University’s spring concert season explores music, disability, health and wellbeing
The University has announced the new spring concert season, which starts this month, organised by the Department of Music. The season includes a series of events examining links between music, disability and health and wellbeing and features acclaimed artists the Navarra Quartet, Steven Osborne and the Fidelio Trio.
Also on the line-up are concerts and films exploring the role music played in the events of the Egyptian revolution last year, featuring singer and musicologist Reem Kelani; and an event series focusing on music and film with the Sensoria Festival including film screenings of La Dolce Vita, and silent films the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Metropolis, with live accompaniment.
In addition to evening concerts the series includes rush-hour concerts, free lunchtime concerts and a lunchtime series at Museums Sheffield Graves and Millennium Galleries, and Western Park Museum; all featuring our students.
Music, Disability and Health and Wellbeing will investigate how disability has affected the musical output composers; how music and creativity can improve wellbeing and how music has raised awareness for health related causes.
The first event in this series looks at Beethoven and hearing impairment, in partnership with Music in the Round.
Beethoven’s hearing impairment is well documented and was a slow process occupying over twenty years from its start to eventual total deafness. At the age of 23 Beethoven lost the ability to hear high pitched sounds. By the age of 51 he was totally deaf in terms of speech comprehension and social functioning and yet in years of total deafness he completed some of his finest works.
The concert on Friday 17 February at the Crucible Studio Theatre will feature the Navarra Quartet performing Beethoven’s works. The Navarra Quartet are winners of the Outstanding Young Artist Award at the MIDEM Classique Awards in Cannes and over the last two years they have increasingly developed their international profile, appearing at major festivals and venues throughout Europe, Russia, the USA and Bahrain.
The series continues on Tuesday 21 February in Firth Hall, when acclaimed pianist Steven Osborne will perform a concert featuring the music of Maurice Ravel. The composer suffered from Dementia, and developed progressive neurological symptoms over the later years of his life.
Next in the series is an event examining Robert Schumann and Bipolar disorder performed by the Fidelio Trio on Tuesday 28 February in Firth Hall. Since their South Bank debut the Fidelio Trio have appeared at venues across the UK including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, and the Royal Opera House. Their performances in 2011 included appearances at Symphony Space, New York City a tour of Northern Ireland, a broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and an extensive tour of South Africa.
Robert Schumann had a life long history of medical problems which influenced his life and music in many ways. Throughout his life he had episodic periods of depression which significantly reduced his compositional output. Researchers have argued Schumann’s traumatic history, combined with the evidence of his radical compositional techniques, constitutes a musical mind beset with Bipolar disorder.
This event will be accompanied by a talk by music journalist and BBC Radio 3 presenter Stephen Johnson. Johnson like Schumann has suffered from Bipolar disorder. He will discuss the music performed by the Trio and present other examples about the way he hears Schumann’s manic phases in his music, in addition to sharing his own experiences of the disorder.
Stewart Campbell Concerts Manager at the Department of Music said: “This season we feature several programming themes each demonstrating the importance of music in a number of varying disciplines, including science and health, politics and world culture and in the film industry.
“I hope the series on health, disability and wellbeing will highlight the importance of music and culture on our wellbeing, whilst celebrating the impressive work being undertaken in this city within these two cross-cutting practices.
“I’m also pleased to develop relationships with our artistic partners allowing the series to further contribute to the civic mission of the University.”
The season is now on general sale, tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Arena Ticket Shop 0114 256 5567 or online www.sheffield.ac.uk/concerts or in person at University of Sheffield Students’ Union Box Office Western Bank Sheffield.