x A Look Ahead...
Just a Note
Ensemble 360 Emmanuel Methodist Church Friday 15 June, 7.30pm A sports-themed programme which celebrates the forthcoming Olympic Games, featuring a new commission by US composer Stephen Montague and pieces by Ravel, Bizet, Philip Glass, Schein, Janáček and Caplet
Kuljit Bhamra, Jacqueline Shave & John Parricelli Doncaster Civic Friday 9 May, 8pm Parampara: A unique collaboration of classical, jazz and Indian music
… Actress Maggie Steed answers our questions… Do you have a favourite piece of music? Four Last Songs by Schubert. Who is your favourite playwright? Chekhov. What’s your favourite place in the world? Anywhere on Dartmoor. What do you like to do in your spare time? Walk my dog. If you hadn’t become an actor, what do you think you would have chosen as a career? A journalist (honest and brave of course). In one sentence sum up your average working day. Learning lines, rehearsing and trying not to bump into the furniture.
Maggie Steed plays Winnaretta Singer in In Princesse de Polignac’s Salon on Saturday 12th May, in which she and Ensemble 360 transport the audience to the Paris salon: a centre of hedonistic social and artistic life, an exclusive world inhabited by Fauré, Debussy and Stravinsky as well as Proust, Diaghilev, Isadora Duncan, Jean Cocteau, Virginia Woolf and many others.
Ensemble 360 & Anna Olejnicki Doncaster Dome Thursday 7 June, 1.30pm Warm up for the Olympics: A free participatory event which explores the joys of keeping fit to classical music Ensemble 360 Priory Place Methodist Church Saturday 16 June, 7.30pm A sports-themed programme which celebrates the forthcoming Olympic Games, featuring a new commission by US composer Stephen Montague and pieces by Ravel, Bizet, Philip Glass, Schein, Janáček and Caplet Ensemble 360 Priory Place Methodist Church Saturday 30 June, 7.30pm Saint-Saëns, Françaix, Glinka & Rimsky-Korsakov
May Festival 2012: Les Nations Crucible Studio Theatre Friday 11 – Saturday 19 May Fanfare! St Mark’s Church, Broomhill Thursday 21 June, 6pm A project with Royal Opera House and Sheffield Young Singers MitR in Sheffield Children’s Festival 26 June - 4 July A range of concerts and workshops across Sheffield Plus more concerts on tour around the country, as well as a variety of talks and Q&As.
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May Festival Lunch
Don’t forget to book your place at the Paris-themed May Festiva l lunch at Sheffield City Hall Ballroom on Sunday 13th May. Places are £8.45 each, are limited and must be booked in advance. For more information or to book contact Daisy on 0114 291 4660 or email@example.com.
Friends Newsletter ’
page one Ma y Festival page two Ou r New Associ ate Composer | On Tour 201 2-13 Staff News | News on Fri en ds page three A Bolt from th e Blue Friends’ Eve nt page four M ay Festival L unch Just a Note | A Look Ah ead
Les Nations: The Extraordinary Musical Life of Paris It is rare that a single word has the capacity to evoke the sheer range and diversity of images that arise when the name ‘Paris’ is mentioned. The lure of great sights, ancient and modern, such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Pompidou Centre, is strong. The elegant fashions, the enticing patisseries and the glorious brasseries are feasts for the eyes as well as other senses. And in their own way, the less savoury aspects of the city – the surly attitude of some Parisians, the lurking dangers when crossing the streets, and even the unfortunate prevalence of dog mess – all contribute to the ambience. Whatever ones view though, it is hard to deny that Paris is almost synonymous with flare, sophistication and style and that these attributes are readily manifested in the city’s great musical life. This year’s Music in the Round May Festival sets out to capture the atmosphere of this great city and we are choosing to do so in a particular way, from the perspective of both native-born citizens and visitors from foreign shores. We are casting a light on the mix of French and non-French musicians from the early eighteenth century right through to the 1950s (though we could with equal justification have started back in the thirteenth century and carried on into the twenty-first!). The chamber music of French greats such as Fauré, Debussy and Ravel is presented side-by-side with an extraordinarily diverse range of music by foreign composers who spent significant
periods of time in Paris, including Chopin, Liszt, Rossini and Stravinsky. A number of concerts in the Festival have extra dimensions which we believe will greatly enhance the musical experience. On Saturday 12th May we welcome the brilliant actress Maggie Steed who will, in the guise of the famous Americanborn Parisian hostess Winnaretta Singer, introduce us to the exclusive salon world inhabited by Proust, Diaghilev, Isadora Duncan, Virginia Woolf, Colette and many others. The concert includes music commissioned by and dedicated to Winnaretta, including the famous Pavane by Maurice Ravel. The following day (Sunday 13th May), Sheffield City Hall Ballroom will be transformed into a grand Parisian café. The wonderful Ensemble 360 (complete with French double bassist Laurène Durantel) will present morning and afternoon concerts with music ranging from the French baroque royal court to the infectious energy of pieces by Milhaud and Poulenc. In between there is an opportunity to savour a fabulous two-course French lunch, accompanied by accordionist Phuong Nguyen, and two participatory activities. Wine expert Joe Fattorini will lead a tasting session of five top quality French wines, and UK Amateur Champion Bill Newby will offer instruction in tango dancing for dancers of all ages and abilities. On Friday 18th May the Studio Theatre will become, temporarily, a Paris nightclub. Ensemble 360 lead
off with jazz-inspired music by Ravel, Stravinsky and Gershwin before passing on the baton to celebrated singer Tina May for a mix of music by Cole Porter, Gershwin and the songs of Edith Piaf. Other motifs run through the Festival, such as a celebration of the role of women in French music (supported by an exhibition at the Crucible Archive), and we even have a small competition for our final-night audience. The scene is set for this to be an exhilarating and slightly mad week but we believe this is entirely fitting for our theme: following the première of a certain famous piece by Stravinsky in 1913 the Musical Times wrote “Rumours have circulated that the famous author of Le Sacre du Printemps has suddenly gone insane and has been shut up in a Petersburg asylum.”
Angus Smith Artistic Director
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On Tour 2012-13
Dates are starting to go into the diary for our 2012-13 touring season and we thought you’d like a brief preview of what we have on offer. Following the huge success of taking the semi-staged version of Intimate Letters (premiered in our last May Festival) on tour, Ensemble 360 is taking a version of this year’s In Princesse de Polignac’s Salon programme (to be premiered on Saturday 12th May, Sheffield) on the road. Ensemble 360 is also touring a programme of Beethoven, Mozart and Britten which will include the first commission by our new Associate Composer, Charlie Piper, along with opportunities to meet Charlie and get to know more about both the man and his music. The wonderful Heath Quartet joins us for its first Music in the Round tour with a programme of Mozart, Tippett and Tchaikovsky. Celebrating their twentieth birthday in 2013, the fabulous Onyx Brass, who some of you may have caught in Sheffield in February at The University of Sheffield Concert Series, tour a programme rooted in the Renaissance. Sticking with early music, the extraordinary lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and her group Theatre of the Ayre present a glorious selection of Dowland’s most personal and direct songs to celebrate his 450th anniversary. And finally, the remarkable and incredibly versatile violinist Thomas Gould, who most of you will know from Britten Sinfonia or Aurora Orchestra, is creating a brand new project for us. Working with New York-based pianist and composer Kristjan Randalu and German cellist Stephan Braun he will take the audience on a journey from the Baroque to contemporary via their own compositions and arrangements. The programme will include Bach, Corelli and Pärt. We are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to bring these three musicians together under one roof. There will also be the usual opportunities for venues to build on the concert programme with masterclasses, workshops and children’s concerts, including Music in the Round’s second commission from our Children’s Composer in Residence, Paul Rissmann. We also have exciting news about the following year. We’re delighted to announce that we’ve developed a long-term partnership with the Wigmore Hall’s London International String Quartet Competition to create more performance opportunities for its competition winners. Starting with the winners of the 2012 competition (the final of which is on 1st April) each winning group will tour with us in the following touring season.
Staff News Our Education & Outreach Manager Polly Ives will be taking a six-month sabbatical between April and October. She will be based in London, working with and observing other education and outreach projects led by orchestras, ensembles and cultural venues in the UK and abroad including the Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with an aim to continue to develop the exciting work of Music in the Community. She will also be involved with the Living without Limits scheme at Dorton House School for the Blind and at a school in Southwark who are taking part in a project with the Ministry for Sound. She will still be appearing as a freelance narrator and workshop leader alongside Ensemble 360 in the May Festival, at the Sheffield Children’s Festival and on the national tour of The Chimpanzees of Happytown.
News on Friends We are delighted to announce that, following the questionnaires we sent you and the focus groups that some of you very kindly took part in, we are re-launching the Friends scheme this month. We want to make sure you are all aware of and happy with the changes we’ve made, so we will be sending you a letter explaining the changes, along with a new form should you choose to alter your donation. We’ll also have a Friends’ stand at the May Festival, to encourage people to become Friends. If you’d be happy to volunteer at this stand, and spread the word about the Friends’ scheme at concerts, contact Daisy on 0114 281 4660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Bolt from the Blue We hope you have managed to hear Stephen Montague’s fantastic piece Bolt from the Blue, commissioned by Music in the Round for Ensemble 360 to celebrate the forthcoming Olympic Games, either at the Sheffield danceworkout or in its concert premiere. In advance of Ensemble 360’s tour around the country which features Bolt from the Blue, Stephen told us how the commission came about and what this project is all about… I’ve known Angus for over twenty years, initially as a fellow member of a contemporary vocal music ensemble, Singcircle (directed by Gregory Rose), with whom I worked as both the sound technician and a composer. In the 1980s and 90s we often toured together and since then have kept in touch, played tennis a couple of times together, and seen each other from time to time at concerts. With Singcircle Angus had sung and recorded a work of mine called Tigida Pipa which required the singers to both sing and play woodblocks and claves at a very fast “athletic” tempo. I think this experience made him think of me in terms of a commission for the run up to the 2012 Olympics. Angus’s phone call to me was ensconced in our mutual interest in sports. The project he had in mind involved something athletic and I have to admit that I was not immediately drawn to it. But Angus, as ever, was convincing, cogent, and won me round to this interesting project. I was introduced to dancer and choreographer, Anna Olejnicki, who was handed the project baton. She and I met and talked about how this might work in a senior adult exercise class. We discussed shape, tempos, accelerations, warm downs, and the like. As a little further research I attended an advanced exercise class in London near my studio. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I was hardly able to walk the next day.
What an experience! Great research and inspirational for trying my hand at writing a so-called “classical” piece of new music for this unusual format. ` For whatever reason Costas faded from the project and I was left to complete my part of the project by being introduced to dancer and choreographer, Anna Olejnicki, who was handed the project baton. She and I met and talked about how this might work in a senior adult exercise class. We discussed shape, tempos, accelerations, warm downs, and the like. As a little further research I attended an advanced exercise class in London near my studio. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I was hardly able to walk the next day. What an experience! Great research and inspirational for trying my hand at writing a so called “classical” piece of new music for this unusual format. What I like about the past thirtyeight years as a freelance composer is trying to rise to a commissioned project you would have never thought of doing before the phone rang. This was one of them. A real challenge to do something that can be both an exercise piece in a gym choreographed by someone like Anna and also be performed on a concert stage in a classical programme. By complete contrast I have just finished directing a large John Cage “happening”, a Musicircus at English National Opera (The London Coliseum) with 145 performers
covering the five floors of the opera house with singers, instrumentalists, dancers, actors, acrobats, two choruses, and even a university academic reading a scientific paper on mushrooms (Cage loved mushrooms). As I said earlier this project, like the one for Ensemble 360, is the joy and excitement about being a freelance composer in the early twentyfirst century. Stephen Montague
Ensemble 360’s tour includes danceworkout events and concerts at Bradford-on-Avon (29 April), Doncaster (7 & 16 June), Scarborough (14 June), Barnsley (15 June), Portsmouth (29 June) and Milton Keynes (22 July).
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Thursday 19 April, 5.45pm Ensemble 360 room Sheffield City Hall Ball
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Celebrate days until the Olympics with and fun way to keepa new fit!
Wednesday 18 April , 6.30pm Warm up for the Olym pics English Institute of Sport - Sheffield Get physical and join us for this FREE event, when chore ographer Anna Olejnicki will lead up to 200 people in an aerobics-st yle dance to a brand new piece of music performed live by the dynamic Ensemble 360.
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