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Star line-up for classics season

Posted onPosted on 7th Jul
Star line-up for classics season

The Royal Concert Hall is promising its starriest season for many years when it opens its doors for the 2014-2015 season in October.

Classic Brit award-winner Nicola Benedetti MBE heads the line-up. A tireless campaigner for music education as well as a much-garlanded soloist, she was named as one of the top 30 in The Times’s Young Female Power List alongside the likes of Adele, Emma Watson, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

Benedetti is joined in the 2014-15 season by legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman, British pianists Stephen Hough and Paul Lewis, clarinettist Julian Bliss and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas. Also appearing, in his debut at the Royal Concert Hall, is Benjamin Grosvenor, the 21-year old pianist from Southend-on-Sea whose prodigious talent saw him make his BBC Proms debut – opening the first night – at the age of just 19.

Besides the stellar soloists, the coming season also features two of the world’s greatest orchestras. The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra makes its first visit to the Royal Concert Hall in more than two decades to give an all-Russian performance under its Music Director Yuri Temirkanov on 6 November. The Czech Philharmonic, always a popular visitor to Nottingham, returns on 21 April with the effervescent British violinist Chloë Hanslip.

Vaughan Williams’s music also features in a debut visit from Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, which is touring the UK in the year that marks the beginning of the centenary of the First World War. Canada came of age as a nation during the conflict and the concert will be featuring pieces from nations that were former adversaries with music by Beethoven and leading Canadian composer, John Estacio. Pinchas Zukerman will be taking the role of both conductor and soloist, the latter in Bruch’s famous Violin Concerto No. 1.

Also making returns to Nottingham are the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which joins Nicola Benedetti on 13 June, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich under its inspirational maestro Vasily Petrenko. At the heart of the season, the Hallé continues to go from strength to strength as Nottingham Classics’ resident orchestra under Music Director Sir Mark Elder.

Neil Bennison, Music Programme Manager for the Royal Concert Hall, said: “I honestly can’t remember a time when we had so many world-renowned soloists and orchestras in one season. Once in a while things all fall into place and you arrive at a season that is strong in every area. 2014-15 looks like being one of those occasions.”

The success of Nottingham Classics’ Orchestral Season in recent years has been matched by the enthusiastic response to its Sunday Morning Piano Series, now in its fifth year.

“When we started out”, Bennison admits, “we weren’t sure whether it would build a big enough audience to be sustainable. But the reputation of the series has grown in the same way that the audiences have and now I’m getting many more approaches to take part in the series than I can fit in.”

Pianists appearing in the 2014-15 Sunday Morning Piano Series include British music specialist Mark Bebbington, Hungarian virtuoso Dénes Várjon, and the phenomenal young Chinese pianist Ji Liu who, in addition to getting a number one album in the Classic FM Chart, also breakdances to improve his physical strength.

To book tickets contact the Box Office (0115 989 5555) or at

For more information on every concert in the season visit