Jiayi Wang and Yuen Yan Rain, the former (a flautist) offers Quantz: Flute Sonata in C minor No 276; Jules Mouquet: Sonata Op 15 La flûte de Pan, and the latter (a violinist) Mozart: Violin Sonata K304; Brahms: Sonata Op 78 at the Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, 21st of April, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, cleverly planned programme with Kurt Weill’s Suite from The Threepenny Opera prefacing Ravel’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto in G, replete with bluesy central movement, written after visiting jazz clubs in New York in 1928 with George Gershwin who, it is said, had previously asked the French composer for lessons in Paris. In turning him down, he may have been aware of the runaway success of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (which follows), written haste in 1924 – did you know both died within six months of each other in 1937 after failed brain operations? A well known piece by another big influence on the American, Debussy: Prélude à l'aprés midi d'un faune, heralds a change of stylistic idiom for more Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin, based on the form of a Baroque suite but in the composer’s personal, pre-jazz chromatic language in 1919. Alexander Shelley (son of Howard) is the conductor and Peter Jablonski the pianist in the Sheffield International Concert Season at the City Hall, Friday, 7pm – £21, £19, £16, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, Trisha Cooper in conversation, 6pm.
Baslow Choir, celebrate St George’s Day at its main concert of the year with music by Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb; Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs; Purcell: Rejoice in the Lord; and John Blow: Begin the Song – his first St Cecilia Day Ode, regarded as one of finest works. The soloists, Max Sharpe: boy treble, Nick Cox: countertenor, Jeremy Dawson: tenor, Ted Harvey: bass, are from Sheffield Cathedral Choir, Andrew Cummings is the organist and Andrew Marples, a one-time Sheffield Cathedral Songman, is the conductor, at Ecclesall Parish Church, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £5 children.
Hallam Choral Society, and new music director Elspeth Slorach (seemingly known as ‘Ellie’) punctuate performances of Fauré’s Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine with Elgar’s six choral songs, originally titled Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands. Kerry Firth: soprano, Robert Brooks: baritone, are the soloists and the Hallam Sinfonia is in attendance, at St Mark’s Church, Broomhill, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions, free under 16s.
Nigel Gotteri, Dronfield Woodhouse organist gives the weekly organ recital at St John’s Church, Ranmoor Sunday, 4pm – free, retiring collection.
A Tribute to Peter Cropper, current and former students, friends and colleagues come together for a concert performance that pays tribute to the most inspirational musician in Sheffield classical music history. Music includes Haydn: Farewell Symphony, performances by Peter’s son Martin, also a violinist, and works composed by George Nicholson and Dorothy Ker for Peter’s 65th birthday in 2010. Proceeds from the concert will go towards funding aimed at establishing an annual Peter Cropper Lecture-Recital. Sheffield University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Sunday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 over 65, £5 unwaged, under 26, students. ‘Remembering Peter Cropper’ @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Final Year Undergraduates, give the third in a short series of University Rush-Hour Concerts, Firth Hall, Western Bank, Monday, 5.45pm – free, donations welcome.
University New Music Ensemble, director Dorothy Ker with “new and groundbreaking compositions from the Department of Music,” it says here. Sheffield University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Tuesday, 7.30pm – free, but you need to register your presence at www.sheffield.ac.uk/concerts
Zoe Everatt and Ella Taylor, another joint University Lunchtime Concert and two gifted final year sopranos with Ella performing Hugo Wolf: a selection from his Mörike Lieder (plenty to go at), and Jonathan Dove: 3 Songs from Ariel; while Zoe’s programme will include William Walton: his song cycle A Song For the Lord Major's Table, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, 28th of April, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Iphigénie en Tauride, neglected Gluck opera, arguably his greatest, in the staging by English Touring Opera seen in Sheffield earlier this month. Sung in French with English surtitles at Buxton Opera House, Friday, 7.30pm – £19.50 –£36.50; £3 off seniors, disabled (not circle), half-price JSA, income support, students, children (ditto). 01298 72190 ‘Drama on Tauris’ @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Don Giovanni, another chance to see English Touring Opera’s production or if you missed it. Sung in English at Buxton Opera House, Saturday, 7.30pm – £19.50 –£36.50; £3 off seniors, disabled (not circle), half-price JSA, income support, students, children (ditto).
Pia de’ Tolomei, a third offering by Donizetti from English Touring Opera that was not seen in Sheffield (in fact, ETO is only putting it on at a few venues). Based on an episode in Dante’s Divine Comedy, it tells the tale of a noblewoman who is locked in a tower by her jealous husband after been informed by a petulant cousin, whose advances she has rejected, that she is unfaithful. ETO has assembled a superb cast for the opera’s four central roles headed by the terrific Greek/ Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis as Pia and it is sung in Italian with English surtitles at Buxton Opera House, Sunday, 3pm – £19.50 –£36.50; £3 off seniors, disabled (not circle), half-price JSA, income support, students, children (ditto).
The Pirates of Penzance, annual G&S offering from Grenoside and Birley Carr Players and hardly in need of introduction. Community Centre, Main Street, Grenoside, S35 8PR, Tuesday to Saturday, 30th of April, 7.30pm – £8, £5 children.
Die Fledermaus, something a little different from Ellen Kent’s Opera and Ballet International, although hardly a work off the beaten track, at least in its original form. To quote Ellen’s blurb for the production given its “world premiere” on 2006! This unique version includes two champagne fountains, two bats, a mystery celebrity guest and an introduction of some scenes from the Russian Die Fledermaus. Further it is “based on Herbert von Karajan’s famous version” – whatever that is or was, unless it was the recording in which he got some of world’s greatest opera singers to let their hair down at Orlovsky’s party. Doubtless, Johann Strauss will be in there somewhere, at the City Hall, Thursday, 28th of April, 7.30pm – £33.50 –£17; £28.50 –£12 over 60s.
Guys and Dolls, Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Frank Loesser's musical goes on the road after a highly praised run in the West End with Louise Dearman: Miss Adelaide, Anna O'Byrne: Sarah Brown, Richard Fleeshman: Sky Masterson, and Maxwell Caulfield: Nathan Detroit. Lyceum Theatre, Wednesday, 20th of April, to Saturday, 7.45pm; plus, Wednesday-Thursday, 2pm, and Saturday, 3pm – Tuesday to Thursday £28.50 –£41; Friday and Saturday £33 –£43; 2pm performances £26 –£36; 3pm performance £31 –£41.
Compose Yourself! creative composing classes run by Sheffield composer Jenny Jackson and held at her home in S11. Informal, practical and aimed at adult musicians, the classes will enable the exploration and development of ideas in a small, relaxed group setting – no previous composing experience necessary: just an open mind! For more information, and to book your place, please follow the link to Jenny’s website: www.jennyjacksoncomposer.com/compose-yourself-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.