CONTRASTS

Claire Booth & Ensemble 360

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Saturday 7 December 2024, 7.00pm

Tickets
£22
£14 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
String players of Ensemble 360

Programme includes
SCHOENBERG String Quartet No.2 (31’)
BERG Seven Early Pieces (17’)
DEBUSSY String Quartet (25’) 

Separated by a few short years and the turn of a century, this concert features two utterly different string quartets from two modernist giants who typify the staggering range of fin de siècle classical music.  

Schoenberg’s visionary second quartet sees Ensemble 360 joined by superstar soprano Claire Booth for a surprisingly accessible and personal work that stretches from the intimate to the interstellar. Debussy’s sensual and impressionistic quartet shimmers with life and light between opening storms and a grand conclusion. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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SPIRIT OF THE GUITAR

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet feat. Craig Ogden

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Saturday 7 December 2024, 2.00pm

Tickets
£22
£14 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
Aquarelle Guitar Quartet featuring Craig Ogden

Recognised as one of the world’s leading guitar quartets, the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet is a dynamic and innovative group known for its extraordinary performances and glorious range of sound.  

Their newest member, Classic FM chart-topping artist Craig Ogden, will be familiar to many, following his sell-out recitals in Sheffield in 2022 and 2023.  

Featuring everything from classical favourites to irresistible tango and famous movie hits, this afternoon concert is a perfect treat for music-lovers of all ages.  

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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“High-octane virtuosity, relaxed lyricism, tonal richness and perfection of ensemble.”

Gramophone Magazine

SHEFFIELD JAZZ

Empirical & Jason Rebello

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Friday 6 December 2024, 7.30pm

Tickets
£19
£17 Over 60, Disabled & Unemployed
£10 Students with NUS card
£5 15-17 year-olds
Under 15s free 

*Sheffield Jazz tickets do not qualify for any other Music in the Round ticket offers or discounts 

Book Tickets
Empirical jazz quartet

NATHANIEL FACEY alto sax 
TOM FARMER double bass
SHANEY FORBES drums
JASON REBELLO piano
JONNY MANSFIELD vibraphone 

Multi-award winners Empirical are celebrated for their distinctive signature sound, a combination of complex, thoughtful writing and spontaneous improvisation.  

Having started in 2007 they went on to become one the UK’s most acclaimed jazz outfits, with the band personnel remaining the same for fifteen years.  

For this concert they are joined by rising star Jonny Mansfield and Jason Rebello, an award winner with a reputation built over a thirty-five-year international career. It will feature material from their new album, their first full-length release since 2016.  

Expect forward looking, creative music as Empirical re-take their place at the centre of the UK scene. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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“Empirical are exactly what top-class modern jazz should be – trailblazing yet wholly respectful of tradition.”

Time Out

QUEEN OF THE QANUN

Maya Youssef

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Thursday 28 November 2024, 7.00pm

Tickets
£22
£14 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
Maya Youssef, acclaimed qanun player

Chart-topping Maya Youssef is hailed as ‘the queen of the qanun’, the Middle Eastern 78-stringed plucked zither. Based on Arabic classical traditions, her innovative sound has echoes of everything from jazz to flamenco, infused with warmth, humour and optimism.  

The Damascus-born musician’s global reputation continues to grow as an artist of the highest quality and as a musical ambassador building connections across borders and between peoples and traditions.  Maya’s 2022 album, ‘Finding Home’, included commissions for Opera North and the British Museum and was praised for both the range of influences and the intensity and emotion of her playing. 

A performer of complexity and charisma, Maya’s welcome return to Sheffield promises to be a thrilling musical evening. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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“A sonic and spiritual search for the meaning of home.”

Songlines (Finding Home album review)

SOUNDS OF NOW: MELTWATER

Manasamitra

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Saturday 30 November 2024, 8.00pm

Tickets
£17
£0 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
Meltwater text over image of the sea

From the team behind Autumn 2022’s entrancing ‘Sounds of Now: Lullaby’ comes MELTWATER, an immersive music and performance event exploring both the destructive power and awesome beauty of water, in a meditation on the environmental crisis.   

Vocals from Supriya Nagarajan, a Carnatic tradition singer from Southern India, are accompanied by film, with acoustic and electronic music from soundscape artist and musician Duncan Chapman. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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SCHUMANN & CHOPIN FOR SOLO PIANO

Stephen Hough

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Friday 29 November 2024, 7.00pm

Tickets
£22
£14 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
Pianist Stephen Hough

CHAMINADE Selected Pieces (15′)
R SCHUMANN Fantasie in C (33′)
STEPHEN HOUGH Sonatina Nostalgica (10′)
CHOPIN Sonata No.3 in B minor (30′) 

Described by The Guardian as “a master pianist who lines up with the greats” and voted one of Classic FM’s top 25 greatest pianists ever, Stephen Hough returns to the Crucible Playhouse for the first time in five years. He performs works including Schumann’s Fantasie in C and Chopin’s breathtaking final piano sonata. 

Schumann’s Fantasie in C was described by Liszt, its dedicatee, as “a work of the highest kind” and here it sits alongside Stephen’s own work and Chopin’s final piano sonata, a breathtaking and dramatic work. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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BACH FOR SOLO VIOLIN

Ensemble 360

Upper Chapel, Sheffield
Friday 4 October 2024, 1.00pm / 7.00pm

Tickets
£17
£10 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
Ensemble 360 violinist Benjamin Nabarro

JS BACH 
   Sonata No. 1 in G minor (18’)
   Partita No. 1 in B minor (28’)

Benjamin Nabarro performs the first in a new series of concerts celebrating JS Bach’s much-loved music for solo violin. Centred on the intricate and expansive partitas and sonatas, Ben’s recitals explore the wonder of Bach through some of the most enduring and joyous works ever written for the violin. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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COME & SING FAURÉ’S REQUIEM with RODERICK WILLIAMS

Roderick Williams

Victoria Hall, Sheffield
Saturday 25 May 2024, 2.00pm / 5.00pm

Workshop tickets:
£15
£10 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students

Informal performance:
Free, no need to book

Book Tickets
Baritone Roderick Williams, Singer-in-Residence with Music in the Round

Share in the delight of joining a large chorus. Expertly guided by our Singer-in-Residence, Roderick Williams, you’ll be singing selected movements from Fauré’s much-loved Requiem. Music available in advance.

Participant numbers are limited. Early booking recommended.

Part of Sheffield Chamber Music Festival 2024. 

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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FANFARE! TRUMPET CLASSICS

Aaron Azunda Akugbo & Zeynep Özsuca

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Saturday 30 November 2024, 2.00pm

Tickets
£22
£14 UC, DLA & PIP
£5 Under 35s & Students 

Book Tickets
Aaron Akugbo, rising-star trumpet player

HONEGGER Intrada (4’)
L BOULANGER Nocturne et Cortège (8’)
VIVALDI Agitata da due venti (6’)
BOZZA Aria (4’)
FRANÇAIX Sonatine (8’)
HUBEAU Sonata (15’)
PRICE The Glory of the Day was in Her Face (3’)
PRICE Song to the Dark Virgin (3’)
MAHLER Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft (3’)
ROPARTZ Andante et Allegro (6’) 

Having made waves with recent performances at Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms, rising star trumpeter Aaron Akugbo makes his Sheffield debut. Citing Louis Armstrong as his greatest musical influence, this charismatic performer presents an eclectic mix of works.  

This promises to be an afternoon concert of discovery and delight, with music spanning centuries and continents. Works from familiar names such as Vivaldi and Mahler are combined with new treats to discover from Florence Price and Eugene Bozza.  

View the brochure online here or download it below.

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“His sound was sweet, often lyrical, with the ability to play […] with perfect clarity and intonation”

The Arts Desk

THE CHIMPANZEES OF HAPPY TOWN

Ensemble 360 & Lucy Drever

Palace Theatre, Mansfield
Wednesday 10 April 2024, 11.00am

Tickets

£8 Adults
£5 Children

Past Event

Celebrating the importance of love and happiness in everyone’s lives, Paul Rissmann’s much-loved musical retelling of Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees’s best-selling picture-book returns.  

Meet Chutney the Chimpanzee who, with one small act of planting a seed, transforms the lives of the entire town of Drabsville, and teaches its inhabitants to celebrate their differences and make life more colourful along the way!   

With narration, visuals from the book and lots of music to introduce the musicians of Ensemble 360, this is a brilliant first concert for 3 – 7 year-olds. 

BEETHOVEN & DVOŘÁK

Ensemble 360

Palace Theatre, Mansfield
Wednesday 10 April 2024, 7.30pm

Tickets
£14
(£5 Under 26s)

Past Event
String players of Ensemble 360

BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op.59 No.2
SHAW Entr’acte
DVOŘÁK String Quintet No.2 in G Op.77

This concert begins with one of Beethoven’s deeply passionate quartets, which he dedicated to the Russian Count Razumovsky. Then a work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning US composer Caroline Shaw, whose hypnotic string quartet is full of energy and beauty.

Finally, Dvořák’s exceptional and unusually scored string quintet is operatic in scope and richly textured, earning the dedication for my country’ from the Czech composer, who yearned to create a distinctly bohemian musical language in a time of turmoil across eastern Europe.

BEETHOVEN Ludwig Van, String Quartet in E minor Op.59 No.2 Razumovsky

Allegro 
Molto Adagio. Si tratta questo pezzo con molto di sentimento  
Allegretto. Maggiore (Thème russe)  
Finale. Presto 

“Demanding but dignified” was how the Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung described Beethoven’s new quartets dedicated to Count Rasumovsky when they were first heard in 1807. Composed in 1806, and including Russian melodies from a collection of folk tunes edited by Ivan Prach (published in 1790), these quartets were a major development in the quartet form. But though they were longer and more challenging than any earlier quartets, they were an immediate success. Before the Rasumovsky Quartets were played, Beethoven offered them to publisher Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig – in a job lot with the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Fourth Symphony and Fidelio, but the deal fell through and the quartets were first published in Vienna by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie and in London by Clementi. 

While the first of the Rasumovsky Quartets is unusually expansive, the second is more concentrated. From the opening two-chord gesture establishing E minor as the home key, the first movement is tense and full of rhythmic ambiguity. The hymn-like slow movement has a combination of richness and apparent simplicity that blossoms into a kind of ecstatic aria: Beethoven himself is reported to have likened it to “a meditative contemplation of the stars”. The uneasy rhythms of the Scherzo are contrasted by a major-key Trio section in which Beethoven quotes a Russian tune that famously reappeared in the Coronation Scene of Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov. The finale begins with a surprise: a strong emphasis on the note C that is tantalising and unexpected in a movement that moves firmly towards E minor.  

© Nigel Simeone 

SHAW Caroline, Entr’acte

Entracte was written in 2011 after hearing the Brentano Quartet play Haydn’s Op. 77 No. 2 — with their spare and soulful shift to the D-flat major trio in the minuet. It is structured like a minuet and trio, riffing on that classical form but taking it a little further.

From Caroline Shaw Editions.

DVOŘÁK Antonin, String Quintet No.2 in G, Op.77

Scored for the unusual combination of string quartet and double bass, Dvořák’s String Quintet in G major was first performed on 18 March 1876 as the composer’s Op.18 – a number that was changed when the work was first published by Simrock twelve years later in 1888. Originally the work had five movements (with an ‘Intermezzo’ before the Scherzo, reworked as the Nocturne in B major for string orchestra), and despite the published opus number, it is one of the composer’s first chamber works to be fully characteristic of his mature style. The first movement opens with a motif played first by the viola (Dvořák’s own instrument) that dominates much of the musical argument – the triplet figure in it is to be heard in the second theme too. The Scherzo finds Dvořák writing in the style of a folk dance, the opening theme consists of a lively opening motif that contrasts with a gentler idea over which Dvořák later introduces a warmly expressive new tune. The third movement has been described by the great Dvořák scholar Otakar Šourek as ‘one of the most entrancing slow movements in the whole of Dvořák’s chamber music … a flowing stream of passionate warmth [and] depth of feeling’. The finale has the same kind of sunny mood as the first movement, but with an even greater sense of joyful energy. Though there are moments of repose (during which the thematic material is treated to some ingenious transformations), the work ends with what Dvořák’s biographer Otakar Šourek aptly described as ‘high-spirited verve’.  

 

© Nigel Simeone 

SOUNDS OF NOW: LULLABY WITH MANASAMITRA

Manasamitra

Woolwich Works, Woolwich
Thursday 2 May 2024, 8.00pm

Tickets

Standard: £12
Concessions: £10.25

Book Tickets

Attendees can enjoy the space as they wish: relax, get lost in the music, or engage with the melodies.

This event is the brainchild of Supriya Nagarajan, a Carnatic tradition singer from Southern India. Teaming up with musicians including Duncan Chapman, they’ve crafted a special soundscape for Woolwich.

Featured Artists:

  • SUPRIYA NAGARAJAN: Vocals
  • DUNCAN CHAPMAN: Field Recordings & Electronics
  • LUCY NOLAN: Harp

Note: There won’t be a break during the performance, but there will be a discussion with the artists afterward.

Thanks to the Hinrichsen Foundation for their support.