Music in the Round announces Kathryn Stott and Steven Isserlis CBE as Guest Festival Curators

19 Apr 2022

We are thrilled to announce our next two Guest Curators for our annual festival of chamber music for 2023 and 2024. 

We’ll be launching our first ever edition of Sheffield Chamber Music Festival with a Guest Festival Curator this year, with composer Helen Grime MBErunning from Friday 13 – Saturday 21 May 2022.  

Helen will be followed by pianist Kathryn Stottwho will curate Sheffield Chamber Music Festival in 2023She is an internationally-renowned musician who has performed across the world and appeared at the Last Night of the BBC Proms. Alongside this, formore than 25 years, Kathryn has been the artistic vision behind many major festivals and concert series in Norway, Italy, Leeds and Manchester, and most recently was Artistic Director for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (2018–2021). 

She said:  

I’m absolutely thrilled to be a guest curator in 2023! Music in the Round has been very close to my heart for so many years and I’ve always loved the intimacy of this wonderful setting. It’s particularly exciting to programme for such versatile musicians, and I’m really looking forward to working with Ensemble 360 and the whole team on this new venture. “ 

Cellist Steven Isserlis CBE takes on the role of Guest Curator for Sheffield Chamber Music Festival in 2024, to celebrate Music in the Round’s 40th anniversary year. Steven Isserlisenjoys a unique and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.As a chamber musician, he has curated series for many of the world’s most famous festivals and venues, including Wigmore Hall, 92nd St Y in New York and the Salzburg Festival. Steven is currently the artistic director of the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove, in Cornwall.  

He said: 

“I’m very happy to be joining Music in the Round for their 2024 festival, particularly as so many members of Ensemble 360 are old friends of mine. No detailed decisions yet re programming, but there will be a wide variety of works; one of the many joys afforded by the variety of instruments in Ensemble 360 is the almost limitless scope it gives for programming any number of chamber masterpieces.” 

Music in the Round launches its first ever edition of Sheffield Chamber Music Festival with a Guest Festival Curator this year. Running from Friday 13 – Saturday 21 May 2022, the chamber music showcase will be a vibrant nine-day celebration held in the Crucible Studio Theatre and other venues around Sheffield, curated by the composer Helen Grime.

This year, over a third of the Festival programme features chamber works by living composers and women composers past and present, including the world premiere of The Light Blinds, a new RPS commission by Angela Slater (Saturday 21 May). 

The Festival displays the extraordinary versatility of the 11 musicians of Sheffield-based Ensemble 360, who perform in 15 concerts over the nine days of the Festival, joining to form duos, trios, string quartets and wind quintets in myriad combinations.  

Started in 1984 by leader of the world-renowned Lindsay String Quartet, Peter Cropper, the Festival is held in the intimate Crucible Studio Theatre, an extraordinary and unique in-the-round space that brings audiences to within an arm’s length of the chamber musicians. 

Jo Towler, Chief Executive of Music in the Round, said:  

“Sheffield Chamber Music Festival is the highlight of our year-round programme, as it has been since Peter founded it 38 years ago. As we approach our 40th anniversary we thought we would take it to the next level by inviting amazing musicians to curate each year, bringing their own personal perspective to the Festival. Helen has been a fantastic start to this evolution, and we are absolutely delighted that Kathryn and Steven are on board for 2023 and 2024 to bring their sprinkle of stardust to Sheffield. I for one cannot wait to see what they and Ensemble 360 will put together!” 

Tickets to Sheffield Chamber Music Festival 2022 can be purchased online, or from Sheffield Theatres box office in person, or by calling 0114 249 6000.