The Crucible’s Studio Theatre hosts 25 chamber music concerts over nine days this May as part of the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival, offering intimate and exciting classical repertoire performed to an audience in-the-round.
Resident chamber group Ensemble 360 and resident singer Roderick Williams will be joined by guests including harpist Catrin Finch, kora player Seckou Keita and pianist Peter Hill – as well as Oxford University mathematics professor Marcus du Sautoy, a familiar voice to Radio 4 listeners – for the festival, which is presented by Music in the Round – the largest promoter of chamber music outside of London.
Read our picks from the festival’s programme:
Ensemble 360 opens the festival (11 May, 7pm) with Mahler’s Piano Quartet in A minor and his Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen (featuring Roderick Williams), plus Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. This evening’s double bill will also see Williams perform the final part of his Schubert song cycle Schwanengesang, accompanied by pianist Iain Burnside (8.45pm).
Things get minimal the following night, thanks to Steve Reich’s influential Electric Counterpoint and New York Counterpoint (12 May, 9.30pm), played by Tom McKinney on guitar for the former and Matthew Hunt on clarinet for the latter. Both pieces will feature the soloists performing against pre-recorded tracks of themselves to produce Reich’s signature phasing.
Harp and kora combine later on in the festival, meanwhile, as two leading lights on their respective instruments, Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, continue their work together to perform music from their second collaborative album, Soar. The record is the Welsh and Senegalese musicians’ follow-up to 2013’s Clychau Dibon, which featured in many of that year’s album of the year charts.
Elsewhere, Professor of Mathematics Marcus du Sautoy and Liverpool composer Emily Howard host an afternoon round-table discussion of the connections between music and maths (17 May, 2pm) – with Ensemble 360 performing extracts from Bach, Debussy, Bartók to help demonstrate their findings. The event will also feature Four Musical Proofs and a Conjecture, a set of miniatures for string quartet, written by Howard in collaboration with du Sautoy.
Later the same day, pianist Peter Hill performs Bach’s The Goldberg Variations (17 May, 8.30pm). The concert – which will be preceded by a talk featuring Hill and Marcus du Sautoy – marks the release of Hill’s interpretation of the keyboard masterpiece the following day on the Delphian label.
Dziga Vertov’s 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera – part documentary and part cinematic art – is the subject of Laurène Durantel’s performance at the festival (18 May, 8.30pm). Double bassist, pianist and singer Durantel will perform her improvised accompaniment to the film at the Showroom Cinema, a short walk from the Crucible Theatre, as part of the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.
With other highlights of the programme including Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, Sheffield Chamber Music Festival promises to be a whirlwind of intimate performances within the popular Crucible Studio. Discover the full programme and book tickets via the link below.