VIDEO - University of Sheffield Concert Season 2013: a note from Concert Director Stewart Campbell

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Welcome to the Autumn 2013 Concert Season at the University of Sheffield.

This autumn we continue our ‘A Boy Was Born’ programme of events celebrating the centenary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten. Alongside a superb series of concert performances from our civic partners Department of Music students are working with the city’s only professional opera company Steel Opera on a production of Britten’s brilliantly creepy chamber opera ‘Turn of the Screw’. Earlier on Utter:Jazz provide an innovative and fresh take on some of Britten’s best loved vocal works, beautifully re-imagining Britten songs within a kaleidoscope of jazz and world music and interspersed with readings of WH Auden poetry by actor Roger Lloyd Pack. Towards the end of the season Ensemble 360 conclude our series of Britten string quartets performing ‘String Quartet No.1’ alongside Debussy’s ‘String Quartet in G minor’ an elaborate tapestry of colour and timbre and the sublime, folk influenced Herbert Howells ‘Fantasy String Quartet’.

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To launch the season we’re thrilled to welcome back to the series one of today’s finest early music groups. The Rose Consort of Viols perform a mixture of sumptuous motets, exquisite consort songs and intricate instrumental pieces by Tallis, Byrd, Parsons and their contemporaries with countertenor Rory McCleery in ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold.’

It is a tremendous privilege to be able to feature some of the biggest names in folk music in ‘The Full English’. Fay Hield, Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls perform songs and tunes showcasing discoveries from the world’s biggest digital archive of English traditional folk music, a new resource based on research by Dr Fay Hield of the Department of Music.

Internationally acclaimed percussionist Joby Burgess brings us a lavish audio feast in ‘Powerplant’. Including music by Steve Reich and Gabriel Prokofiev ‘Powerplant’ is an inspiring collaboration with sound designer Matthew Fairclough and visual artist Kathy Hinde where the worlds of minimalism and electronica collide.

Singing features prominently in our Autumn Season. Our Chamber Choir present ‘Picture and Portraits’ featuring music by Brahms and Debussy with Finnish chamber choir Kaamos. We’re delighted also to present the soloists from English Touring Opera and period instrument orchestra the Old Street Band who team up with Sheffield Cathedral Choir for an evening of Handel’s Italian Vespers including the extravagant, virtuosic, extrovert and daring choral masterpiece, ‘Dixit Dominus’. Finally towards the end of the season following the success of last season’s ‘Goldilocks’ Department of Music students present another classic Broadway musical in concert – Jule Styne’s ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’.