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Sheffield Chamber Music Festival

Performances livestreamed from the Crucible in May include music by Stravinsky, Beethoven and Bartók.

The Sheffield Chamber Music Festival has announced its 2021 programme, with 25 events livestreamed from the Crucible on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

Highlights between 11 and 15 May include 360-degree video performances of modernist works by Bartók and Britten, as well as concerts for young children performed by Ensemble 360 and storyteller Polly Ives.

The festival, which is digital-only for the second year running, is organised by Music in the Round, named after their intimate performance space in the Crucible's Studio Theatre.

"We are so excited about this year’s Sheffield Chamber Music Festival, which will be presented online for audiences to enjoy from their homes," said Ensemble 360 oboist Adrian Wilson.

"It is taking 16 musicians, 15 technicians, 7 locations and 70 hours of filming to create 24 amazing events that will be available to watch on Music in the Round’s website for free."

On 11 May, Ensemble 360 will play rarely performed piano music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Amy Beach, followed by works from Poulenc and Britten.

That evening, the Sheffield-based group's string players will be in discussion with violinist Martin Cropper, before an evening performance of Beethoven string quartets.

On 12 May at 11am, Polly Ives will present a "playful, sensory" introduction to Bartók's violin duos for 0-5 year olds, as part of Music in the Round's Concerteenies strand.

Other performances include music by Schumann, Schubert and Mozart, as well as spotlighting work by lesser-performed British composers like Gerald Finzi and Arnold Bax.

The programme also includes talks by musicians on wind instruments, the piano and the music of Stravinsky, as well as another 360-degree video performance of Beethoven's 'Grosse Fuge'.

"We had hoped that this year we could welcome audiences into the Crucible Studio to enjoy some live music," said Music in the Round executive director Jo Towler. "Sadly, for the second year, this is not to be."

Instead, said Towler, audiences can look forward to "an amazing online adventure, inviting audiences to experience concerts from inside a string quartet, an oboe quartet and a trio of clarinet, violin and piano through the use of new 360-degree technology."

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