Sheffield weekend of classical music treats

Young musicians feature in the Classical Weekend Festiva
Young musicians feature in the Classical Weekend Festiva

Sheffield’s second Classical Weekend Festival, set to take place on March 17 to 19, has announced its full programme, featuring a host of international artists and local musicians across city venues.

On Friday, March 17 some of Shanghai’s finest performers will present a programme of traditional Chinese music.

Zhan Yong Ming, Huo Yonggang, Dai Xialian and Li Jingxia are set to play an uplifting concert at Upper Chapel that will be a perfect introduction to Chinese classical music for curious new listeners.

Later that day, Xia Jing, one of the greatest living Chinese zither soloists, joins the Fidelio Piano trio in a concert that gives a UK premiere to exciting new music.

On Saturday night there will be an otherworldly singing spectacular as a massed choir from across Sheffield blast out a powerful rendition of Carl Orff’s famous cantata, Carmina Burana, at Firth Hall to celebrate the bone-rattling piece’s 80th anniversary.

On Sunday 19, Hallam Sinfonia and Sophie Redfern will present a unique concert suitable for all ages, title Der Der Der Derrrrrr!

This interactive show gives the audience an up close and personal experience, among the orchestra, of Beethoven’s famous Symphony No 5.

Other newly-announced performers include the Marmen Quartet, Head Over Reels, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Opera on Location, Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, Vivacity Choir, Sheffield Bach Choir, Sterndale Singers and Sheffield Music Academy.

As already announced. Sheffield’s own Ryan Wigglesworth, one of classical music’s most successful young talents, will conduct the Hallé orchestra in the City Hall on the Friday night.

Throughout Friday and Saturday, The University of Sheffield will host an innovative celebration of the work of Pierre Boulez, with performers ranging from primary school children to international soloists exploring electronic and avant garde classical music from one of the 20th century’s great musical minds.

One of the hot tickets of the weekend will be the UK premiere of American composer John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Sky, led on the Saturday by star cellist and Radiohead collaborator Oliver Coates.

The performance will draw on talent from across Yorkshire, with at least 32 cello players surrounding the audience at Kelham Island, enveloping them in immersive sound.

Coates will make another appearance the following day, joining one of Sheffield’s talented youth orchestras for an emotional performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata and work by local composing and performing group Platform 4.

The festival will close with Classical After Dark at Yellow Arch Studios, bringing some of the more unusual and esoteric strands of classical music to a venue not often associated with the genre.

Raucous cabaret from Crimes Against Taste and global sounds from Manchester’s Kabantu feature, as will intimate performances from Sheffield Chorale, Meiningen Ensemble, guitarist Tom McKinney and more.

The Winter Garden and Moor Market will host a series of free pop-up events, with a range of performances on offer for curious ears.

Tickets are on sale at sivtickets.com