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History of MUSICON

Music notes

The MUSICON concert series, organised by the Department of Music, has been a fixture on Durham’s music scene for decades, connecting the musical life of the University with that of the city and surrounding region. The first MUSICON concerts date back to 1969, and for much of its first two decades it was strongly connected to the pioneering Durham Oriental Music Festival, organised in collaboration with the then School of Oriental Studies. In this guise, MUSICON was responsible for bringing an astonishing range of music to the UK, including some of the most significant performers of music traditions from across Asia.

By the mid-1980s, the musical balance of each MUSICON season had adopted more-or-less its current form: around 10-12 concerts, featuring a mixture of early music, contemporary music (including the electronic music that was a major strength of the Music Department under Prof. Peter Manning), jazz and traditional music from around the world. More mainstream classical music has always featured as well, with the multi-year ‘residencies’ of Allegri, Brodsky and now Frankland String Quartets a reliable highlight of recent calendars.


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