St Matthew Passion, a while since we had Bach’s monumental setting of the Passion of Christ according to St Matthew’s Gospel from the Sheffield Bach Choir and here it is on the first of four congested Saturdays in March with the St Peter's Singers from Leeds, another choir conducted by Simon Lindley who directs the work here, and the Choristers of St John's Church, Ranmoor swelling the choral forces. Stephen Liley (who else?) returns to sing the Evangelist’s music, and the solo tenor arias; bass Thomas Hunt is Christ and the other soloists are soprano Alison Smart; alto Lucy Appleyard; bass Matthew Hunt; and the excellent National Festival Orchestra provides the instrumental support. Sheffield Cathedral, Saturday, 6.30pm (NB: time) – £16, £13 concessions, £5 students, under 16 free.
Abbeydale Singers, with a 20-plus item charity concert in aid Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, including pieces by Bach; Rheinberger; Duruflé – Ubi caritas & Tu es Petrus; Rutter – For the beauty of the earth & Riddle song; Josquin – El grillo; Lassus – Matona, lovely maiden; Passereau – Il est bel et bon; Kodály – Esti dal; Barber – Sure on this shining night; Ireland – The hills; Vaughan Williams – Linden Lea; CS Lang – Everyone suddenly, etc; plus arrangements of I would be true (Carter), Billy Joel’s And so it goes (Chilcott), Ain’t misbehavin’, I got rhythm – familiar Abbeydale repertoire, in short, and conducted by Kevin Haighton at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions.
Kaoru Bingham, recital by the gifted Japanese-born pianist (widow of John Bingham) complementing an exhibition of paintings by abstract artist Gordon Snee and ceramic work by Hisami Tsurumori with Beethoven’s Sonata’s No 1 and 31, plus the Bagatelle No 25 – Fur Elise! framing Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives, Scriabin’s Sonata No 2, also known as Sonata-Fantasy, Schumann’s Variations on the name Abegg and two Schumann song transcriptions by Liszt. Ecclesall Parish Church, Saturday, 7.30pm – £12, £8 concessions, students, £5 children.
Nick Fletcher, Sheffield’s classical guitarist of national repute tunes up for another recital that takes in the Turkish-inspired Koyunbaba Suite, probably the best known work by Carlo Domeniconi, some of his own music, and pieces by Manuel Ponce, including his epic Sonata No 3 from 1927 and dedicated to Segovia, at Holy Trinity Church, Grove Road, Millhouses, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £5 concessions.
Sheffield Chamber Orchestra, and its conductor George Kennaway welcome Ensemble 360’s Adrian Wilson to play one the last works written by Richard Strauss, his Oboe Concerto, prompted in 1945 when an American soldier, who was principal oboist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, visited the composer in his Bavarian home. The soldier/ oboist asked him if he had ever considered writing an oboe concerto and Strauss simply answered “no.” The seeds had been sown, though, and ten months later the 25-minute oboe concerto, part sinuously lyrical and part endurance test, was premiered in Zurich with Strauss ensuring the US premiere rights were given to an oboist from Pittsburgh! Elsewhere, under its own steam, the orchestra offers Haydn – Symphony No 83, known as the Hen; Brahms – St Anthony Chorale Variations; and Prokofiev – Classical Symphony, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, including seniors, £6 students, unwaged, under 18s, Friends of SCO.
British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, at a venue it appears at quite regularly and almost certainly a pick-up band, something like the National Festival Orchestra we know from Bach Choir concerts, and in all probability also made up by musicians active in the Manchester area and the Northwest. Anthony Kraus is the conductor here for a programme of Holst – St Paul’s Suite; Mozart – Piano Concerto No 23 with Ian Buckle as soloist; and Schubert – his Mozartian Symphony No 5. Buxton Opera House, Sunday, 7.30pm – £18, £21, £24, discounts available. 0845 12 72190
Postgraduate Students, from the Department of Music: Take 2, appears not to be on and re-scheduled for the 13th of April in the Sheffield University Rush-Hour Concerts series at Firth Hall, Monday, 5.45pm.
University New Music Ensemble, director George Nicholson, perform new works by Department of Music composers in the Sheffield University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Tuesday, 7.30pm – £10, £7 concessions, £4 under 26, students.
Ollie King, talented student melodeon player gives the Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert, Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday (March 12), 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
University of Sheffield Wind Ensembles, give the Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recital, Thursday (March 12), 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
Romeo and Juliet, Prokofiev’s best known ballet from the Bolshoi in Moscow choreographed by the company’s legendary former artistic director Yuri Grigorovich in a performance recorded live in 2013. Sunday, 3pm, at Cineworld Sheffield – £19.30, £15.50 concessions; Showroom, Paternoster Row – £13.
La Traviata, Verdi’s opera relayed live the London Coliseum in an acclaimed production by Peter Konwitschny (wonder if he’s related to conductor Franz?) for English National Opera with Elizabeth Zharoff making her UK debut as Violetta, Ben Johnson (who people say complimentary things about) as Alfredo and one Britain’s leading baritones, Anthony Michaels-Moore (who has a big international reputation) as his father. Wednesday (March 11), 7.30pm, at Cineworld Sheffield – £19.30, £15.50 concessions; Odeon, Arundel Gate – £10.50, £8.50 concessions.
Top Hat, last few days of the enormously successful stage adaptation of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film with other Irving Berlin numbers added to the original five, including two from Follow the Fleet, two lesser-known ones from Louisiana Purchase and even one from Easter Parade all fitting in perfectly, so Face the Music and Dance at the Lyceum Theatre, Wednesday (March 4) to Saturday, 7.45pm – £29 –£39 (Wednesday-Thursday), £32 –£42 (Friday-Saturday); plus matinees, Thursdays, 2pm – £27 –£37; and Saturday, 3pm – £32 –£42. Review under FEATURES
Lunchtime Singing, monthly, 45-minute workshops on the City Hall stage (though not always) led by Val Regan and Andrea Small, Thursday (March 5), 1pm – £6. Also, March 26; May 7; June 4; July 2; September 3; October 1; November 5; December 3.
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, email@example.com 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.