Monthly Archives: July 2013

Transformations film published!


Following on from my post a couple of weeks ago about Transformations in schools, and a couple of long late nights later, here’s the finished film!

What do you think?

Something new, something old and something…Christmassy Sheffield Autumn Series 2013

I was going to write about our Autumn Series highlights but I’m finding it impossible to choose so here’s a bit about everything…

Let’s start with our wonderful Ensemble 360 who is playing, as ever, both pillars of the repertoire from the likes of Brahms, Dvorak and Mendelssohn as well as embracing other composers that always demand to be heard. I’m personally very much looking forward to their first concert of the season which marks Lutoslawski’s 100th birthday and Wagner’s 200th birthday – if you don’t know Lutoslawski’s Dance Preludes you should definitely check it out!

We’re excited to be joined by Sheffield-based acclaimed author Marina Lewycka to explore why music is such a compelling international language. Born in a refugee camp in Germany, she moved to England at a young age. Her first novel, the unusually titled A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian became a hit in 2005 and three more books have followed since.


Continuing with the Sheffield-based talent; we’re incredibly privileged that Peter Hill has chosen Sheffield to give the world premiere of a newly discovered Messiaen work which he has completed from its incomplete original manuscript. This is ground-breaking work and Peter has kindly agreed to share more about his process in a lecture earlier in the season. Look out for more in the music press and listen out to BBC Radio 3 (who will be recording the concert) in the lead up to the premiere.


Then, moving away from the local genius, we move overseas to Beethoven. Whilst Tim embarks on the homeward journey with the fifth out of eight concerts in his magnificent Beethoven Piano Sonata series, the Elias Quartet take the maiden voyage in a six-concert series of Beethoven String Quartets – well, you can never have too much Beethoven. We’re delighted to welcome them back to what we’ll always see as their home.

Working in partnership with the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, we’re looking forward to welcoming their 2012 winners, the Arcadia String Quartet, to Sheffield. This will be part of their first ever UK tour and one of their short pieces will be MitR’s first introduction to the music of Adrian Pop, a composer from the Arcadia’s home country of Romania.

And that takes us to Christmas (well, there are only 158 shopping days left to go!) and The City Musick launch us head-first into the festivities with traditional Christmas songs and instrumental music from the 17th to 19th centuries.


And all that without even mentioning the incredible Music in the Community work that’s happening as part of the series; Stan and Mabel schools and family concerts, Music Box children’s workshops, Lads, Dads and Grandads vocal workshop and a string masterclass. But more about those anon.

A transforming experience!


We’re coming towards the conclusion of a new schools project, Transformations. Working in partnership with the Showroom Cinema here in Sheffield, it’s based on the concert of the same name that took place back in May at our Festival, a centrepiece of which was the commissioned film by Katie Goodwin that went alongside Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid. The new project similarly sought to combine film and music, challenging the children to come up with their own creative responses to the ideas of changing and reflecting.


Over four weeks, the project leaders (more of whom shortly) worked with sixty Year 3 pupils at Watercliffe Meadow Primary School, in north-west Sheffield, on producing new pieces of film, artwork, and music. We chose two of the movements, Phaeton and Narcissus, on which to base our activities. Amongst other things, we
▪ created colourful portraits that mirrored emotions, feelings, moods…
▪ composed and recorded music that reflected, raced, transformed…
▪ invented and filmed songs and actions that we knew would tell the stories visually, and
▪ (especially popular) used Scalextric to come up with appropriate sound effects!

Now begins the task of editing it all into a brand-new film! (I’m anticipating a few late nights coming up…) Excitingly, the finished work will be shown at the Showroom’s children’s film festival Showcomotion later this month, and we’ll be posting it online as well. Watch this space. And we hope to roll the project out to other schools as part of the touring programme that begins this autumn.


What a great collaboration! Polly and I were really pleased that so many people were involved: Polly and myself, Katie Goodwin and Adrian Wilson, Emma-Jayne Russell, teachers from Watercliffe Meadow Judi Cliff, Alexandra Holland and Claire Bradley – and of course nearly sixty sparky, inventive creative artists of the future!

by Fraser, Education & Outreach Assistant [ @frasermitr ]

We join the blogosphere!

This morning we take our first steps into the world of blogging. There’s always so much to talk about at Music in the Round, with our busy programme of concerts, workshops, visits, projects, talks, commissions, masterclasses, tours…







We’ve decided to start writing a blog in order to share some of the many things that go on here all the year round. There will be postings from all of us here in the office, plus regular appearances from guests including members of Ensemble 360, other artists, partners, and who knows who else?! We’ll always be pleased to hear back from you with comments, questions, ideas – responses of any kind. Hopefully, this will give you a new window into Music in the Round, and us a new way of talking about what we do.

Oh, and come and join us some time! is your first port of call.