From King's Coronation to the Crucible stage for baritone Roderick Williams

He’s sang for the king and now one of the most acclaimed baritone’s of his generation Roderick Williams will be helping celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival next month.

Williams performed as a soloist at King Charles III’s Coronation and is Singer-in-Residence with the city’s concert producer Music in the Round. He will return to the Crucible Playhouse as part of Music in the Round’s 40th anniversary Sheffield Chamber Music Festival from May 17-24.

Having worked regularly with major British opera companies such as Opera North, Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera he is especially well known for his Baritone Mozart roles. In addition, he tours internationally throughout the year regularly performing in Australia, America and Canada and Europe.

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Roderick Williams, front leftRoderick Williams, front left
Roderick Williams, front left

As Music in the Round’s Singer-in-Residence, the London-born and Oxford University educated Williams has performed multiple concerts, initially with a performance of Howard Skempton’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in 2016.

He said he is looking forward to returning to the city: “I’ve had a relationship with Sheffield for many years and it is somewhere I always feel a home. I spent a lot of time further up the M1 in Leeds with Opera North so it is always good to escape back to Yorkshire.”

Although this is a major event, nerves are unlikely to be an issue for Williams after performing for King Charles. “The piece of music I sang was only 12 bars so it was terribly short and easy. I’ve had all this training for the past 40 or 50 years so I was thinking ‘you can do this’,” he said. “Once I got through the first couple of lines I thought I can relax and enjoy this.”

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Music in the Round was formed in 1984 by Peter Cropper, the leader of Sheffield’s world-renowned Lindsay String Quartet, with a two-week festival of Beethoven’s chamber music held at the Crucible Theatre.

Roderick WilliamsRoderick Williams
Roderick Williams

Today the organisation’s live performances and educational projects reach more than 25,000 people a year – 10,000 of those being young people – around the country.

Steven Isserlis, who was dubbed "one of the greatest cellists ever” by Classic FM, is this year’s guest festival curator. He will be performing alongside Music in the Round’s resident musicians Ensemble 360, plus invited guests.

The mixture of events also includes a storybook concert for families and a performance at sunrise inside Samuel Worth Chapel.

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Jo Towler, chief executive of Music in the Round, said: “I wonder if our founders could ever have imagined we would still be going 40 years later or that we would now have this national reach.

“We hope that the work we are doing now will make sure Music in the Round is still going, and growing, for another 40 years. The anniversary year is going to be a celebration with the people of Sheffield, embracing all the amazing music making that happens in the city.”


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