FOR my third survey of the coming season in Manchester classical music, I’m focussing on smaller-scale events, including our two city-based chamber orchestras.
Manchester Camerata is absent from the Bridgewater Hall except for its New Year concerts, but has plenty to offer in other venues. Its concerts with music director Gábor Takács-Nagy begin with two of Daniel Schnyder’s versions of rock classics (Sympathy For The Devil and Purple Haze) as well as Holst, Vaughan Williams, Haydn and Mozart (RNCM, September 24), continue with an all-Mozart programme – including two piano concertos played by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (RNCM, March 2) – and finally, at Manchester Cathedral, there’s Haydn, Mozart, Philip Glass and the world premiere of Colin Riley’s Double Concerto For Two Cellos (June 8, soloists Guy Johnston and Gabriella Swallow).
Violin superstar Henning Kraggerud is both composer and performer in Equinox, a special programme for Manchester Science Festival, on October 16 at the Albert Hall, and the ‘Upclose’ series presents three rising star pianists: Alexander Ullman (The Whitworth, November 17), Emanuel Rimoldi (HOME, February 2), and Iyad Sughayer (Manchester Cathedral, May 2).
The Northern Chamber Orchestra performs mainly outside Manchester, and its series at Macclesfield Heritage Centre is always worth the trip. Soloists this season include violinists Chloe Hanslip (October 8) and Matthew Trusler (January 14), horn player Naomi Atherton (February 18), and pianists Steven Osborne (March 4 – this programme includes Anthony Gilbert’s lovely Another Dream Carousel) and BBC Young Musician winner Lara Melda (May 13).
Groups appearing at the Bridgewater Hall include The Sixteen with the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Harry Christophers (October 28), the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge (December 13), and Gidon Kremer with his Kremerata Baltica (March 24).
And recitalists in the International Concert Series there are legendary violinist Kyung Wha Chung, Paul Lewis (piano), guitarist John Williams, with John Etheridge and Gary Ryan, bass-baritone Sir Willard White with the Brodsky Quartet, and organist Wayne Marshall.
The Royal Northern College of Music’s programme is bursting with goodies: I’ll pick out the recital by the great bass singer Sir John Tomlinson – who’s to become the college’s President next year – with David Owen Norris, piano, on November 17. Its theme is ‘Michelangelo in Song’, and the music’s by Britten, Wolf and Shostakovich. Later there’s the James Mottram International Piano Competition, from November 28 to December 3, and the world premiere of Luka’s Winter, by Tim Garland, for narrator, chamber orchestra and big band on December 14.