Bradfield high notes

In just a few weeks’ time, there will be a series of outstanding music concerts in the atmospheric St Nicholas’ Church in High Bradfield, Sheffield.

By Julia Armstrong
Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 20:53
Singer Jacqui Dankworth

One of the highlights of the week (June 22-9) will be the return of an ensemble from one of the world’s best-known orchestras.

Patricia Hunt from the festival said: “The Bradfield Festival of Music has an enviable tradition of attracting the very finest musicians, and this year international, national and local musicians of the highest calibre will perform in the perfect acoustics of the festival setting.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome back the ensemble from the world-famous Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra!

“The ensemble so enjoyed their experience of playing at the Bradfield Festival that they asked to return with an Octet, and on Saturday, June 22 their programme includes the famous Schubert Octet. Unmissable!”

The Concertgebouw ensemble have recently toured Canada, are currently in Italy and are travelling to the UK especially for the Bradfield performance.

Patricia continued: “Singer Jacqui Dankworth and pianist Charlie Wood received a rapturous reception at the festival in 2017, and we are delighted that they accepted our invitation to come back in 2019.

“Please book your tickets early for this concert on Monday June 24 because it sold out fast two years ago!”

Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood are performing a new programme, tracing blues and jazz from Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday, Ray Charles and Van Morrison.

Jacqui is the daughter of British jazz royalty, singer Cleo Laine and musician John Dankworth. Her husband Charlie was born in Memphis.

“The festival week continues with international artists,” Patricia said.

“Cellist Laura Van Der Heiden, who played so superbly in 2016 (June 25), pianist Rebeca Omordia, with a fascinating African element in her programme (June 26), the Wihan String Quartet from Prague (June 27) and the Pelléas Ensemble with the captivating combination of flute, harp and viola (June 28).

“Our final concert this year, on Saturday June 29, will be a fabulous affair with a stunning programme by the awesome Austonley Brass, and performances by the Bradfield Festival Award Young Musicians 2019.”

This certainly looks like another remarkable week of music in Bradfield.

The festival, now in its 22nd year of revival, has a lovely rural setting in the church high over the city and always attracts a friendly and knowledgable audience.

Last year’s highlights included the coup of getting rising young cello star Sheku Kanneh-Mason, aged 19, to perform to a packed-out church with his sister, pianist Isata.

The organisers booked him before he hit global fame when he performed at the royal wedding last year of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, courtesy of a tip-off from the festival’s patron, Julian Lloyd Webber.

For more information about the festival, go to www.bradfieldfestivalofmusic.co.uk or phone 0114 234 1209 for tickets.

For regular updates, follow @bradfieldmusic on Twitter and Bradfield Festival of Music on Facebook.