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Sheffield International Concert Season 2022

Sheffield International Concert is set to return to Sheffield City Hall, marking the 90th year since first performing at the prestigious venue. Eight performances spanning from January to June will be appearing on the Oval Stage.

After a challenging year, the Sheffield International Concert Season is set for a welcome return to Sheffield City Hall.

Sheffield City Hall will be welcoming a truly unbelievable lineup of concerts over the next six months, including Manchester Camerata, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, The Halle, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Philharmonic, Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk, and Leeds Festival Chorus.

Manchester Camerata & Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus – 15 January 2022

The first concert is set to begin on 15 January 2022, as part of its 50th birthday celebrations, Manchester Camerata welcomes two stellar soloists and the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus onto the stage to perform Fauré’s Requiem. This humble, unassuming setting possesses musical charm that ensures it is adored around the world.



Well known to Sheffield audiences, Darius Battiwalla performs Poulenc’s dramatic Organ Concerto, a work noted for its creative use of the instrument and intricate orchestrations that simply burst with energy. The concert opens with one of Saint-Saëns’s most popular works, his comical suite, The Carnival of the Animals. The novel use of two pianos as well as the full orchestra really brings this zoological fantasy to life.

The Halle – Friday, 28 January 2022

Although he’s never combined them before in a concert, Sir Mark loves conducting these two works by Debussy and Rachmaninov, which were both composed in the first decade of the 20th century. Debussy had a life-long love of the sea, finding the impetus for his three impressionistic symphonic sketches, La mer, in the painting of the Japanese artist Hokusai – his iconic image of a huge wave – as well as the seascapes of Turner.



Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony is arguably the finest achievement of the composer’s middle period works and is a magnificent monument of late-Romantic Russian music. It’s full of memorable, long-breathed, beautifully scored melodies, tinged with melancholy, so characteristic of the composer.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – 19 February 2022

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is a trail-blazing ensemble that does things a little differently. Performances, given on original period instruments, are as their composers would have imagined them and this concert showcases riches from the Baroque period.

 

These days Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and their contemporaries are heard less often in large concert halls than on air, in recordings or even on film soundtracks. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience some of the best-loved pieces ever composed from this era, all presented with a fresh storyline by the players from the stage.

Royal Northern Sinfonia – Saturday March 2022

The Royal Northern Sinfonia opens this wonderful concert with Ravel’s luminous dance suite, Le Tombeau de Couperin, a work dedicated to the memory of friends killed in battle during the First World War. Then RNS conductor laureate Thomas Zehetmair and viola soloist Ruth Killius dance, joke and pour out their very souls in Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, before we hear the rarely performed Entr’actes from the composer’s sole incidental dramatic music, Thamos, König in Ägypten.


The concert draws to a close with another seldom-heard work, Saint-Saëns’s Second Symphony. By the end of this concert, you’ll wonder why we don’t hear these works more often!

The Halle – 18 March 2022

A programme of music with America at its core, conducted by Rodolfo Barráez, who makes his first visit to the Hallé since excelling in the inaugural Siemens-Hallé International Conductors Competition in 2020.

Gershwin’s portrait of an American enjoying the sights and sounds of Paris, complete with car horns, is followed by the Violin Concerto of Austrian émigré Korngold, incorporating melodies from his lush scores for Hollywood movies. It’s played by Ning Feng, International Tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, and winner of the 2006 Paganini Competition. Jennifer Higdon’s City Scape is her evocation of Atlanta: here, in the slow movement, its creeks and parks. Bernstein’s dynamic symphonic dances were expanded from his music-theatre classic, in which Shakespeare’s ‘star-crossed lovers’ are relocated to New York.

BBC Philharmonic – 08 April 2022

The BBC Philharmonic continues the season-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth with a performance of his ‘London’ Symphony. One of the English composer’s most evocative and atmospheric creations, this symphony is an imaginative and colourful portrait of the bustling capital in the years before the First World War.


Conductor John Wilson opens this concert with a work by another 20th century English composer; Edward Elgar’s vigorously excited and lusciously romantic stroll around the city of London. Louis Lortie, a pianist with over three decades experience, will no doubt relish the luxurious solos in Ravel’s G major Piano Concerto, a work with a song-like slow movement of breath-taking beauty.

The Halle - 05 May 2022

Jonathan Bloxham joins the Hallé for a concert that celebrates music by Czech composers. In the words of the great Czech conductor Vacláv Talich, Dvorák’s Eighth Symphony “sings of the joy of green pastures, of summer evenings, of the melancholy of blue forests, of the defiant merry-making of Czech peasants.” Vltava, from Smetana’s masterful symphonic poem Má Vlast, is a beautiful musical impression of the rolling river that passes through the city of Prague and the folksong inspired Suita Rustica by Vítězslava Kaprálová is filled with moments of innocent exuberance and exquisite lyricism.


Sergio Castelló López, the Hallé’s Principal Clarinet, takes the solo role in Mozart’s serene concerto. Written for the hugely respected 18th century clarinettist Anton Stadler, Mozart tailored the work to exploit the musician’s virtuosity, celebrated singing tone and love of the instrument’s rich, lower register.

Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk – 27 May 2022

Described by The Independent as ‘simply spectacular’, British violinist Jennifer Pike is the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, one of the best-known in the repertoire. At his death, Borodin’s magnum opus Prince Igor was still unfinished even after 18 years of work! Having heard it played so often by Borodin at the piano, after his death, using the composer’s sketches and his memory, Glazunov was able to reconstruct the piece.


Thomas Sanderling and the Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk will delight us with the whirl of perpetual motion and swooning melodies in Glinka’s Valse fantaisie which precedes Shostakovich’s relatively short and modest Ninth Symphony, bringing to mind marching toy soldiers.

The Halle with Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Leeds Festival – 11 June 2022

The final concert of the season celebrates home-grown talent with works by three British composers.

Opening the concert are Britten’s brilliantly realised Sea Interludes, that act as clever scene changes from his post-war opera Peter Grimes, telling the dark tale of the cantankerous and misunderstood fisherman. Next is Thomas Adès’s brilliantly orchestrated showstopper, Inferno, described by the LA Times as ‘a sizzling, cracking whip of a piece'.


The full vocal forces of the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and the Leeds Festival Chorus come together with the Hallé and baritone Benedict Nelson under the direction of Finnegan Downie Dear for Walton’s dramatic cantata, Belshazzar’s Feast. First performed at the 1931 Leeds Festival, the richly orchestrated music is strongly rhythmic and reflects the composer’s interest in jazz and other popular music. A truly fitting finale to this fantastic season.