Bradfield Festival of Music

19th June 2018

Outstanding local, national and international musicians will be performing at Bradfield again this year. One of which, rising star cellist Sheku Kenneh-Mason, is fresh from the Royal Wedding and performing at St Nicholas' Church. Tickets are still available for Onyx Brass (Mon 25 June), Gould Piano Trio (Wed 27 June), Jennifer Pike (violin) (Thurs 28 June), and the Camerata of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam (clarinet quintet) (Sat 30 June). Sheku Kanneh-Mason, London Tango Quintet, and Albion Choir concerts are sold out.

Bradfield Festival of Music has brought off quite a coup after signing one of the music stars of the royal wedding to perform in the Sheffield village. Rising star cellist Sheku Kenneh-Mason is appearing in the intimate setting of St Nicholas’ Church, High Bradfield a month after his performance at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle was seen by hundreds of millions of TV viewers around the world. The 19-year-old Royal Academy of Music student’s debut album, Inspirations, went straight to the top of the classical charts in January. 

He’s been much in demand in concert halls around the world after winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year title two years ago. 

One of the festival organisers Patricia Hunt, said the booking in 2016 was thanks to their president, cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber, who recommended Sheku when he won the BBC title as he thought it would be a great place for him to play. Sheku’s appearance in Bradfield on Tuesday, June 26 has already sold out, sadly, when he will perform cello sonatas by Boccherini, Poulenc, Debussy and Brahms.

He will be accompanied by his sister Isata, who reached the piano finals of this year’s BBC Young Musician competition. They come from an extraordinary Nottingham family of seven young musicians who appeared together on Britain’s Got Talent and perform as soloists and in other family ensembles.

Exciting local performers include Sheffield Young Musicians and the return of Albion Choir, more of which next week. Patricia said that the festival’s enviable reputation is down to three things – quality of listening in audiences, great acoustics and the stunning setting above Sheffield. She explained about quality of listening: “Two years ago, we had an ensemble from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and they said often members of the audience will spend the whole concert holding up mobile phones to record them and listen later.” That didn’t happen in Bradfield and the audience listened intently to the playing. “They are professional musicians, so clearly they don’t play wrong notes, but it does affect their performance and they are inspired when the audience are listening carefully.”

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