Joshua Hales, organ, Sheffield Cathedral’s assistant director of music gives the next Lunchtime Recital, Thursday (February 5), 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
David Clover Festival of Singing, the annual David Clover Singing Competition with a new title but still the same format over three days, this year’s adjudicator being the distinguished soprano Elizabeth Ritchie. Starts Friday at 6pm: Vocal solo, British song – ages 13-16; Songs from the shows – 13-16; English words and song – any age; Songs from the shows – 22 and over, at Dore and Totley United Reformed Church, Totley Brook Road, S17 3QS. Same venue Saturday, for three sessions, at 9.30am: Junior recital – ages 13-15; British song – 22 and over; Oratorio/ Sacred song – 22 and over; at 2.15pm: Open recital – 22 and over; at 6.30pm: Intermediate recital – 16-17; French song – any age; Lied – any age. Sunday, decamp as usual to Royal Victoria Holiday Inn, Victoria Station Road (sat nav users S1 2AU), for two sessions, at 9.30am: Oratorio/ Sacred song – ages 13-16; Senior recital – 18-21; Opera – 17-21; Songs from the shows – 17-21; at 2pm: Oratorio/ Sacred song – 17-21; British song – 17-21; Anniversary class – any age; Opera – 22 and over; and at 6.45pm: the Festival Finals Gala Evening taking in the Recital finals, Non-recital finals, Adjudications and Presentations. Admission per session, £3, £2 unwaged, children; Finals Gala £10, £5.
Peak District String Orchestra/ City of Sheffield Senior Schools Orchestra, two award-winning youth orchestras join forces under the baton of their respective conductor Ian Naylor for a “spectacular” Tchaikovsky evening of his Fifth Symphony and Serenade for strings, punctuating them with Hummel’s Fantasie for viola and orchestra, the ‘short version’ which means you only get to hear Mozart’s Il mio tesoro, played by PDSO principal viola and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain member Emily Beswick. St John’s Church, Buxton, Friday; and Sheffield Cathedral, Saturday, 7.30pm – £7, young people free.
Blast Off, into Space with the Sheffield Symphony Orchestra at an interplanetary concert for the young, and young at heart, featuring the UK premiere of Blast Off! by American composer Daniel Dorff, a piece for narrator and orchestra, and music from the Star Wars films by John Williams with an invitation to go in fancy dress – wonder how many Darth Vaders there will be? Ecclesall Parish Church, Saturday, 3pm – £10, £8 unwaged, £5 children, £25 family ticket.
English Chamber Orchestra, directed by Japanese-born Akira Mori, largely active in America, offer an engaging cosmopolitan mix of Mozart – Symphony No 38, the Prague; Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez; Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending; and de Falla – El Amor Brujo. The soloist in the Rodrigo is Xuefei Yang, a child prodigy and the first person to study classical guitar in China. London-based since 2000, she now has a huge international reputation, while the ECO’s distinguished leader Stephanie Gonley tunes her violin up for the Vaughan Williams in the Sheffield International Concert Season at the City Hall, Saturday, 7pm – £20, £18, £15, £5 students, under 16s. Pre-concert talk, Trisha Cooper in conversation with Prof Simon Keefe, Mozart specialist and head of music at the University of Sheffield, 6pm. See Cosmopolitan Cocktail under FEATURES
Johann Strauss Gala, annual stop-off by Raymond Gubbay’s touring tribute (now in its 40th year) to the ‘waltz king’ – mainly, at least; Strauss senior gets his usual look-in with the Radetsky March and there may be the odd piece by one of his other sons. As normal, only the pot-boilers are mentioned in the publicity: Blue Danube, Emperor, Roses From the South, Vienna Woods waltzes; Thunder and Lightning polka; Perpetuum Mobile; the inevitable Laughing Song (Die Fledermaus), though the soprano is singing it isn’t clear, Charlotte Ellett or Kristy Swift; and there is a suggestion of Lehàr and Tchaikovsky interloping. As always, the period-costumed Johann Strauss Dancers add to the occasion and the normally excellent Johann Strauss Orchestra (a pick-up band) is again present, while the conductor these days is a present-day Victor Borge, Rainer Hersch who also acts as host. City Hall, Sunday, 3pm – £32, £28.50, £25.50, £15.
Björk: Biophilia Live, yes, it is the Icelandic popular singer Björk, on film not in person, of a recording made on the final date in 2013 of her two-and-a-half-year tour with Biophilia, a multi-dimensional, multi-media project that explored creative interaction between music, nature and technology. Prof Nicola Dibben, a Biophilia collaborator from Sheffield University’s Department of Music, introduces the film and takes questions at the opening event of the university’s Spring Series of Concerts. Showroom Cinema, Sunday, 6pm – £8.10, £5.90 over 60, £5 students.
Alison Robertson/ Neil Taylor, the Australian-born, Sheffield-based soprano joins forces with Sheffield Cathedral’s director of music (playing piano) at the weekly Lunchtime Recital, Thursday (February 12), 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
The Sound of Music, new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s biggest hit to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of the massively successful film version. Danielle Hope is Maria (this week only – not to hand who takes over) and Steven Houghton plays Captain von Trapp at the Lyceum Theatre, Wednesday (February 4) to Saturday (February 14), except Monday (February 9), 7.30pm; Tuesday –Thursday – £27 –£36; Friday-Saturday – £30 –£38; plus, Thursdays, Wednesday (February 11), 2pm – £22 –£31; Saturdays, 3pm – £27 –£35.
Lunchtime Singing, monthly, 45-minute workshops on the City Hall stage (though not always) led by Val Regan and Andrea Small, Thursday (February 5), 1pm – £6. Also, March 5; March 26; May 7; June 4; July 2; September 3; October 1; November 5; December 3.
Come and Sing Brahms’ German Requiem, in German! at a University of Sheffield Singers’ Society (SingSoc)-anchored, in depth workshop-cum-rehearsal with three experienced choral directors, Peter Taylor (SingSoc, Hallam Choral Society), Robert Webb (Sterndale Singers, Bel Canto Choir, Sheffield Chamber Choir) who has recently conducted the work, and Carol Bowns (Tideswell Singers, Buxton Kaleidoscope Choir) who graduated from the university with a BA Hons in German, as well as music. A subsequent public performance, with piano duet, will be held at Firth Hall on the 28th of February at 6pm. University of Sheffield Students Union, Western Bank (across the road from Firth Hall and stood back a little lower down), Saturday, February 14, 10am-5pm – £25. Further information on the Digest page, http://www.classicalsheffield.org.uk/digest; the Sing Soc website, http://singsoc.weebly.com/come-and-sing-brahms-german-requiem.html; or by contacting Carol Bowns at email@example.com
Sheffield Cello Day, 4strings88keys event for cellists of all ages and ability taking in masterclasses and study sessions to diploma level, plus Alexander technique and activities for groups and individuals. Gemma Rosefield and Thomas Carroll are the principal tutors with Sarah Huson-Whyte catering for children, grades 4 –6; plus, further professional cellists for adults and children. High Storrs School, S11 7LH, Saturday, March 29, 9.30am–5pm – juniors: 9.30am-3pm; adults: 9.30am-5pm. Fees: £55 adults; £20 students, school age, with free admission to recital by Gemma Rosefield/ Thomas Carroll recital post-5pm. Further details and application forms at www.4strings88keys.org
Music Box Workshops, hugely popular, highly interactive 45-minute Music in the Community events for children aged three to six exploring percussion and action songs led by Polly Ives with a singer/ songwriter and guitarist helping out of this occasion. Crucible Studio, Saturday, April 4, 10.30am: three-to four-olds; 11.45am: five-to-six-years-olds; 1pm: three-to-six-year-olds – £6 participating children, accompanying adults free. To find out more or to book go to www.musicintheround.co.uk Alternatively, contact Fraser Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 281 4660.
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.