Leeds Lieder’s six livestreams this spring from Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Lieder announce Spring 2021 recitals presented from Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Lieder are delighted to welcome outstanding artists to Leeds this Spring including Dame Sarah Connolly, Gerald Finley, Fatma Said, Kitty Whately, Julius Drake and Joseph Middleton who will perform alongside some of the UK’s leading young artists (in collaboration with the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and Momentum).

Supported by Arts Council England, arts@leeds and the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, Leeds Lieder places song at the centre of the cultural landscape in the north of England, championing the art-form, educating and growing audiences and commissioning new works. During the pandemic the charity has continued to engage with audiences on-line, including a recent collaboration with Blackheath Halls and a critically acclaimed Autumn series.

Whilst Leeds Lieder hoped to welcome live audiences to their March and April performances, each concert will now be livestreamed and available to view online via our website. Please see details below.

Leeds Lieder Director Joseph Middleton said: ‘The past six months have seen enormous change at Leeds Lieder as we adapt to working in a new paradigm. Our Autumn events saw record-breaking socially distanced audience numbers enjoy Lieder in Leeds Town Hall, and our new foray in broadcasting our recitals as livestreams have seen audiences join us from all over the world.

A series of our Mahler recitals were heard as a week of BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concerts in early 2021; we have filmed all our education work so that we can engage with 1000s of school children in Yorkshire during the pandemic, and we have set up mentoring schemes for our Young Artists, pairing them with illustrious singers and pianists for remote training sessions.

It now gives me enormous joy to present 6 recitals in March and April. Stars of the Lieder world rub shoulders with young artists, all of whom have been particularly impacted this year. The programming mixes familiar masterpieces with recitals that seek to open cultural debate and celebrate diversity. I do hope you will join us.

I look forward to hearing the majestic Leeds Town Hall reverberate with song and we look forward to welcoming you’.

Artists include: Dame Sarah Connolly Gerald Finley CBE, Julius Drake, Joseph Middleton, Fatma Said, Kitty Whately, Kevin Whately, Madelaine Newton with Fleur Barron, Ashok Klouda, Benson Wilson, Ella O’Neill, Bernadette Johns, Alexandra Standing, Laurence Kilsby and Ian Tindale

Friday 26th March, 6pm – Fatma Said (soprano) and Joseph Middleton (piano) with Momentum Artists Bernadette Johns & Alexandra Standing

Fatma Said returns to Leeds Lieder for her third recital with regular duo-partner, Joseph Middleton. Their programme is bookended with exotic Ravel (Shéhérazade and the ever-green Greek Folksongs) and in between the duo perform Schumann and Brahms.

Saturday 27th March, 6pm – Kitty Whately (mezzo-soprano), Madelaine Newton and Kevin Whately (actors), Joseph Middleton (piano) with Momentum Artists Laurence Kilsby (tenor) and Ian Tindale (piano)

British mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately is joined by pianist Joseph Middleton and her parents, actors Kevin Whately (Lewis in Morse) and Madelaine Newton for This Other Eden. Split into five landscape-inspired themes, this recital brings together English song with poetry.

Saturday 24th April, 3pm – Fleur Barron (mezzo soprano), Ashok Klouda (cello) and Joseph Middleton (piano)

In a typically wide-ranging, thought-provoking and thoughtful programme, Singaporean-British mezzo soprano Fleur Barron brings, for the first time, Chinese folk and art songs to Leeds Lieder. She has been hailed a ‘charismatic star’ by the Boston Globe, and a ‘knockout performer’ by The Times.

Saturday 24th April, 6pm – Gerald Finley (bass-baritone) and Julius Drake (piano)

Gerald Finley and Julius Drake enjoy one of the closest working partnerships of any song duo. For Leeds Lieder, they turn to Schubert’s masterpiece of lost love, nature, and of tragic mental breakdown, Die schöne Müllerin.

Sunday 25th April, 3pm – Kathleen Ferrier Award Winners recital: Benson Wilson (baritone) and Ella O’Neill (piano)

Immediately winning the hearts of the Leeds Lieder audiences last October, we are thrilled to welcome back Benson Wilson for his first solo recital, which he has called MAUMAHARA | REMEMBRANCE. Under the auspices of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, he is joined by fellow Award Winner, pianist Ella O’Neill.

Sunday 25th April, 6pm – Dame Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton

Dame Sarah Connolly, Leeds Lieder Patron and operatic superstar needs no introduction. A rare performance of Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer in the piano accompanied version forms the central section of this recital and is paired with Debussy’s Proses Lyriques. Folk song inspired Lieder from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and a collection of the finest English song round off their programme.

All concerts will be livestreamed and available to watch here. You can watch on demand for two weeks after each concert.

Save the date: The 2021 Leeds Lieder Festival will offer a packed programme of recitals, masterclasses, new commissions and education programmes June 17-20. Artists include Alice Coote, Mark Padmore, Carolyn Sampson, Roderick Williams, James Gilchrist, Graham Johnson, Joseph Middleton, Iain Burnside and a new commission by Hannah Kendall. Details to be announced soon.

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