The lively nine-day festival takes place in the intimate Crucible Studio Theater in Sheffield, an extraordinary and unique circular space that puts the audience within arm’s length of the musicians.
It was created in 1984 by the leader of the world-renowned Lindsay String Quartet, Peter Cropper, and now focuses on the exceptional versatility of the eleven musicians who make up Sheffield-based Ensemble 360. They will perform in 15 concerts out of around 20 concerts and events across the nine Meetings in May for duos, trios, string quartets and wind quintets in countless combinations.
This year, well over a third of the festival’s music will be written by living artists and composers, past and present, including the world premiere of The Light Blinds, a new RPS commission from Angela Slater (Saturday 21 May).
Music in the Round’s first live festival in two years begins on Friday, May 13 with world-class musicians from Ensemble 360 performing works such as Dvorak’s upbeat Piano Quintet No. 2, followed by an invitation to all concertgoers, followed by a free drink to enjoy The concert.
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Accompanied by soprano Ruby Hughes and pianist Joseph Middleton (Thursday, May 19), Ensemble 360 delves into songs for chamber ensemble, including Helen Grime’s cycle Bright Travelers, in pregnancy and early motherhood through the achingly beautiful poetry by Fiona Benson, Respighi’s “Il Tramonto”, explores Shelley’s The Sunset – and songs by Ives.
Other guest artists include up-and-coming guitarist Sean Shibe (Wednesday, May 18) and superstar folk singer Karine Polwart, who joins forces with pianist/composer Dave Milligan (Tuesday, May 17). An experimental late night performance at 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 directed by Elaine Mitchener and Apartment House in Spring 2022 was called to life.
Ensemble 360 completes its review 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.
Two family concerts open and close the festival, including the enchanting story of the intrepid young inventor Izzy Gizmo (Saturday 14 May), presented by Aga Serugo-Lugo at SADACCA.
Guest Festival Curator Helen Grime said:
“It has been my great pleasure and honor to be Guest Curator of the 2022 Sheffield Chamber Music Festival. I’ve had a lot of fun working with Ensemble 360, putting together programs of music I love, finding connections between old and new music, and threading my way through various topics that are close to my heart.
Each concert features the music of at least one female composer, including overlooked gems from the past few hundred years, as well as more recent pieces and a world premiere.
“I am delighted to welcome some of the country’s most respected musicians as guest artists, and I hope audiences will enjoy meeting them and welcoming Ensemble 360 back to their home of the festival, the Crucible Studio Theatre see.”
Tickets for the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival are now on general sale. These can be purchased from www.musicintheround.co.uk or in person at the Sheffield Theater box office or by telephone on 0114 249 6000.