A garden of delights

Sheffield Winter Garden Festival
Sheffield Winter Garden Festival

Plants are said to respond well to music, so the tropical greenery of the Winter Garden is in for a real treat this weekend.

Classical Sheffield are putting on a two-day showcase of some of the city’s many talented musicians and singers on Saturday and Sunday.

Around 100 performers from 25 of the city’s best classical music groups will be appearing at the Classical Sheffield Winter Garden Festival.

The ideas behind it is to give visitors to the city centre the opportunity to explore and discover wonderful music throughout the weekend.

The programme is packed with a diverse line-up of classical music, from choral groups including Sheffield University Chamber Choir, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Sheffield Bach Society to ensembles like Sheffield Youth Orchestra and Sheffield Flute Choir.

Soloists will include violinist Lucy Phillips, pianist Sharon Leech and guitarist Tom McKinney.

Sheffield City Opera will be giving an up-close-and- personal demonstration of powerful, rousing operatic singing, while Platform 4, a group of local composers, showcase forward-thinking and inspiring works.

Vocal group Sinsontes will perform some enchanting Cuban and Hispanic folk songs.

Organiser Fraser Wilson of Classical Sheffield said: “One of the most important things we want to do is to provide an opportunity for live music and people to meet in everyday situations.

“And the Winter Garden is the perfect space for such surprise encounters!

“The word classical can be off-putting for some, so by bringing it out of the concert hall and into the city, where it is still every bit as enjoyable, we really want to challenge that perception.”

Performances begin at 10.30am on Saturday with Sheffield Bach Society and continue in 20-minute segments until Endcliffe Brass perform at 6pm.

Sheffield City Opera perform from 6.30pm to 7pm.

On Sunday, events start at 11am and continue until Vintage Voices take their final bow at 4pm.

The Winter Garden Festival will be followed next year by the second Classical Sheffield Festival of Music, with a wide range of Sheffield’s venues hosting a programme of music from within the city and further afield on March 17 to 19.

Highlights of the March festival will include a celebration of the life and work of Pierre Boulez organised by the University of Sheffield, and the UK premiere of John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Sky for 48 cellos, drawing on talent from across Yorkshire to participate,.

There is also a spectacular mass choral concert to be performed by hundreds of local singers.

Classical Sheffield is a collaborative venture between partners including Music in the Round, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, University of Sheffield, Tideswell Singers, Hallam Choral Society, Making Music and Sheffield City Hall.

They are all working together to promote classical music events in the city, both professional and amateur.

Further information on the organisaton and an overview of what’s going on in the city’s classical music scene can be found at the website, Classical Sheffield