In Memory of Peter Cropper – 1, first of two concerts programmed by Peter to celebrate his 70th birthday that have sadly become memorial events following his death at the end of May. This one he intended to celebrate with his family: Martin: violin; Hazel: oboe; Adrian Wilson: oboe (his son-in-law); and ‘extended family’, Leon Bosch: double bass; members of Ensemble 360; and two young string quartets he was tutoring, the Cassia and Marmen, who will now be performing Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon; Bach: Concerto for oboe and violin BWV1060R; Vivaldi: Concerto for two violins RV522; Bach: Concerto for two violins BWV1043; Mozart: Oboe Quartet; and Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending, without him at Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street, Wednesday, 18th November, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students. NB: Returns Only!
Ensemble Class - 1, presumably instrumental groups, give a Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, 19th November, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
The Fates, Sheffield-based a cappella trio of Sue Cain, Tegwen Roberts and Bay Whitaker do what it is they do that is earning them a growing reputation on the region’s folk scene: combine traditional and original material, often with vocal complexity as they interweave songs and styles to together at the Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recital, Thursday, 19th November, 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
Jonathan Eyre, sub organist and assistant director of music at Bradford Cathedral with past strong Sheffield connections gives the 45-minute, monthly recital on the newly refurbished organ at St Mark’s Church, Broomhill, Thursday, 19th November, 8pm – free, retiring collection.
Söndörgö, five multi-instrumental Hungarian brothers who play the folk music, underpinned by string sound, of their native land with ‘vigorous virtuosity’, it says here (you can believe it!) at the latest in Sheffield University’s series of Global Soundtracks concerts at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Friday, 8.30pm – in advance £10, £8 over 65, £5 under 26, unwaged – www.sheffield.ac.uk/concerts on the door £12.50, £10, £6.
Pop Tarts in Concert, the ‘Pop Tarts’ in question being the sort of repertoire that members of SingSoc – the University of Sheffield Singers’ Society – perform at Student Union night outs, to quote: “much loved by Sheffield students, new and old! The night plays an outrageously cheesey, but fantastic selection of music from the fifties to the noughties, and we are singing the best of the bunch in one big concert.” SingSoc’s three choirs, Main Chorus and smaller Ladies’ Choir and Socii Cantorum, are involved and among many items on offer are Mr Blue Sky, Eye of the Tiger, a Michael Jackson medley and Build Me Up Buttercup at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Saturday, 7.30pm – £8, £4 concessions
Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, get proceedings started with something a little different: Chapí’s Prelude to La Revoltosa. Ruperto Chapí (1851-1909) is one of Spain’s foremost composers, writing a considerable corpus of concert and choral music and numerous zarzuelas (a sort of Spanish singspiel) with the odd opera thrown in. La Revoltosa is a farcical one-act zarzuela about a stubborn young man and the neighbourhood beauty who love each other but neither will admit it, the scene-setting prelude being one of its eight musical numbers. We are still Spain for Massenet’s ballet music from his opera Le Cid, wonderfully colourful stuff all too infrequently heard – fortunately, the SSO has a Spanish music director, Juan Ortuña! Hardly in need of any introduction, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony ends the concert at Ecclesall Parish Church, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 unwaged, £5 students.
Sheffield University Wind Orchestra, in trademark enterprising mode with pieces by Albert Reed: Viva Musica! – Concert Overture for band; Richard Strauss: Allerseelen – a song, All Souls Day (the Albert Oliver Davis transcription?); Peter Meechan: Origins for euphonium and band (a three-movement work); Kenneth Hesketh: Danceries – Lull me beyond thee, Catching of Quails, My Lady’s Rest, Quodling’s delight; Martin Ellerby: Summer Nights – Villanelle, The Ghost of the Rose, On the Lagoons, The Unknown Isle; more Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel; Steve Willaert: Clarinet in Motion; and futher Ellerby: Paris Sketches – Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Pigalle, Père Lachaise, Les Halles. A major horn part is in there somewhere (have a feeling: Worksop-born Ellerby’s Summer Nights) as Ensemble 360’s Naomi Atherton is involved. Daniel Morgan is the euphonium soloist, Rui Travasso the clarinet soloist and the conductor, as always, is Anthony Houghton in the University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Sunday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 over 65, £5 under 26, unwaged.
Benjamin Nabarro and Tim Horton, Ensemble 360 violinist and pianist perform the second of Schubert’s three violin sonatas (sonatinas) penned in 1816, in A minor; and the first Brahms violin sonata, Op 78; Crucible Studio, Monday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Ensemble Class – 2, ditto, the same as this Thursday (19th) has to be assumed, but with different personnel. Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Monday, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Jessop Voices First-Year Choir, give this week’s Sheffield University Rush-Hour Concert at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Monday, 5.45pm – free, donations welcome.
Grand Band, a piano sextet! No, not a piano and five string players, or anything like that, but six grand pianos! We have actually had such a group in the UK since 1989, the highly successful Piano Circus, while this one was formed around three years ago by six leading avant-garde pianists in New York City and has really taken off. You can hear why when sixty fingers on twelve hands work their way impeccably through Julia Wolfe: … my lips from speaking … Philip Glass: Closing; Michael Gordon: Ode to La Bruja, Czerny, Van Cliburn, and little gold stars ... (or, To Everyone Who Made my Life Miserable, Thank You) – reflections on Gordon’s piano-lesson years, a Grand Band commission; Paul Kerekes (Grand Band member): Wither; Kate Moore: Sensitive Spot; and Steve Reich (whose first thought of the idea!): Six Pianos (1973), in the Sheffield University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Tuesday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 over 65, £5 under 26, unwaged.
Rachel Johnson and Jemima Palfreyman, growing in repute flute and piano duo with numerous recitals under their belt since joining forces in March 2013, including Ripon and Manchester cathedrals, the Bridgewater Hall and, looming, St Martin-in-the-Fields. No wonder they are in demand with programmes like is: pieces by Belfast-born Geraldine Green: Nocturne; Edward German: Souvenir (written as a violin work); Lennox Berkeley: Sonatina; Richard Rodney Bennett: Winter Music 1 and 2; Ian Clarke (also a celebrated flautist): Spiral Lament; Peter McGarr: Rare Dawn (a Pennines-inspired piece); and Hamilton Harty: In Ireland (a fantasy he penned in 1918), at the last Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recital in present series, Thursday, 26th November, 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
Prague Symphony Orchestra, comes to town with its recently installed (in September) chief conductor Pietari Inkinen and Chloë Hanslip, no less, as the soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. She will have sympathetic partner on the conductor’s podium, as Inkinen is also a highly accomplished violinist. Either side of the concerto the orchestra is on extremely familiar ground with Smetana: Šárka, the warrior maiden third subject of his Má Vlast cycle of tone poems; and Dvořák: Symphony No 8, which some will tell you is his finest one! Sheffield International Concert Season at the City Hall, Thursday, 26th November, 7pm – £21, £19, £16, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, Trisha Cooper in conversation, 6pm – more at www.bernardleemusic.com by the coming weekend.
Leonore Piano Trio, Benjamin Nabarro and Tim Horton again, plus Ensemble 360 cellist Gemma Rosefield, wearing their piano trio cap and a fairly formidable one at that as all three are first rate soloists in their own right. Plenty of evidence of this on the horizon as they launch into the first of eight concerts for Music in the Round taking in the complete violin sonatas, cello sonatas and piano trios by Beethoven, beginning here – logically, with No 1 in each instance; Crucible Studio, Thursday, 26th November, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Lulu, a new production of one of great operas of the 20th century, Alban Berg’s unfinished 1935 opera (great even in that form – some might say greater!), in its now more regularly encountered completed version by Friedrich Cehra published in 1979. The staging, relayed live from the New York Metropolitan Opera, is by visual artist William Kentridge and has a specialist in the role of the doomed femme fatale, Marlis Petersen. Susan Graham is luxury casting as Countess Geschwitz and in the other roles that matter, at least in the two-act version, are Johan Reuter as Dr Schön and Daniel Brenna as Alwa, while the all-important conductor is Lothar Koenigs who received rave reviews when he conducted a Welsh National Opera production of Lulu in 2013. Cineworld Sheffield, Saturday, 5.30pm – £19.40, £15.60 concessions – they’re around £2 cheaper online if you register.
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 now underway, no date is yet set for a further half-dozen, which are held at Jenny’s home in S11. For more information 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, 3rd December, 1pm – £6.
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.