Live Music: Sizzling new season

Musician Sarathy Korwar, who combines traditional Indian sounds and instruments with jazz
Musician Sarathy Korwar, who combines traditional Indian sounds and instruments with jazz

The new University of Sheffield concert season spans cutting-edge composers, Schubert, world music and Broadway.

The season is split into Global Soundtracks, Sound Laboratory, Song Makers and Forged in Sheffield.

Stewart Campbell works as artistic director for University of Sheffield Concerts.

He said Sound Laboratory is the contemporary music section, Song Makers looks at the relationship between music and text, Global Soundtrack introduces world artists and Forged in Sheffield showcases city talent.

The academic year-long programme of 75 concerts runs from October to June.

Stewart said: “Global Soundtracks takes you on a whistle-stop tour around the world of music. We’re very fortunate in Sheffield to be where some great folk artists live, such as Avoca, the Melrose Quartet and harmonica player Will Pound.

“They are the starting point and we will also have fiddle music from Norway and Sweden.”

The university’s world music performer in residence, John Ball, is a specialist in Indian music, playing and teaching tabla and santoor.

John joins Sarathy Korwar on stage on October 17.

A classical tabla player, percussionist and composer, Sarathy combines traditional music with jazz.

Next spring, performers from Haiti bring percussive dance music based on voodoo traditions to Sheffield.

Sound Laboratory features associate artists the Ligeti Quartet, leading British performers of modern and contemporary music.

They appear on October 24 in a programme including Bach, Stravinsky and contemporary composers such as Joanna Bailie, George Nicholson and Sofia Gubaidulina.

One concert features 24 music speakers surrounding the audience, who sit in darkness as sound moves around.

A Sound Laboratory discovery weekend showcases brand new music created by Sheffield composers, based both at the university and elsewhere.

Stewart said: “Often, when you go to classical music concerts, you have a sandwich of Bach and Mozart and they stick a new piece of music in the middle.

“That’s absolutely fine but that almost feels like an apology for the new music. We put it at the forefront of everything we do.”

He said that four world-class composers work at the university music department. “It brings that expertise out into the city as well.”

A professional tenor, Stewart said Song Makers is close to his heart. It features Schubert, “one of the greatest songsmiths ever to have lived, making songs at the centre of the human psyche”.

Three concerts from the Leeds Lieder Festival take place on October 15, November 21 and February 13.

On November 5, English Touring Opera are joined by singers from around the city of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

Next March, Ensemble 360 will join the season for a weekend of celebration of French song, featuring Debussy, Poulenc and Ravel.

Forged in Sheffield highlights include a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Broadway hit musical The Music Man. The unviersity’s Dr Dominic McHugh explores the show and 10 songs cut from the show that he rediscovered will be performed.

Details of the season, taking place in Firth Hall, are released on September 4.

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