Nigel Kennedy, the controversial violinist turns the clock back to his ‘ground-breaking’ account of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (bet he could for his beloved Aston Villa, too!), but adds an undisclosed twist in ‘The New Four Seasons’ while keeping Vivaldi’s work at its root. Preceding it, he plays his own compositions in a piece entitled Dedications and which appears to have jazz at its foundations, at the City Hall, Wednesday, 18th of May, 7.30pm – £29.50 to £44.50.
Chloe Phillips, final year flautist gives the last in the present series of Sheffield University Lunchtime Concerts performing pieces by Katherine Hoover: Winter Spirits; Bach: Sonata in E BWV 1035; two by Ian Clarke: Hypnosis, The Great Train Race; and Chaminade: Concertino for flute and piano Op 107, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, 19th of May, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Harvestehuder Sinfonieorchester, Harvestehuder Symphony Orchestra by any other name, the orchestra’s name being that of the district of Hamburg it was founded in as a student orchestra in 1966 and here it 50 years later as a fully fledged, highly successful amateur orchestra celebrating its five decades of existence with a short anniversary tour round the north of England with Dvořák: Cello Concerto; and Brahms: Symphony No 1. Harish Shankar (the orchestra’s music director) is the conductor and Jakob Stepp the soloist in the Dvořák, at Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Thursday, 19th of May, 7.30pm.
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and its distinguished music director of nearly 30 years standing Pavel Kogan bring the curtain down on the 2015-16 Sheffield International Concert Season and open with a work they premiered in Moscow in April, Behemoth Dances by a Brit, Stephen Johnson – yes, that Stephen Johnson, extremely well known to BBC Radio 3 listeners. Although it didn’t set out as such, the work depicts the cat-demon, Behemoth, who accompanies Satan on a visit to Stalin’s Russia and wreaks total havoc and chaos in Mikhail Bulgakov’s bitingly satirical novel The Master and Margerita. A ten-minute piece, it was described as “a real find” with a “distinct cut of its own … very engaging and accomplished, and brilliantly scored for a large orchestra” (Classical Source) at its UK premiere earlier this month. More familiar material follows here, Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the highly noted Noriko Ogawa as soloist Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5, allegedly his creative response to justified criticism, ‘creative’ being the operative word, at the City Hall, Friday, 7pm – £21, £19, £16, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, Trisha Cooper in conversation, 6pm.
Drinking and Hooting, Sheffield composer collective Platform 4, Jenny Jackson, Tom James, Chris Noble and Tom Owen, present an evening live music performance and electronic pieces exploring the notion of the (un)seen/heard at Bank Street Arts, 32-40 Bank Street, S1 2DS, Saturday, 7.30pm – free, donations welcome.
Sheffield Chamber Orchestra, and its conductor George Kennaway introduce us to the Portuguese composer João de Sousa Carvalho (1745-99): Overture to L’amore industrioso, an opera subjected to two revivals in the 20th century; before Bach: Violin Concerto in A minor, with young Sam Castle as soloist; the extremely prolific but rarely heard Arthur Butterworth (not related to George): Actaeon’s Ride for woodwind and brass ensemble, commissioned and premiered by the Mayfield Wind Sinfonia, Sheffield (1997); Handel: Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 6: and Beethoven: Symphony No 8; at St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £6 unwaged, under 18s, students, Friends of SCO.
Rufus Brodersen, the organ scholar at St John’s Church, Ranmoor 2012-13 returns to give the weekly organ recital at the church, Sunday, 4pm – free, retiring collection.
Sleeping Beauty, Matthew Bourne’s Gothic realisation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, not the most famous of his three but the best, which captured the hearts of thousands and broke box office records across thee UK when it premiered in 2012. Ashley Shaw and Cordelia Braithwaite share the role of Aurora, Dominic North and Chris Trenfield that of her love interest, at the Lyceum Theatre, Wednesday, 18th of May to Saturday, 7.45pm; plus Thursday, Saturday, 2pm – £21 to £39, concessions, group and school discounts available.
Composing for Beginners, a six-week course for adult musicians taught by Sheffield composer Jenny Jackson. Starts, 8th of June, Wednesdays, 7 –9pm. Learn how to compose a short piece from scratch with step-by-step guidance and support and finish your first composition in six weeks! All work is done in the classes (no homework!), which are held at Jenny’s home in S11, cost £90. More information and booking at www.jennyjacksoncomposer.com/composing-for-beginners
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.