The Hallé, and its music director Sir Mark Elder get a new Sheffield International Concert Season underway, as they did in 2013 with one of the five symphonic poems based on Czech folk ballads that a homesick Dvorák penned in quick succession after returning home from his American sojourn in 1896, The Golden Spinning Wheel. The third of them, it has slightly less dark literary content than the first (The Water Goblin, heard three years ago) and has a happy ending with the huge bonus of Dvořák’s colourful score for 30 minutes before you get there! Liszt, the father of the symphonic poem (usually programmatic), follows with his one-movement Second Piano Concerto with Benjamin Grosvenor, no less, as the soloist before proceedings end with one of Beethoven’s few programmatic works – a famous one, the Pastoral Symphony! City Hall, Friday, 7pm – £21, £19, £16, £5 students, under 18s – pre-concert talk with Trisha Cooper, 6pm – free.
Bach B minor Mass, heralds the start of a new season for the Sheffield Bach Choir, “for many, the greatest musical work of all,” says the choir’s eminent conductor Simon Lindley, and you could say it is virtually Bach Choir property as no-one else in the city appears moved to take it on – ditto, coincidentally, the next work in the season (12th of November), Handel’s Israel in Egypt! A first-rate quartet of soloists: Alison Smart: soprano, David Allsopp: countertenor, Stephen Liley: tenor, and Thomas Asher: bass, is on hand with the excellent National Festival Orchestra. Sheffield Cathedral, Saturday, 7.30pm – £16, £13 concessions.
Angela Hewitt, much sought-after London-based Canadian pianist comes to town to open a new series of Sheffield concerts for Music in the Round with music she is world renowned for, by Bach: Fantasia in C minor BWV 906; Aria Variata “alla Maniera Italiana” BWV 989; Fifteen Two-part Inventions BWV 772-786; Fifteen Three-part Sinfonias (Inventions) BWV 787-801; Capriccio on the Departure of his Beloved Brother BWV 992; Capriccio in E BWV 993; and Fantasia and Fugue in A minor BWV 904. Crucible Studio, Tuesday, 7.15pm – if you do not have a ticket, tough luck, it’s sold out!
Ensemble 360, opens its account in Sheffield for Music in the Round with a surprise, a work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the “African Mahler” (born in London of Creole descent!), a phenomenally popular composer in his day whose opus 30, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast (1898), was so widely performed in England (internationally, too!) it rivalled Messiah and Elijah in the public’s affections. You might ask, where is it now? As you might, when you last heard one of the other 81 opus numbers he penned before his early death at the age of 37, although there are signs that the recording industry is stirring. There is one on offer here, live! Coleridge-Taylor’s Op 1 (1893): Piano Quintet in G minor (first modern day performance, 2001), “a superbly characterful work with an especially original finale” (BBC Music Magazine). Proceedings begin with Elgar, a big Coleridge-Taylor fan along with Stanford and Parry among others: Violin Sonata; and end with a work by the African Mahler’s biggest hero, Dvořák: Piano Quartet No 2. Crucible Studio, Thursday, 6th of October, 7.15pm – £19, £13 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 35s.
Pre-concert talk, Sheffield musician, teacher and academic Catherine Carr who tracked down Coleridge-Taylor’s ‘lost’ opera, Thelma, after doing a doctorate on his life and work at Durham University dwells on the composer’s extraordinary story, 6.15pm – free.
Cats, two-week run for Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running, popular musical in a touring production following a long, sell-out run at the London Palladium. The original creative team in 1981, Trevor Nunn: director, Gillian Lynne: choreographer, John Napier: designer, reunited for the ‘revival’, Lloyd Webber has tweaked a few things apparently and Marianne Benedict gets to sing Memory as Grizabella. Lyceum Theatre, Monday until Saturday, 15th of October (except Sunday), 7.45pm; matinees Thursday, 2pm; Saturday, 3pm – £23.50 –£47.50. Beware if you are fancying it, many performances are close to being sold out!
A Flute Player’s Blueprint, one-day workshop with Dr Jessica Quiñones in partnership with Rachel Shirley and Sheffield Flute Choir for flute players of all levels aged 18-plus at Sharrow Performing Arts Space, Sheffield S7 1BE, Saturday, 29th of October 2016, 10am - 5pm: £60. Details and booking at
NEW SEASON OVERVIEWS:
Sheffield International Concert Season
Music in the Round
Sheffield Bach Choir