Julian Joseph gives rare Classical performance
Julian Joseph, a towering figure in contemporary jazz, gives a rare solo performance at Music in the Round’s May Festival, with a unique rendition of one of Beethoven’s finest works
Beethoven Revisited: Music in the Round May Festival, Sheffield: 6 - 14 May
Julian Joseph, 13 May, Crucible Studio, Sheffield, 9pm. Box Office 0114 249 6000
Music in the Round’s May Festival this year includes a touch of the contemporary as the Sheffield –based music organisation welcomes the globally acclaimed jazz pianist, composer, arranger, band leader and BBC Radio 3 presenter, Julian Joseph to the Crucible Studio Theatre on 13 May. Performing in Sheffield Theatres’ intimate 400 seater in-the-round Studio space for his 5th solo performance in seven years, this is a rare opportunity for audiences to hear Julian Joseph give a completely unique jazz-infused rendition of one of Beethoven’s finest works, his String Quartet in A minor Op.132.
Julian Joseph is a leading figure on the international jazz scene and his musical ideas reflect the eclectic influence from all forms of music. His performances are challenging and experimental and although rooted in the jazz tradition, encapsulate his own unique style. His credentials in the classical world are impressive and include recitals at Wigmore Hall, a repertoire that includes Bartók, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Poulenc, and collaborations with artists such as the acclaimed Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova.
Joseph’s latest performance of Beethoven is born out of complete respect for the composer and promises to be one which comes alive with infectious commitment and passion. On Beethoven’s music, he says: “Usually I think with music that is written for you to interpret, you don't want to touch it or mess with it because the structure is so perfect. But in recent times I've started to actually go into Beethoven pieces that I really like and look for ways to have my own story on them. He is such a soulful, emotional, rhythmical musician, with a really good handle on harmony, and great technique, and he has opened up new territory for me. In Jazz, as we'd say, he's a bad cat!”
Other unusual musical performances to feature in this year’s May festival include the gifted improvising pianist Harry the Piano, on Saturday 7 May, 4pm, whose spontaneous medleys have been known to weave effortlessly between James Bond and Harry Potter to Shostakovich via West Side Story. Kreutzer vs Kreutzer, Laura Wade’s acclaimed play for voices featuring chamber music by Beethoven and Janáček, is also being brought to the Crucible Studio’s stage on Saturday 7 May, 7.15pm. Based on Tolstoy’s tragic novella, this new production, presented in partnership with Sheffield Theatres, stars Sandy Batchelor and Stacey Sampson as the violinist and wife, and is directed by Celine Lowenthal, Resident Assistant Director at Sheffield Theatres.
Further concerts of note in the May Festival include internationally renowned baritone Roderick Williams, Music in the Round’s newly appointed Singer-in-Residence,performing for the first time alongside Ensemble 360 on 8 May. The performance features a major new work by award-winning composer Howard Skempton with words based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic tale of tragedy and salvation, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Ensemble 360 will also be performing alongside the Vertavo String Quartet from Norway, who return to Sheffield 10 years on from their festival debut, while the Newcastle-based Baroque group, the Avison Ensemble will be celebrating some of Beethoven’s most important influences including Handel and Bach on 10 May.
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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