Review: Manchester Collective

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Lambert’s Yard, Leeds

It’s a Sunday evening and we’re sitting in the round in an upstairs warehouse space on Lower Briggate listening to a group of hugely talented young classical musicians share their passion for music-making.

Manchester Collective was formed around a year and a half ago with the remit of bringing world-class chamber music to a wider – and younger – audience and to engage in international collaborations with virtuoso young musicians from around the world. So far the response to their concerts in Manchester, Salford and Sheffield – staged in non-traditional venues – has been enthusiastic. This was the group’s first time in Leeds and although the audience was relatively modest, there was no doubting their engagement and appreciation. The programme Accordion featured an exciting mix of genres and styles including Bulgarian folk music, Italian Baroque and Argentinian tango; all of it exquisitely performed with joy and passion.

Musicians Adam Szabo on cello, Ali Vennart on Viola and Rakhi Singh and Simmy Singh on violin were joined by guest artist from Poland, classical accordionist Bartosz Glowacki. It was a relaxed, intimate atmosphere perfect for those with little or no experience of chamber music concerts and the musicians took it in turns to introduce the pieces in an inclusive and informative way. Their obvious love of the music and the pleasure they took in playing together was infectious.

The Collective state on their website that they aim to create ‘brave, meaningful and human experiences’ and that is exactly what they do. Powerful, moving, outstanding, extraordinary stuff. They are back in Leeds and Sheffield with another programme, The Hunt, in July. Don’t miss them. www.manchestercollective.co.uk

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