Music in the Round’s Autumn Season 2015

Concerts in memory of Peter Cropper; a visit by world famous Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires; Ensemble 360’s 10th birthday – there is a lot happening in Music in the Round’s autumn series of concerts in Sheffield!

Peter had been invited by MitR to devise two concerts in celebration of his 70th birthday in November before he died suddenly at the end of May and they will go ahead, though sadly without his involvement.

The first (18th November) he intended as a family event so invited Martin and Hazel, Adrian Wilson (his son-in-law), among others, to join him for double concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, plus works by Handel and Vaughan Williams.

The second (5th December) hits a more nostalgic note with Benjamin Nabarro sitting in for piano trios by Haydn: No 27, and Beethoven: the Archduke, with Martin Roscoe and Moray Walsh, with whom Peter formed a piano trio over the last ten years.

Sandwiched between them is Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet which welcomes back two old friends from Lindsay Quartet days, Janet Hilton and Louise Williams, with Martin Cropper in the violinist’s chair as Peter intended.

Another returning musician, Ensemble 360’s founding flautist Guy Eshed puts a guest appearance in at the season’s opening concert (26th September), the 10th Birthday Concert featuring Beethoven’s piano and winds quintet Op 16, Martinů’s Nonet No 2 and Elgar’s Piano Quintet.

Other ensemble concerts take in Mozart’s Hoffmeister string quartet, the Adagio from Berg’s Chamber Concerto for violin, clarinet and piano, as arranged by the composer, and the Clarinet Quintet by Brahms (19th October).

Brahms again figures, the Op 25 piano quartet, with Haydn’s Gypsy Rondo piano trio and Ligeti’s Trio for horn, violin and piano – Hommage à Brahms (2nd December), and there are a couple of ‘short-ies’ as part Classical Sheffield’s first Festival of Music, 23rd to 25th October.

Both are on the 24th, the first at 6pm taking in pieces by Huw Watkins, Kurtág, Boulez and Bartók (Third String Quartet), while Dvořák’s Op 77 string quintet occupies the second at 7.20pm.

Concerts from Ensemble 360 members see Tim Horton partnering Gemma Rosefield in works by Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Grieg (Cello Sonata) (6th October); flautist Juliette Bausor in Copland’s Duo, Barber’s Canzone and Dvořák’s Sonatina Op 100 (10th November); and Ben Nabarro in first Brahms violin sonata, Op 78, and second Schubert sonatina, in A minor (23rd November).

All three are lunchtime concerts and violinist, cellist and pianist unite (26th November) wearing their collective, highly regarded Leonore Piano Trio hat to embark on the complete Beethoven violin sonatas, cello sonatas and piano trios.

The first of eight concerts, it features the respective No 1 of each cycle of works.

To finally get round to Maria João Pires – said there was a lot! – who gives the Kurzman Piano Recital (27th November), sharing it with Armenian pianist Ashot Khachatourian, described as “brilliant” and you can believe it looking at his achievements to date.

Maria, who is currently helping him to hone his craft, performs Haydn’s Sonata No 23 and Beethoven’s No 32, and Ashot chips in with Haydn’s No 52 and Beethoven’s No 28.

Another internationally distinguished visitor is Alina Ibragimova who brings her period instrument Chiaroscuro Quartet (14th November) to perform Mozart’s Divertimento K138, Haydn’s Op 20 No 6 and Beethoven’s Harp Quartet.

The Escher Quartet from America offer Mendelssohn’s Op 44 No 2, Zemlinsky’s Op 19 (No 3) and Brahms’ Op 51 No 2 (16th October); and the Marmen Quartet, being mentored by Peter Cropper at the time of his death: Haydn’s Op 103, Beethoven’s Op 18 No 1, Bartók’s No 4 and Two Chansons by Josquin! (2nd October).

Music in the Community has a large presence in the season, including a new Sir Scallywag adventure (4th November), and booking for concerts and events in it opened last Saturday.

Full details for the season, including a folk concert and two for jazz fans can be found at www.musicintheround.co.uk

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