Review: Music in the Round

Ensemble 360Ensemble 360
Ensemble 360
Mendelssohn and Schumann were born within months of one another, their very differing lives and music forming the theme that runs through the Spring season of Sheffield's Music in the Round.

It features many celebrated guest artists, including the internationally acclaimed Doric String Quartet, and the pianists Peter Hill and Paul Lewis, though it will be the Sheffield-based Ensemble 360, moving through many permutations of its eleven members, who will occupy most of the 14 concerts at the Crucible’s Studio. This year the usual informality of presentation spills over to three hours when you can shop with Schumann or browse with Brahms at John Lewis’s in Barker’s Pool, their musicians bringing an added dimension to your shopping. “We also give ourselves the added luxury of exploring those who influenced Mendelssohn and Schumann, and the younger generation who they influenced,” says artistic director, Angus Smith. “And this will include a celebration of the bicentenary of the Sheffield-born composer, William Sterndale Bennett.” (February 20).

My top three recommendations opens with Schumann’s Piano Quartet (February 19); most of the ensemble on stage in a programme including a Mendelssohn Piano Trio and String Quartet (February 20), and the March 4 concert by the recently formed Leonora Piano Trio.

Music in the Round, Crucible Theatre Studio February 19-April 2. 0114 2496000 or David Denton