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Leeds Lunchtime Chamber Music - Polaris Duo

Leeds Lunchtime Chamber Music - Polaris Duo

Polaris Duo

Gillian Blair – saxophone
Elinor Nicholson – harp

CPE Bach - Sonata in G minor
    i Allegro
    ii Adagio
    iii Allegro

Esther Swift - What is Joy to You? Listen
Gustav Bumcke - Notturno Op 45 Listen
Andy Scott - Sonata for Saxophone and Harp
    i With Energy Listen
    ii Relaxed Listen
    iii With Purpose Listen

Programme duration approximately 50 mins. Please note there will be no interval.

Gillian Blair (saxophone) and Elinor Nicholson (harp) formed the Polaris Duo in 2011 whilst studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. The ensemble has since been exploring an eclectic range of repertoire and possibilities for this unusual instrumentation.

The duo perform regularly around the UK and recently made its international debut in Croatia at the World Saxophone Congress. The Polaris Duo has performed at UK venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Buxton Opera House, Warwick University and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation as well as regularly performing for music societies. The duo are BBC Introducing Artists, were 2nd prize winners in the British Harp Chamber Music Competition and has been featured in the Lake District Summer Music New Generation Artists Concert Series. The duo are looking forward to performing at the 2020 World Harp Congress in Cardiff.

The Polaris Duo is dedicated to presenting new music and expanding the repertoire for this uncommon pairing of instruments. The duo enjoy arranging existing works and commissioning new music from composers which has led to them giving UK, European and World premieres of numerous works. The duos most recent commissions include compositions by Melissa Douglas, Esther Swift and Paul Mitchell-Davidson. In Summer 2019 the ensemble collaborated with composer Gavin Wayte on an Arts Council England funded project working with pupils from a local sixth form college to create music around the theme of borders. This project also saw the duo give the premiere of Gavin’s work Crossing for Soprano Saxophone, Harp and Electronics at the Uppermill Summer Music Festival. The ensemble has continued to work with Gavin on a further expansion of the piece, Crossing 2, which was premiered by the duo and the RNCM New Ensemble at the 2019 New Music Manchester Festival.

The Polaris Duo released its debut album; illuminate in April 2018. The music featured includes original works by Manchester based composers Andy Scott, Rob Buckland and Melissa Douglas alongside arrangements of works by well-known composers including CPE Bach and Camille Saint-Saëns.

In addition to its work as performers, the Polaris Duo is passionate about education and outreach and has delivered workshops for the Classical Kids Concert Series and Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra’s Outreach Programme. The duo are proud to be artists for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now Scheme where it has performed to people who may not normally have the opportunity to experience live music.

For more information about the Polaris Duo visit

Support the series
We believe that music really is for everyone. To reflect this, our Leeds Lunchtime Organ Music and Leeds Lunchtime Chamber Music series are free to attend. We are always grateful to accept cash donations after each lunchtime concert, which go directly to supporting these series. However, if you would prefer to donate online you can do so at any time here. 


Coronavirus Information

As a result of fast changing Government directions in response to the pandemic and increased infections rates, there is an ever present possibility that our events run the risk of being cancelled at short notice. Customers are advised to check that the event they have booked for is going ahead prior to setting off. Therefore to avoid disappointment and inconvenience please visit our website, social media channels or call the Box Office on 0113 376 0318 (Mon-Fri between 10am to 4.00pm).

This indoor concert is a crucial part of the process in helping live music performances return safely for both artists and audiences. The following measures are now in place at Leeds Town Hall to ensure the safety and comfort of the audience during their visit:

- Hand sanitising stations on entry and around the venue
- Clearly marked one-way system around the venue
- Socially distanced seating arrangements with predetermined entrance times
- Socially distanced toilet facilities. We ask that customers access the toilet facilities before the concert as re-entrance during the performance may not be possible.

Face Coverings: everyone is expected to wear a face covering unless excused for reasons of age, health or disability.

If you are feeling unwell (or suspect you have coronavirus) please do not attend the concert.

Latecomers cannot be admitted.

Lift access to the stalls and gallery areas is available through the Box Office entrance. This is limited to one person/one family unit or for accessibility access.

Photography is not permitted during the event.

Customers are kindly requested to stay seated during the performance and remain seated at the end of the concert until staff advise you of your exit route.

Please be aware that there will be no bars/refreshment stations open before or after the concert and there is no interval.

NHS Test and Trace

Customer contact details and the time you are present in our building will be recorded for NHS Test and Trace purposes. In accordance with NHS requirements this information will be held for 21 days and, if asked, we will provide them to NHS Test and Trace.

Please be reassured that your information will be stored securely, in line with data protection laws, and will not be shared with anyone else. We will also not use your data for anything else like marketing. We are doing this to help reduce the risk of any local outbreak - by sharing your information NHS Test and Trace can quickly identify people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and ask them to take the necessary precautions. 


Admission is free.

Due to limited capacity and current social distancing measures, advance booking is required. We regret that booking tickets on the door is not currently an option. 

Donate here.

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