Star violinist Bell leads way in new season of classics

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Superstar violinist – and subway artist - Joshua Bell, leads the line-up in Nottingham Classics’ new season, which gets under way next month.

Joshua Bell, will be setting pulses racing when he makes a rare appearance at the Royal Concert Hall in January, the headline act in a season that promises thrills a-plenty from leading artists and orchestras.

With over 40 recordings to his name, an Oscar-winning soundtrack, collaborations with musical royalty such as Chick Corea, Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo and Gloria Estefan, not to mention appearances in Vogue and GQ, Joshua is a truly global ambassador for classical music.

He’s also known to millions as the violinist who busked in a Washington DC metro station, giving the largely oblivious passengers a virtuoso showcase and creating one of the biggest media stories ever achieved by a classical artist.

His visit to Nottingham sees him perform with the world renowned Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Britain’s greatest cellist, Steven Isserlis, a double delight for classical fans.

Other classical stars appearing next season include Classic FM favourite Ji Liu, Argentinean cellist Sol Gabetta, British audience favourite Tasmin Little and violinist Jennifer Pike, the youngest ever winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2002.

The season also features instruments that rarely get as much time in the spotlight.

Lawrence Power brings his viola to the Royal Concert Hall for the first time, to perform Berlioz’s Byron-inspired masterpiece, Harold in Italy, with Nottingham Classics’ resident orchestra, the Hallé.

In April, the orchestra’s principal oboist Stéphane Rancourt takes centre stage for John Casken’s stunning oboe concerto, Apollinaire’s Bird, part of a concert that commemorates the 100th anniversary of two of the darkest battles of the Great War, Verdun and The Somme.

Nottingham Harmonic Choir continues its association with Nottingham Classics, performing Carl Orff’s bold and bawdy classic, Carmina Burana, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which, remarkably, hasn’t paid a visit to Nottingham since 1989.

Two other London orchestras – the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra - make welcome appearances, while the Dresden Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra add some European colour to an impressive line-up.

Complementing the orchestral series is the Royal Concert Hall’s Sunday Morning Piano Series.

The series has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2010 and now ranks with the best solo series in the UK.

This season the Piano Series expands to six concerts, with a special Christmas event featuring identical twins, Claire and Antoinette Cann.

Neil Bennison, music programme manager for the Royal Concert Hall, said: “The last few years have been an amazing time for classical music in Nottingham and last season we had record breaking attendances to hear a really thrilling series of concerts.

“It’s going to be a hard act to follow but, with a superb set of soloists and orchestras, and a great mix of music, we believe we’ve got a season with enough clout to keep the audiences coming, from seasoned concert-goers to absolute beginners.”

Full details of the 2015-2016 Nottingham Classics season can be found at www.trch.co.uk/nottinghamclassics

General booking is now open and is available online at www.trch.co.uk or by phone on 0115 9895555.