Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus enjoyed a full season for 2022-23, an especially exciting season for a number of reasons. First, the Sheffield International Concert Season was back in full swing, and the Chorus was thrilled to join the Halle, Manchester Camerata and Black Dyke Band for concerts at Sheffield City Hall. Classical Sheffield celebrated its 10th anniversary in March 2023, and the Chorus co-presented Mahler’s magnificent Resurrection Symphony as a wonderful finale to Festival Weekend 2023. The same evening saw the the announcement of the winner of the Stella Jockel Young Composer Competition, presentation of prizes and premiere performance of the winning work by Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Hallam Choral Society. Read more about the competition. The season kicked off with an opportunity to see the Chorus ‘up close and personal’, with a wonderful mix of songs by English composers at St Mark’s Church, Broomhill, and came to a stupendous end with Verdi’s magnificent Requiem, with the Halle and Leeds Festival Chorus.
Saturday 12 November 2022 at 7.30pm at St Mark’s Church Broomhill
An Evening with English Composers
Following the very successful Rachmaninov concert last season, audiences will have another chance to see and hear the region’s foremost mixed voice choir ‘up close and personal’ in the beautiful setting of St Mark’s Church, Broomhill. Conducted by Darius Battiwalla, with Alex Woodrow on the organ, the Chorus will sing works by English composers Finzi, Delius, Coleridge-Taylor, Dove and Parry.
Gerard Finzi’s God is gone up was written in 1951 for a St Cecilia’s Day Service at St Sepulchre’s Church in Holborn. An anthem of praise, it stretches the organ’s resources and has rightly become an integral part of the choral repertoire.
Song to be sung of a summer night on the water is one of two songs composed by Frederick Delius in 1917. The wordless piece is sung in six-parts, unaccompanied.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s The Lee Shore is set to a text by Thomas Hood, while Summer is Gone is a setting of a poem by Christina Rossetti, featuring lush romantic harmonies and striking dynamic expressiveness. The highly chromatic lines are extremely challenging.
Jonathan Dove’s Seek him that maketh the seven stars is a setting of Psalm 139 featuring a beautifully crafted dialogue between organ and choir. In his own words ‘The anthem begins with a musical image of the night sky, a repeated organ motif of twinkling stars that sets the choir wondering who made them. The refrain ‘Seek him’ starts in devotional longing but is eventually released into a joyful dance, finally coming to rest in serenity.’
Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell is a set of six choral motets composed during the First World War when a number of his composition students were being killed in action. The songs are thought to reflect Parry’s wish to escape the violence of war. There is an old belief was sung at his funeral in St Paul’s Cathedral in 1918, and the first performance of the complete work was at his memorial service in 1919.
Tickets for this concert were available online (see button below), from Chorus members and on the door on the night.
- Finzi: God is gone up
- Delius: To be sung of a summer night on the water
- Coleridge-Taylor: Summer is gone
- Coleridge-Taylor: The Lee Shore
- Organ solo – Ethyl Smyth: Chorale Prelude on “Erschienen ist das herrliche Tag”
- Jonathan Dove: Seek Him that maketh the seven stars
- Organ solo – Parry: Fantasia and Fugue in G
- Parry: Songs of Farewell
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus
Conductor Darius Battiwalla
Organist Alex Woodrow
Disabled access, free tickets for carers. Limited parking at the church. Some street parking, disabled spaces near the hospital. Car parks at Q Park on Durham Street, Indigo Parking on Glossop Road, Francis Newton Pub on Clarkehouse Road, Broomhill Rooftop via Spooner Road. H1, 2, 6, 10/10a, 120, 181, 271 and X2 buses stop across the road at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Nearest tram stop is the University, a 10 minute walk away. Bike racks available.
Saturday 17 December 2022 at 2.30pm at Sheffield City Hall
Christmas Carol Concert
Join the Chorus and the world-famous Black Dyke Band at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday 17 December 2022 for a special Christmas programme as part of Sheffield International Concert Season.
The award-winning Black Dyke Band has a rich heritage stretching back many years, and this Christmas celebration is the perfect opportunity to experience its unrivalled pedigree in the glorious brass band tradition, under the direction of Nicholas Childs, Principal Conductor and Director of Music. The Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, directed by Music Director Darius Battiwalla, will present festive favourites, including a selection of carols and songs that the audience can sing along with the choir. Tom Redmond makes a welcome return to Sheffield, to introduce this Yuletide concert of seasonal specials. With a sprinkling of local carols, and the choir and band award-winning version of O Holy Night, this is a Christmas event not to be missed!
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus
Black Dyke Band
Conductors Darius Battiwalla and Nicholas Childs
Presenter Tom Redmond
Saturday 4 February 2023 7pm at Sheffield City Hall
Caroline Shaw’s Music in Common Time
Manchester Camerata and Music Director Gábor Takács-Nagy are joined by Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus for a performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s gorgeous and exhilarating Music in Common Time, which is followed by Mozart’s Symphony No.36, a masterwork written at the height of his career and completed in just four or five days. The South Korean pianist Klara Min’s “Brilliant playing … intuitive musicianship” (Classic FM) will come to the fore as she takes centre stage for a performance of the only piano concerto written by one of the most talented, yet overlooked, composers of the era, Clara Schumann. Opening the concert is the overture to Genoveva, the only opera written by her husband, Robert Schumann.
- Schumann – Genoveva Overture
- Clara Schumann – Piano Concerto
- Caroline Shaw – Music in Common Time
- Mozart – Symphony No.36 in C major ‘Linz’
Manchester Camerata and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus
Gábor Takács-Nagy conductor
Klara Min piano
Sunday 19 March 2023 7pm at Sheffield City Hall
Mahler Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection)
The Chorus is especially excited to be co-presenting Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, known as the Resurrection symphony, with colleagues from Hallam Choral Society, Hallam Sinfonia and Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra. Classical Sheffield has been celebrating classical music makers across the Sheffield region with the aim more music, more people, more places. Conducted by George Morton, the concert features soprano Ella Taylor mezzo Anna Harvey, two wonderful singers of rising national and international importance.
One of the festival themes is collaboration, and this magnificent work, loved by choirs, orchestras and audiences the world over and presented entirely by local music makers, will form a truly fitting finale to Classical Sheffield’s 10th anniversary Weekend Festival.
An extra treat before the interval will be the announcement of the winner of the Stella Jockel Young Composer Competition, presentation of prizes and premiere performance of the winning work by Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Hallam Choral Society. The competition aims to support young composers from Sheffield and is funded by part of a generous legacy bequeathed to the Chorus by Stella Jockel, Sheffield teacher and vicar’s wife, who sang alto with the choir for over 50 years. Read more about the competition.
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Hallam Choral Society
Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra and Hallam Sinfonia
George Morton conductor
Anna Harvey mezzo soprano
Ella Taylor soprano
Tickets were available online on the City Hall website, at the City Hall box office, or at the door on the night
Sunday 18 June 2023 7pm at Sheffield City Hall
Following last year’s successful collaboration with Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, the Chorus is pleased to be joined again by the Leeds Festival Chorus and the Hallé, to present Verdi’s Requiem, composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, a writer and humanist whom Verdi very much admired. Initially the work was controversial because of Verdi’s overt operatic approach to a sacred text: he responded to every nuance of the words, such as the spine-chilling Dies irae and the thrilling double-fugue of the Sanctus. It’s a technically demanding tour-de-force and one Sheffield audiences have been waiting for, for over three years. The original cast from that delayed concert have reassembled and Sofi Jeannin will lead this star line-up, the Hallé and the massed voices of the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Leeds Festival Chorus in this powerful and deeply felt season finale.
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Leeds Festival Chorus
Sofi Jeannin conductor
Claire Rutter soprano
Rosie Aldridge mezzo-soprano
Sam Furness tenor
David Shipley bass
Tickets were available online on the City Hall website