German star makes British debut

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One of Europe’s hottest pianists will make his UK bow in Sheffield tomorrow.

Martin Stadtfeld has had a series of chart-topping recordings and is winning fans across the continent.

So the City Hall audience is in for a treat when he plays Schumann’s piano concerto with the Halle Orchestra.

Stadtfeld said: “I’ve recorded the work with the Hallé and this will be the first time we’ve played it together in concert. It is one of the best known and most popular romantic concertos.

“We tried to find a new perspective on it, as far as that is possible, and it came out quite well in the recording.

“The audience can expect some new ideas on tempo and articulation, which may be a little unusual, but I hope they appreciate them.”

The 34-year-old German will be conducted by Sir Mark Elder and the pair struck up a good relationship when recording the concerto.

“He’s a wonderful man and musician, very sensitive,” says Stadtfeld. “He’s a wonderful accompanist and gave me some interesting advice in terms of the rhetorical style of Schumann.

“It was really interesting and helped me to better understand the work.”

After Stadtfeld’s performance, the Halle will play Elgar’s 2nd Symphony and it promises to be a definitive performance by a conducting/orchestra partnership which does Elgar better than anyone.

“I’m looking forward to it,” says Stadtfeld.

“The orchestra has a very special sound, focusing on the quality of the sound.

“I don’t know the symphony too well, so it will be a journey for me.”

1A concert for schools, Hallé in the Sun , at the City Hall on February 24 will include performances and demonstrations of instruments by members of the orchestra and the chance to join in with a brand new song.

Rob Hollingworth