The Brigantes Orchestra brings the magic of dance to Sheffield cathedral

The sound of some of the greatest names in the classical repertoire comes to Sheffield Cathedral as The Brigantes Orchestra returns for a new season of music to get audiences dancing.
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Much loved pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saens and Dvorak fill a programme of timeless favourites that celebrate the magic of dance, including three full ballet scores.

The Brigantes Orchestra, conducted by music director Quentin Clare and sponsored by Sheffield company Neuronatal, is the city’s own professional orchestra and has been performing to critical acclaim at venues across the region since 2019.

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The orchestra returns to the cathedral, its city centre home, on Saturday, December 2, with One Thousand and One, a trip to the Orient that includes Rimsky-Korsakov's iconic Scheherazade, based on the immortal Tales of One Thousand and One Nights.

Brigantes Music Director Quentin Clare - picture by Eduardus LeeBrigantes Music Director Quentin Clare - picture by Eduardus Lee
Brigantes Music Director Quentin Clare - picture by Eduardus Lee

Rising Dutch pianist Aidan Mikdad also plays Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto in a performance that celebrates the composer’s 150th birthday.

The season continues on Saturday March 2 with Apotheosis of the Dance, a double bill of Stravinsky's complete ballet score for Pulcinella and Beethoven’s legendary Symphony No. 7 in A, with its celebrated second movement that has become a cinema favourite, featuring in everything from Oscar-winner The King’s Speech to Sean Connery sci-fi epic Zardoz.

On Friday April 26, the programme has a family friendly vibe with two great favourites for children, Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, his colourful and witty tribute to the animal kingdom, and Lior Navok’s musical setting of Hans Christian Andersen's classic The Little Mermaid.

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The narrator for the evening is soprano Sarah Helsby Hughes, who has appeared with Mid-Wales Opera, Carl Rosa Opera, Lyric Opera Dublin, D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Opera North, Opera Ireland, Pavilion Opera, Focus Opera and Birmingham Touring Opera.

Sarah was most recently seen co-narrating The Brigantes performance of Walton’s Façade, a highlight of the orchestra’s 2022/23 season.

The season reaches its finale on Saturday June 15 with Appalachia, a programme made up of three concert favourites, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No 8 and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto performed by clarinetist Blaž Šparovec, the winner of the prestigious Nielsen Competition in 2019.

“The Brigantes have become an essential and popular part of classical music in the North of England and we believe this new season offers a varied programme of both classics and some less familiar pieces,” said music director Quentin Clare.

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“Our aim has always been to develop innovative programmes appealing to existing audiences but which also bring in young people and those who would not normally visit a concert of symphonic music.

“Sheffield can now very proudly say it has its own resident professional orchestra and as audiences grow with every season, we know there is a genuine thirst for music of this quality.

“And to celebrate our return, we have a special season ticket offer available until the date of the first concert, meaning that you can attend the family friendly performance for free and get a reduction on the main concerts of the season too.”

To find out more about Brigantes Orchestra and its 2023/24 concert season visit

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