World of Strings, an ongoing exploration of stringed instruments from around the globe and the music played on them, is launched by Music in the Round in its autumn series of concerts in Sheffield.
It remains to be seen how the project develops, especially with the ever-increasing amount of what is termed ‘world music’ being presented exclusively at concerts.
All genres are featured – classical, jazz, folk, as well, and there is every indication that fusion will be an element. Also, that string instruments will not have the stage entirely to themselves.
The second of the first two ‘WoS’ concerts in the season (18th November) from Sheffield’s acclaimed global music collective, Rafiki Jazz, provides clear evidence of this with the inclusion of Caribbean steelpans and kawala flutes among other exoticisms.
More conventional instruments, although perhaps not among percussion items, are heard 24 hours earlier at the star-studded opening concert (17th November) of the World of Strings project, ‘Strad in Rio’.
Other than percussion, violin, cello and guitar to be precise, including the world-renowned Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova and a celebrated cellist who is no stranger to Sheffield having been born here, Matthew Barley, who happens to be ‘Mr Mullova’.
Paul Clarvis is the distinguished percussionist and, while unable to speak for João Luis Nogueira Pinto, there is no reason to doubt the Brazilian guitarist’s credentials in this company, least of all as the music (of the popular variety) is from his country.
Another stellar visitor – in fact, a long time returnee! – in the season is pianist Imogen Cooper (14th October) with a programme of Beethoven, including Sonata No 31, Haydn and Thomas Adès.
A much quicker returnee is the Van Kuijk Quartet (28th October) with Debussy, Mendelssohn: Op 44 No 2, and Akira Nishimura: String Quartet No 2 – Pulse of the Lights, at Upper Chapel.
At the same venue, the Marmen Quartet ends it tenure (21st October) on Music in the Round’s ‘Bridge Quartet’ scheme with Mozart, Haydn and Brahms.
The Leonore Piano Trio continues its survey of the complete violin sonatas, cello sonatas and piano trios by Beethoven (11th November) and the trio’s pianist, Tim Horton, launches in to another cycle, Schubert’s major piano sonatas over four concerts (2nd December).
All three musicians will be on duty when Ensemble 360 gets the season underway on the 9th of October with a Schubert string quartet: No 11, Berio: one his 14 solo Sequenzas, Mahler and Korngold: Piano Quintet.
Two further ensemble concerts take in Coleridge-Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet, Fauré’s Piano Quintet No 1 and the first performance of a work, commissioned by Royal Philharmonic Society, by Patrick Brennan (8th November).
The other (29th November), features more Berio – another Sequenza, Beethoven, Mozart and Dohnányi’s jolly Sextet for violin, viola, cello, horn, clarinet and piano.
There are also three attractively planned Thursday lunchtime concerts at Upper Chapel from individual ensemble members.
Roderick Williams hosts a seasonal concert at Upper Chapel (16th December), which also involves Sheffield Young Singers and Sheffield-born mezzo-soprano Anna Harvey of ever-increasing note.
For jazz aficionados, the Jason Rebello Trio (1st December), in association with Sheffield Jazz, is a must and all the concerts take place in the Crucible Studio, except as noted.
Full details of the season can be found at www.musicintheround.co.uk