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LEEDS TOWN HALL Tickets: 0113 376 0318 leedsconcertseason.co.uk

Radical human experiences through live music

Following Manchester Collective’s highly successful debut season, Leeds International Concert Season is delighted to welcome back this sought-after ensemble to lead us on another voyage of sonic discovery.

Bursting onto the music scene in 2017, the Collective’s trademark thrilling performances, allied with daring programming and a brazen approach to convention, have seen them reach more than 300,000 people across their first three seasons. Recently described by the Yorkshire Post as a ‘powerful, moving, and extraordinary’ addition to the UK music scene, Manchester Collective produces world-class, innovative, and outward-facing musical experiences for new audiences across Britain.

Each concert will be presented in an intimate space in Leeds Town Hall, with audiences and musicians seated together on the stage of the Victoria Hall, or in-the-round in the Crypt. We want you to be up close and personal with the music. Like us, the members of the Collective have all built their lives around music, and passionately believe in its power to move and excite. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned concert-goer, or if it’s your first time. We don’t care if you don’t know your Beethoven from your Brahms, or your Biber from your Bieber. The only thing we ask of you at these concerts is that you listen. Really listen. And in return, the Collective will create something extraordinary.

The craziest, most mental, intense, dark and passionate piece of art I’ve ever witnessed. Maddest night sober I’ve ever spent TWITTER USER

This group is much more than the hardest-working musicians you could encounter. They are Alchemists. Enchanters. Engineers. Storytellers NORTHERN SOUL

Victoria Hall

Thu 26 September 2019, 8pm


Sirocco is pure joy and energy – a great storm of music that celebrates the warmth and diversity of folk traditions from across the globe. This is music for the people, by the people; music that will raise the hairs on your arms and bring a great big smile to your face.



Rakhi Singh violin

Sollima Lamentatio

Simmy Singh violin

Lawes Aire in C

When we toured this show in 2018, critics called it a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ and our audiences were dancing in the aisles. Now, we open our 2019/20 Season with this joyous revival – sixteen shows across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Switzerland.

Ruth Gibson viola

Trad Click Song

We’re thrilled to welcome back Abel Selaocoe as Guest Director – he’s a friend, a colleague, and most of all, a completely inspiring artist who stands alone as an utterly unique, mesmerising, musical voice. Abel will be joined by Sidiki Dembele and Alan Keary from Chesaba, and of course, by the string quartet of Manchester Collective.

Sidiki Dembele African percussion

The show covers everything from Selaocoe’s outrageous arrangements for solo cello to beloved classics by Stravinsky and Haydn; from a set of original African folk to a collection of gorgeous Danish folk songs. Adam Szabo, Manchester Collective

Abel Selaocoe guest director and cello Alan Keary electric bass

Haydn Quartet Op 76, No 1: ii Adagio Sostenuto Trad Ibuyile (South Africa) Trad Echa monati (South Africa) Stravinsky Concertino Trad Old Reinlender from Sonndala (Denmark) Trad Little One Mine (Ghana) Trad O Fredik, O Fredik (Denmark) Purcell Excerpts from The Fairy Queen Trad Takamba (Mali)

Victoria Hall

Thu 28 November 2019, 8pm

The Centre is Everywhere

His music is a breath on the wind. His music is light dancing on water. His music is a lover’s whisper in the dead of night. It is both beautiful and strange. This season, we’re very proud to be touring a new work by Edmund Finnis. It’s called The Centre is Everywhere, and we gave the first ever performance of it in summer 2019, at the Southbank Centre in London. Now, we’re bringing this mysterious and beautiful object on tour, to be performed in seven cities by the full Manchester Collective lineup – eleven solo string players.



Edmund Finnis composer

Ligeti Métamorphoses nocturnes

Rakhi Singh solo violin Manchester Collective string orchestra

Vivaldi Four Seasons Finnis The Centre is Everywhere (Touring Premiere) Strauss Metamorphosen

Alongside Edmund’s ‘iridescent and compelling’ music (The Guardian), the show also features an unholy mashup of Ligeti’s Métamorphoses nocturnes and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, performed by our very own Rakhi Singh. We close the show with Richard Strauss’ devastating Metamorphosen – a piece of music written by an old, dying man during the last months of the Second World War. The piece is an elegy for Europe.

Metamorphosen is a piece we’ve wanted to play for a long time – it’s a real ‘Mount Everest’ for string players – and we can’t wait to share it with you in this, our largest and most ambitious programme to date. Adam Szabo, Manchester Collective

Our commission of The Centre is Everywhere by Edmund Finnis is kindly supported by the PRSF Foundation’s New Music Biennial

The Crypt

Fri 24 January 2020, 8pm

Ecstatic Dances

Poul Høxbro has been called ‘the great man of small instruments’. He’s an endlessly fascinating and inspiring musician – a Danish master of ancient flutes and bells, of bones and drums. As soon as we met him, we knew we had to work with him. While we were building the show, we had a moment when we realised that this combination of instruments has literally never been heard before. The set that we are presenting is all new – terrifyingly, inkbarely-dry new. Ancient music, brought vividly to life for 21st century ears. Rounding out our artistic team for the project is composer Paul Clark, who will be writing new music for the show. Paul makes his Manchester Collective debut fresh off the back of a hugely successful collaboration with Renee Fleming and Ben Whishaw at The Shed in New York. We’re thrilled to have him along for the ride. Full disclosure – Ecstatic Dances feels scary for us. New work is always frightening, mostly because until you start making it, you never really know what you’re going to end up with. Fortunately, we’re not particularly fond of being comfortable. Come join us on tour. Let’s get risky. Adam Szabo, Manchester Collective



Ecstatic Dances created by Poul Høxbro and Manchester Collective

We’re still making it!

Paul Clark composer Poul Høxbro pipes and drums Manchester Collective string quintet

Victoria Hall

Thu 12 March 2020, 8pm

Cries and Whispers

Our string quartet concerts are some of the most personal shows that we build. There’s something about that particular lineup which feels terrifyingly intimate – like there’s a direct connection between each of the four players, and every listener in the room. There is darkness in this programme. Widmann’s Chorale Quartet is inspired by the seven last words of Christ on the cross – his string music is augmented by unsettling sounds of rubbing and scratching that evoke skin and bone on wood. Britten’s music emerges from a mist: fragile, lost, and precious. We perform some intensely expressive and sacred music by Carlo Gesualdo, an Italian musical genius hundreds of years ahead of his time. Finally, we conclude with the huge emotional impact of Shostakovich’s Eighth String Quartet, a biographical scream written by a man desperate to create, haunted by fear and political oppression. This music will move you if you let it – it will scare you and inspire you. Adam Szabo, Manchester Collective



Manchester Collective string quartet

Widmann String Quartet No 2 (Choralequartett) Britten String Quartet No 1 Gesualdo Selected Madrigals Shostakovich String Quartet No 8

Victoria Hall

Thu 23 April 2020, 8pm

Voice of the Whale

In 1969, George Crumb heard a tape recording of undersea sounds emitted by a humpback whale. The experience never left him, and eventually inspired one of his most enigmatic pieces of music: Vox Balanae, or, Voice of the Whale. It’s a perfect Manchester Collective piece, performed under blue light by anonymous, masked musicians, on instruments that are amplified and modified. It’s music from another world, an undersea world that audiences will experience on stage, together with our players. Alongside Vox Balanae, we perform newly commissioned music by Alex Groves, Molly Joyce’s exuberant High and Low for solo piano, electro-acoustic madness from Andrew Hamilton, and selections from Erich Korngold’s swashbuckling piano trio. Adam Szabo, Manchester Collective In association with ‘Nature Unwrapped’ at Kings Place



Alex Groves composer

Joyce High and Low

Manchester Collective ensemble

Groves New Work (World Premiere) Korngold Piano Trio: iii Larghetto iv Finale Hamilton In Beautiful May Crumb Vox Balanae

Victoria Hall

Thu 25 June 2020, 8pm

Enescu Octet

Quite simply, we’ve put a bunch of our favourite music into this show. Rather than sticking to a single theme or composer, in this programme we get the chance to show off our musical range – to flex our muscles as we get up close and personal with some of the greatest music ever written. This show takes us from focussed and intense works for just one instrument (Bach’s G Major Cello Suite), to the huge combined string sound of Enescu’s String Octet; from the shape-shifting Koan by James Tenney to the haunting Modlitwa, a musical prayer by father-daughter compositional team, Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik. For the last time this season, we’ll be touring our trademark ‘radical human experience through live music’ to concert halls, warehouses, clubs, and factories all over the UK. In the words of Stephen Pritchard, music critic for the Observer: ‘Catch it if you can – the future has arrived.’ Adam Szabo, Manchester Collective



Manchester Collective string octet

Bach Cello Suite No 1 Panufnik Modlitwa Tenney Koan Tavener The Lamb Enescu String Octet



Tickets: £20.67 Over 60s: £1.50 off Under 18s, full-time students, unwaged: 50% off

Our facilities include:

All prices quoted are inclusive of a 6% booking fee.

Box Office: 0113 376 0318 Leeds Active Map_85x85_D3_VECTOR.pdf www.leedsconcertseason.co.uk



1 Wheelchair viewing spaces and Essential Companion seats. Please contact the City Centre Box Office to discuss available options for specific performances, any access requirements, or our Essential Companion scheme.


1 Level access to the Town Hall is available via the City Centre Box Office entrance, to the right of the main entrance on The Headrow. 1 Lift to stalls and gallery areas. (Please be aware that the Leeds Town Hall lift cannot be used for evacuation purposes. Seats should only be booked if independent evacuation via the stairs in case of an emergency is possible.) 1 Accessible toilets are provided on stalls and gallery levels. 1 Baby changing facilities are available in the stalls and gallery level accessible toilets. 1 Lower counter points are available at the Box Office and in the Brodrick Bar. 1 Support dogs are welcome. 1 Designated on street Blue Badge Parking can be found nearby on Oxford Place, Alexander Street, Rossington Street and Portland Crescent. Blue badge holders can also park on street in any ‘general’ Leeds City Council controlled pay and display bays (i.e. bays which are not Blue Badge bays) on their Blue Badge, free of charge without a time limitation. Please be aware that parking is not available at Leeds Town Hall.

This brochure is available in alternative formats. Please call us on 0113 378 6600 for more details.

Leeds International Concert Season Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD Tel: 0113 378 6600 Email: music@leeds.gov.uk

Box Office: 0113 376 0318 Book online and explore at www.leedsconcertseason.co.uk @LeedsConcerts LeedsInternationalConcertSeason

Whilst every effort is made to avoid changes, Leeds International Concert Season reserves the right to change artists and programmes without notice if unavoidable.

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Manchester Collective 2019/20  

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