Tue 27 October
Leeds Town Hall
Leeds International Chamber Season 2020/21
Artistic Director – David Waterman
Steven Isserlis – cello
Connie Shih – piano
Saint-Saëns - Sonata No 1: original last movement
Thomas Adès - Lieux Retrouves Listen
Chaminade - Sommeil d’enfant Listen
Fauré - Berceuse Listen
Franck – Cello sonata Listen
i Allegretto ben moderato
iii Ben moderato: Recitativo-Fantasia
iv Allegretto poco mosso
Programme duration approximately TBC mins. Please note there will be no interval.
We're so happy to be able to return to Leeds, during this strangest of times - it will be an oasis of sanity for us! And the programme is something of a dream one for both Connie and myself, ranging as it does from a completely unknown stray movement by Saint-Saens, through Thomas Ades’ modern masterwork Lieux Retrouves (which Connie and I have performed together, I’d estimate, some 40 times) to Franck’s glorious sonata, designated by the composer as being ‘for piano with violin or cello’. It is a programme of music that we both love deeply, and we look forward very much to sharing it with the uniquely warm audience in Leeds.
Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.
As a concerto soloist he appears with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including the Berlin Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Philharmonic and Zurich Tonhalle orchestras, He gives recitals every season in major musical centres, and plays with many of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras, including the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Australian, Mahler, Norwegian, Scottish, Zurich and St Paul Chamber Orchestras, as well as period-instrument ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Unusually, he also directs chamber orchestras from the cello.
He works with many contemporary composers and regularly premieres new works on the international concert stage.
Recent performing highlights include his debut with Dresden Staatskapelle, and as Artist-in-Residence with Kammerakademie Potsdam. On 21 June 2019 Steven performed with his close friend Radu Lupu at Lupu’s final-ever concert with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, where Steven directed pieces including Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 in A, K488, with Lupu as soloist.
As a chamber musician, he has curated series for many of the world’s most famous festivals and venues, including the Wigmore Hall, the 92nd St Y in New York, and the Edinburgh, Verbier and Salzburg Festivals.
On his 60th Birthday on 19 December 2018, Steven was joined by a group of his closest musical friends Radu Lupu (in a rare guest appearance), Sir András Schiff, Connie Shih, Ferenc Rados, Joshua Bell, and Sir Simon Keenlyside, both performing with and for him. Isserlis also performed the world premiere of For Steven Isserlis 60, composed especially for him by Márta and György Kurtág. The concert was preceded with favourite literary readings by actor Gabriel Woolf.
The Canadian pianist, Connie Shih, is repeatedly considered to be one of Canada’s most outstanding artists. In 1993 she was awarded the Sylva Gelber Award for most outstanding classical artist under age 30. At the age of nine, she made her orchestral debut with Mendelssohn's first Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. At the age of twelve, she was the youngest ever protégé of Gyorgy Sebok, and then continued her studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with Claude Frank, himself a protégé of Arthur Schnabel. Later studies were undertaken with Fou Tsong in Europe.
As soloist, she has appeared extensively with orchestras throughout Canada, the USA and Europe. In a solo recital setting, she has made countless appearances in Canada, the USA, Iceland, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan and China. Connie has given chamber music performances with many world-renowned musicians. To critical acclaim, she appears regularly in recital with cellist Steven Isserlis. Including chamber music appearances at the Wigmore and Carnegie Halls, she performs at the prestigious Bath Music Festival, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Weill Hall (NY), and at the Kronberg Festival. Her collaborations have included Maxim Vengerov, Tabea Zimmerman, and Isabelle Faust.
Connie's performances are frequently broadcast via television and radio on CBC (Canada), BBC, SWR, NDR, and WDR (Germany) as well as on other various television and radio stations in North America and Europe. She is on faculty at the Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy.
£27.50, £25, £21, £16
Under 18s/full-time students/unwaged: 50% off
(prices include 10% booking fee)
Due to limited capacity and current social distancing measures, advance booking is required. We regret that booking tickets on the door is not currently an option.