Peter Hill to perform at The Leipzig Years Weekend Festival
Music in the Round Spring Season, Sheffield: 19 – 21 February 2016
Peter Hill, 19 February, Crucible Studio, Sheffield, 7:15pm. Box Office 0114 249 6000
Following Music in the Round’s bestselling Autumn Season since 2001, the Sheffield-based chamber music promoters return to the Crucible Studio later this month, with ‘Mendelssohn and Schumann: The Leipzig Years’, 19 – 21 February 2016. This weekend festival of classical music, presented in the uniquely intimate surroundings of the Crucible Studio, is dedicated to the highly-charged, often turbulent chamber music of Robert Schumann in combination with the ever-youthful compositions of Felix Mendelssohn.
The weekend features music from an extraordinary range of composers linked to Mendelssohn, Schumann and the city of Leipzig. Opening the festival is one of Britain’s finest pianists and Sheffield-resident, Peter Hill, who will beperforming pieces by JS Bach. (Mendelssohn crucially revived interest in Bach’s music when he gave the first public performance in almost 80 years of his St Matthew Passion).
Hill will present key compositions from Bach’s time spent in Leipzig, including a selection of his captivating French Suites. Hill is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s finest interpreters of Bach, and his latest CD, which features the French Suites he is performing, was released to great critical acclaim at the beginning of this year.
Over the course of three days, Sheffield’s superb resident chamber group Ensemble 360 present a selection of music that explores Mendelssohn and Schumann’s participation in the musical life of the city, from the moment they first met there in October 1835. Their influence was extraordinarily far reaching: Mendelssohn founded the famous Conservatoire and also directed the renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra; while Schumann found love in the city, marrying the young composer and piano prodigy Clara Wieck.
Among the musical highlights of the weekend are performances of Mendelssohn’s stunning Song without Words for cello and piano (Friday 19 February, 9pm) and Schumann’s magnficent Piano Quintet Op.44. (Sunday 21 February, 3pm), as well as Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio Op.49 and his String Quartet Op.80 (Saturday 20 February, 7.15pm).
Music by the Sheffield-born composer William Sterndale Bennett, a regular visitor to Leipzig and championed by both Mendelssohn and Schumann, also features over the weekend. To coincide with the English composer’s bicentenary year, Ensemble 360 are performing his exuberant Chamber Trio as part of a 1 hour lunchtime concert (Saturday 20 February, 1.30pm).
Supporting events include a symposium, led by three eminent guest speakers Laura Tunbridge (University of Oxford), Timothy Baycroft (University of Sheffield) and Julian Horton (University of Durham), as well as a lecture illustrated by musical examples from Ensemble 360.
In a very new departure for Music in the Round, the festival also extends beyond the walls of the Crucible Studio, for some live chamber music recitals in John Lewis Sheffield on the Saturday morning (20 February, 11am – 2pm). While school children will also be given the opportunity to explore some of the great music from the 18th and 19th centuries in a sell-out schools’ concert led by BBC Ten Pieces presenter Andy Smith and featuring members of Ensemble 360 on the Friday afternoon (18 February,1.30-2.30pm).
Music in the Round’s Artistic Director Angus Smith comments:
“Our annual Spring weekend festival this year features not one, but two great composers, Mendelssohn and Schumann… And as with any great film, there is an extraordinary supporting cast and backdrop without which this story cannot be fully told - including the inspirational figure of JS Bach, the music students who flocked to Leipzig and the rumblings of approaching political dissent.”
Ticket prices start at just £5. To book please contact Sheffield Theatres Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or visit www.musicintheround.co.uk
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