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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Sheffield Chamber Music Festival

Sheffield Chamber Music Festival is one of the city's annual musical delights, exploring the joy and delight that chamber music can bring to every possible audience. Its ethos is one of inclusivity, of making music for people to enjoy, and most importantly, of enjoying making music with people. Resident group Ensemble 360 are passionate in their mission to make what might sometimes be thought of as highbrow classical music accessible to everyone, and where better to do so than in the friendly environment of the Crucible Studio.

With over 25 concerts across nine days, the 2019 programme is incredibly varied and features everything from rush-hour concerts to discussions to family-friendly shows, with music from the 1700s to the present day.

Highlights include a whole Sunday centred on string music from around the world at Yellow Arch, featuring a folk workshop and the story of the lesser-known musical background of Noor Inayat Khan, a wartime secret agent and the first female radio operator in Nazi-occupied France – all fuelled by Indian street food. Also in the programme is Shiva Feshareki, who uses her trademark turntabling techniques to manipulate vinyl recordings of all kinds of music into something entirely new. On top of that there'll be an afternoon of animal-inspired music and poetry, music of the Apocalypse, and even a standup comedy show all about classical music.

See the full programme below and get booking. Tickets are just £5 for most concerts for first-time attendees and under-35s – see details.

Studio Lates: The End of Time

Fri. 10 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A profound 20th-century masterpiece, inspired by the visionary language of the Apocalypse.

Rhapsody

Fri. 10 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Join Ensemble 360 for the opening concert of Sheffield Chamber Music Festival, as they weave a story that travels from melancholy to joy.

Studio Lates: Shiva Feshareki

Sat. 11 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

In the surround sound of the Crucible Studio, Shiva Feshareki will use her trademark turntabling techniques to manipulate music, from classical to club, into new forms using only the original vinyl material.

Out of the Shadows

Sat. 11 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Ensemble 360 presents a tempestuous collection of music for strings, piano and winds, including Elgar’s greatest chamber music work.

All Classical Music Explained

Sat. 11 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A stand-up comedy show with a difference from Rainer Hersch.

Giddy Goat Family Concert

Sat. 11 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A musical story for families following the trials and tribulations of Giddy, a young mountain goat who is scared of heights.

Chamber Folk Strings Day

Sun. 12 May 2019

Yellow Arch Studios

Outstanding folk musicians Sam Sweeney and Miranda Rutter lead this one-off workshop, using English folk music to introduce participants to chamber music-making.

String Quartets

Sun. 12 May 2019

Yellow Arch Studios

Three string quartets performed by Sheffield's resident musicians Ensemble 360 and Music in the Round's Bridge Quartet.

Kamalbir Singh

Sun. 12 May 2019

Yellow Arch Studios

Chance to listen to a master of traditional Indian music at work and hear him discussing his craft with Charles Ritchie of Talking Gigs.

The Story of Noor Inayat Khan

Sun. 12 May 2019

Yellow Arch Studios

The story of the musical life of the remarkable Noor Inayat Khan, who also worked as a radio operator in the Second World War – told with musical interludes.

Leveret and Hugh Lupton

Mon. 13 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A special one-off performance interweaving Hugh Lupton's masterful storytelling and irresistible tunes from the English tradition.

Meet the Musicians: Adrian Wilson

Mon. 13 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A recital on the theme of figures from Greek legends, from a world-class oboe player.

The Lady and the Dragon

Mon. 13 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Stories in words and music with expert storyteller Hugh Lupton and Sheffield's chamber musicians Ensemble 360.

The Blackbird

Tue. 14 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Ensemble 360 presents enchanting Mozart, Messiaen's mesmerising representation of the song of the blackbird, and one of the finest works of Romantic chamber music: Brahms's glorious Piano Quintet.

Meet the Musicians: Juliette Bausor

Tue. 14 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading flute players, Juliette presents a wonderful selection of music – starting with Poulenc’s Sonata, a classic of 20th-century flute repertoire.

Romances & Quartets

Wed. 15 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

An evening of music and poetry. Sheffield's resident chamber musicians Ensemble 360 and actor Henry Goodman present TS Eliot's Burnt Norton from The Four Quartets and music by Beethoven, and Robert and Clara Schumann.

The Audience

Wed. 15 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Actor Henry Goodman and broadcaster Paul Allen join the musicians from Ensemble 360 for conversation and performance, including Wendy Cope's witty collection of poems set to music by Roxana Panufnik.

Meet the Musicians: Naomi Atherton

Wed. 15 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Beethoven and Haydn are among the composers to feature in Naomi's friendly recital.

Meet the Musicians: Amy Harman

Thu. 16 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A short, informal concert, introducing a bassoonist with Ensemble 360, English National Opera and the Aurora Orchestra.

Stephen Hough

Thu. 16 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Voted one of Classic FM’s top 25 greatest pianists of all time, Stephen Hough returns to the Crucible Studio for Sheffield Chamber Music Festival.

Round-table: Johannes Brahms

Fri. 17 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A panel of musicians, broadcasters and professors attempt to unravel this famously prickly composer.

Clara and Agathe

Fri. 17 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Sheffield's resident chamber musicians Ensemble 360 perform this Friday afternoon rush-hour concert featuring Brahms's glorious Sextet in G for strings.

Serenade

Fri. 17 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Folk-inspired melodies abound in Dvořák’s popular American string quartet, performed by Ensemble 360 alongside two gorgeous works by Brahms.

Meet the Musicians: Matthew Hunt

Fri. 17 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Meet one of world's top clarinettists – a charismatic performer, renowned for the vocal quality of his playing.

Animal Antics

Sat. 18 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A relaxed Saturday afternoon of music inspired by the animal kingdom, alongside animal poetry narrated by actor, writer and musician Matthew Bugg.

Songs and Stories of Albion

Sat. 18 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

A warm-hearted and transporting hour of music-making from Fraser Wilson and friends, including fresh takes on timeless folk songs such as Greensleeves and Scarborough Fair.

Trout

Sat. 18 May 2019

Crucible Theatre

Mozart, Sibelius and Schubert's much-loved Trout Quintet all feature in this joyous finale of Sheffield Chamber Music Festival.