Onyx Brass, family concert, courtesy of Music in the Round, from the personable quintet making yet another visit to the city with a lively (occasionally silly) introduction to brass music and brass playing – top quality guaranteed there! – plus, audience participation involving raspberry-blowing so be sure to take something suitable with you to the City Hall Ballroom, Wednesday, October 28, 11am – £8, £4 children, students, £18 family ticket (maximum four).
Sound Junction – 1, to quote the blurb for three concerts in a darkened hall with 24 loudspeakers you: “a glimpse into the strange world of electronic music. A world unbound by pitch or rhythm, instrumentation or abstraction. Transcending barriers of popular and classical (music), live and recorded.” The latest round of electronic delights and sonic sculptures curated by the Department of Music’s ardent electroacoustic music guru Adrian Moore includes several items from across ‘the pond’ heard in this year’s New York Festival of Electroacoustic Music, many of them receiving their European premiere alongside works by composers working in the University of Sheffield’s state-of-the-art Sound Studios. Three New York pieces are among the six occupying the 60 minutes here at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Saturday, 1pm – free.
Present Tense, music for piano and piano and electronics – and one for piano, radio and electronics! by composers from the North of England: Kenneth Leighton, born in Wakefield and probably the best known one; Ronald Stevenson who died earlier this year, born in Blackburn; Jonathan Harvey, born in Sutton Coldfield and composer in residence at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2009 three years before he died; Piers Tattersall studied in Manchester, and like a fifth one, Ben Gaunt, is Sheffield-based so a Northern focus is retained. The music by Leighton and Stevenson is, obviously, for solo piano, that of Harvey like the remaining composers, for piano and electronics with a radio thrown in somewhere and is performed by Christopher Guild: piano, and Piers Tattersall: electronics, at Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street, Saturday, 7pm – £10, £8.
Sound Junction – 2, four New York items among the seven here over 90 minutes; Firth Hall, Western Bank, Saturday, 7.30pm – free.
Sound Junction – 3, one New York offering among the six for the final 60 minutes; Firth Hall, Western Bank, Sunday, 1pm – free.
Ensemble 10/ 10, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's contemporary music ensemble opens a three-date Buxton residency by the orchestra with a contemplative programme of Arvo Pärt: Fratres; Henze: In Memoriam – Die Weisse Rose; Britten: Sinfonietta; Mihkel Kerem: another Sinfonietta by another Estonian composer (b1981); and a new work by Nigel Osborne, Bosnian Voices, written to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Clark Rundell is the conductor at the Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton, Tuesday, 7.30pm – £16. Box office 01298 72190
Philip Thomas, this should be fun when the enthusiastic locally-based experimental pianist-extraordinaire pays tribute to the pianist for whom the pieces he is playing were written or premiered by, David Tudor. They were dreamt up by four famous New York (or infamous, depending on your point of view!) composers and take in three works by Christian Wolff: For Piano I, For Prepared Piano, For Pianist; five by Morton Feldman: Extensions 3, Intersection 2, Piano Piece 1952, Vertical Thoughts IV, Last Pieces; a mere one by Earle Brown: Four Systems; and four by the daddy of them all, John Cage: Seven Haiku, Music for piano, Waiting, and 4'33" – the one you will not actually hear! Part of the New York strand in the University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Tuesday, 7.30pm – and it’s free! – registration required: www.sheffield.ac.uk or 0114 222 0468.
Sir Scallywag and the Battle of Stinky Bottom, schools’ performances of the latest Sir Scallywag adventure (family concert in the spring) adapted from the book by Giles Andreae illustrated by Korky Paul and set to music by Paul Rissmann, children’s composer in residence at Music in the Round. Polly Ives, as always, curates proceedings with Ensemble 360 in attendance at the Crucible Theatre, Wednesday, November 4, 10.45am and 1.30pm – £3 per child, teachers free.
Tim Kennedy, former treble at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, now a freelance lyric tenor based in Manchester specialising in recital and oratorio work. Here, he offers an extremely varied, but attractive programme of Handel: Forte e Lieto from Tamerlano; Finzi: four movements from Dies Natalis – Rhapsody, The Rapture, Wonder and The Salutation; Schubert: An die Musik; and Tchaikovsky: Lenski’s Aria from Eugene Onegin, with John Gough: piano, at the Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recital, Thursday, November 5, 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
Tannhäuser, first revival in over a decade for the production by Otto Schenk (so you know it not going to be anything weird and wonderful) of Wagner’s opera, relayed live from the New York Metropolitan Opera and conducted by the Met’s long standing music director James Levine with Johan Botha in the title role as the troubled minstrel knight torn between his love for Elisabeth: Eva-Maria Westbroek, and the alluring charms the love goddess Venus: Michelle DeYoung, the other principal singer being Peter Mattei as Wolfram. Cineworld Sheffield, Saturday, 5pm – £19.40, £15.60 concessions – they’re around £2 cheaper online if you register.
The Pirates of Penzance, charity performance of the indestructible Gilbert and Sullivan evergreen from Derby G&S Company with Richard Suart putting in a guest appearance as the very model of a modern Major General at Buxton Opera House, Saturday, 7.30pm – £15 –£55. Box office 01298 72190
The Bodyguard, whether it is this show based on the Whitney Houston film or her stage reincarnation, Alexandra Burke, it has been selling like hot cakes with 12 of the 16 outings on its fortnight run in Sheffield have limited ticket availability, if not now sold out. Lyceum Theatre, Wednesday, October 28 to Saturday, November 7. Only performances not shown to have limited availability: October 28, 2pm; October 29, 2pm; October 31, 3pm; and November 5, 2pm.
Compose Yourself! weekly creative composition classes over six weeks run by Sheffield composer Jenny Jackson aimed at adult musicians with an urge to compose but who don't know where to start. A new batch of six classes begins on Wednesday the 11th of November, 1pm to 3pm – £15 per two-hour session, and places need to be pre-booked in six-week blocks. Classes are held at Jenny’s home in S11 and, if interested, or would like to know more, follow the link to her website: http://www.jennyjacksoncomposer.com/compose-yourself
Lunchtime Singing, monthly, 45-minute workshops on the City Hall stage (though not always) led by Val Regan and Andrea Small. Thursday, November 5, 1pm – £6. Also, December 3.
For details of Choral Evensong at Sheffield Cathedral and St John’s Church, Ranmoor, and music at daytime services, please see the respective websites of both in the ‘Who’s Doing It’ section of Classical Sheffield.