Truls Mørk, one of the greatest living cellists, takes centre stage with his hometown ensemble, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and their new leader Edward Gardner at Sheffield City Hall next week.
Thursday’s concert is the latest in the current Sheffield International Concert Season.
Mørk, who was also named this season as artist in residence with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, visits the City Hall with the orchestra as part of a European tour that also includes appearances at London’s Cadogan Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
The award-winning performer is soloist in Elgar’s much loved Cello Concerto, a moving, life-affirming piece born from the great composer’s distress at the events of World War One.
Mørk has previously recorded it to critical acclaim with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
The Elgar Cello Concerto forms part of Mørk’s impressive recording output, alongside many of the great cello concertos, for which he has been recognised with international honours including Gramophone, Grammy, Midem and ECHO Klassik awards.
In 2009, Mørk expressed concern that he may never perform again during a period in which he was sidelined by a rare and debilitating form of encephalitis that paralysed his shoulder muscles.
However, he made a full recovery and successfully reignited his career as one of the world’s leading concert cellists, awarded the 2010 Sibelius Prize on his return to the stage.
The concert opens with the Lyric Suite by Edvard Grieg, himself a native of Bergen and one-time artistic director of the Bergen Philharmonic.
Grieg is now considered a figurehead of Norway’s national identity.
Walton’s Symphony No 1 provides the evening’s stirring finale.
A dramatic, galvanising experience, there are few people in the world who know it better than conductor Edward Gardner, whose recording of the piece with the BBC Symphony Orchestra was widely praised.
Gardner became chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2015, leading them during their 250th anniversary season.
He previously enjoyed a successful eight-year spell as music director of English National Opera, presenting a series of stellar productions.
During his time leading the ENO he was awarded the 2008 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Best Conductor and the 2009 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
In June 2012 Gardner was recognised with an OBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
A rare Thursday night concert in the City Hall’s grand Irwin Mitchell Oval Hall, the show offers the opportunity to punctuate the working week with a night of timeless music performed by world-class musicians.
Tickets, starting at £5 for students and under 18s, are available online at sheffieldcityhall.co.uk, over the phone on 0114 2 789 789 and in person at the Sheffield City Hall box office.