The vibrant nine-day Festival is held in Sheffield’s intimate Crucible Studio Theatre, an extraordinary and unique in-the-round space that brings audiences to within an arm’s length of the musicians.
Started in 1984 by leader of the world-renowned Lindsay String Quartet, Peter Cropper, it now centres around the extraordinary versatility of the eleven musicians of Sheffield based Ensemble 360. They’ll perform in 15 concerts of around 20 concerts and events over the nine days in May, joining to form duos, trios, string quartets and wind quintets in myriad combinations.
This year well over a third of the music to feature in the Festival is written by living artists and female composers past and present, including the world premiere of The Light Blinds, a new RPS commission by Angela Slater (Saturday 21 May).
Music in the Round’s first live Festival in two years opens on Friday 13 May with the world class musicians from Ensemble 360 performing works including Dvorak’s joyous Piano Quintet No.2 and is followed by an invitation for all concert-goers to enjoy a free drink after the concert.
Joined by soprano Ruby Hughes & pianist Joseph Middleton (Thursday 19 May), Ensemble 360 delves into songs for chamber ensemble, including Helen Grime’s Bright Travellers cycle, exploring pregnancy and early motherhood through the achingly beautiful poetry of Fiona Benson, Respighi’s Il Tramonto – setting Shelley’s The Sunset – and songs by Ives.
Further visiting artists include the rising-star guitarist Sean Shibe (Wednesday 18 May) and superstar folk singer Karine Polwart teams up with pianist/composer Dave Milligan (Tuesday 17 May). A late-night experimental performance in Sheffield’s Site Gallery by Bastard Assignments (Thursday 19 May) continues Music in the Round’s Sounds of Now series, curated by Tom McKinney and launched by Elaine Mitchener and Apartment House in Spring 2022.
Ensemble 360 concludes their survey of Beethoven’s String Quartets, including his final String Quartet No.16 and pianist Tim Horton also performs his final three Piano Sonatas Op.109-111 on Wednesday 18 May and Friday 20 May.
Two family concerts open and close the Festival, including the enchanting story of intrepid young inventor, Izzy Gizmo (Saturday 14 May), presented by Aga Serugo-Lugo at SADACCA.
Guest Festival Curator Helen Grime said:
“It’s been a huge pleasure and honour to be guest curator of the 2022 Sheffield Chamber Music Festival. I’ve had lots of fun, working with Ensemble 360, putting together programmes of music I love, finding connections between old and new music and threading through various themes that are close to my heart.
Each concert features the music of at least one female composer, including overlooked gems from the last few hundred years, as well as more recent pieces and a world premiere.
"I’m very excited to be welcoming some of the most distinguished musicians working in the country as guest artists, and I hope audiences will enjoy meeting them, as well as seeing Ensemble 360 back in their Festival home, the Crucible Studio Theatre.”
Tickets to Sheffield Chamber Music Festival are now on general sale. These can be purchased from www.musicintheround.co.uk, or from Sheffield Theatres box office in person, or by calling 0114 249 6000.