Friday, 24 March 2017

Manchester Collective and Salford Choral Society's Tom Newall

There are new faces in classical music these days, and tomorrow two are in evidence on the same night.

The Manchester Collective is a new group of musicians, all principal players from the Aurora Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which began a series at Islington Mill, Salford, last month. Live-streamed, it garnered 16,000 views.

The next concert is called ‘Intimate Letters’, performed tomorrow night at Islington Mill and again on Sunday afternoon at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester.

The music is Janacek’s String Quartet no. 2 (‘Intimate Letters’), with world premiere performances of a song cycle by Huw Belling called Inside Mr Enderby, based on the Burgess novel. Baritone soloist is Mitch Riley, an Australian opera singer now based in Paris.

Artistic director of the Manchester Collective, Adam Szabo (also their cellist), says: “Our aim is to bring a greater breadth of top-tier, live chamber music to the north west. This area is incredibly rich in orchestral terms, but we don’t get the range of chamber music they have down south.

“Our marketing is all online: we engage audiences through social networking. We’ve some exciting guest artists planned for our next season, and we’re planning for bigger venues.”

The Collective commissioned the song cycle from Huw Belling: Adam calls it ‘a sort of series of character studies of an Alan Partridge-type character – Mitch Riley is a singer who specializes in physical theatre.”

Meanwhile in Manchester (the RNCM), Salford Choral Society presents its first concert with new musical director Tom Newall since his appointment last November. Tom is a musical entrepreneur in his own right, having started the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra in the city three years ago – now it has a regular series for ‘Young Explorers’ at the RNCM and is working in music education in Manchester and Lancashire.

He guest-conducted Salford Choral Society last year and was invited to be their musical director immediately afterwards. “They’re friendly, open and eager to learn,” he says. “We’re beginning to make long-term plans together.”

Tomorrow’s programme features Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, in the original version for two pianos and percussion (and with Salford Children’s Choir), Brahms’s ‘Song of Destiny’ and Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, with an ensemble led by Piccadilly Orchestra principal Pete Mitchell.

The pianists are Roderick Barrand with Benedict Kearns in the Orff and with Tyler Hay in the Bartok.

Manchester Collective founders Rakhi Singh, Adam Szabo and Simmy Singh

Tom Newall

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