer Emma Dunn will feature 5 young professional dancers and a wide range of community groups who Emma works with throughout the year and range in age from 3 to 73! I am having great fun adapting traditional music and some of my own to work with the more fluid approach of contemporary dance - where movements are rarely in 8 bar patterns and tempi need to be highly flexible.

3 Day Mini Festival

22 March 2011
As he did last year, Alistair is curating a 3 day mini festival at Londons’s Kings Place the wonderful new venue close to Kings Cross Station.
Roots and Branches – folk music from its central core to its cutting edges.
Thursday 8 Dec - Chris Stout & Catriona Mackay plus The Emily Smith Band – wonderful new music from Scotland
Friday 9 Dec - The Boys of the Lough – the finest line up yet of this true original among Celtic bands – “music that tastes of itself”
Friday 9 Dec Hall 2 - Emily Portman Trio and Christi Andropolis
Saturday 10 Dec - Annie Whitehead & Alistair Anderson – Airplay
Fantastic folk jazz ensemble – groundbreaking music from foremost musicians including Chris Stout Fiddle Jennifer Maidman electric guitar and Roy Dodds percussion

Musical Holiday

21 March 2011
Alistair, and his wife Elizabeth, will be travelling to New Orleans to join a tour organised by their dear friend Nancy Covey of Festival Tours. Staring at The New Orleans Heritage festival they will then visit various outstanding musicians in Louisiana including Alistair’s old friend Marc Savoy. Alistair and Liz will then pop across to Los Angeles to stay with Nancy Covey and Richard Thompson and do a concert with Richard at McCabes ( a famous West Coast venue which Nancy used to manage back in the days... The concert will raise funds for victims of the Japanese tsunami.

South African Collaborations

20 March 2011
Following Alistair’s fascinating trip to South Africa in October 2010 when he worked with traditional Xhosa musicians, singers and dancers, developing and touring a show around the Eastern Cape, discussions are underway with a larger group of musicians and dancers to develop an exciting showcase for the contrasting styles and complementary energies of music song and dance from the two cultures. It is hoped that this project, brought together with help from the Swallows Foundation, will develop over the next couple of years moving towards an exciting, large scale, culmination to coincide with the 20 th anniversary of the founding of the new South Africa in 2014.