Review: Halle Orchestra starts new Sheffield concert season in style

The Sheffield International Concert Season opened in style with a night of gorgeous music from the Halle and guest cellist Laura van der Heijden (pictured).
Cellist Laura van der HeijdenCellist Laura van der Heijden
Cellist Laura van der Heijden

The orchestra, conducted by Karl-Heinz Steffens, and the young performer collaborated on a very engaging performance of Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B Minor.

The interplay between the orchestra and the performer showed a beautiful sympathy for the moving work and Laura van der Heijden's playing was wonderfully expressive and assured with a lightness and delicacy of touch.

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The evening started on a more strident note with Sibelius' urgently-paced piece, Lemminkainen's Return, one to really get the heart racing.

In the finale, Brahms' Symphony No 4 in E Minor, the flute and clarinet players shone out in an all-round excellent performance, richly deserving of sustained applause and the conductor's huge smiles.