Author Archives: mikeymccusker

  1. Bouncing into 2023 with a Spring in our step!

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    Fran Healey, Artistic Director and General Manager at The Stoller Hall ushers in a new programme of events for 2023

    Fran Healey, Artistic Director and General Manager at The Stoller Hall

    Can you believe we’re already talking about Spring 2023?  Warm weather …. longer daylight hours …. fresh plans ….. and a whole season of lovely new performances we’ve lined up for you! 

    The most exciting thing for me in our Spring 2023 season is the knitting together of our ethos of learning and participation with our series of performances and events.  We are working closely with artists throughout the season to create truly enriching opportunities for audiences, and to help early career musicians launch themselves into successful and enduring careers, all the while mindful of our younger audiences and making sure they have opportunities to engage. 

    Our family programme continues with Izzy Gizmo – based on the book by Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie – we will bring the story of this intrepid young adventurer to life with original music and a performance full of wit, invention, songs, and of course lots of opportunity to join in!  Our musical journeys for pre-schoolers also continue with our Stoller Story Sounds workshops – the Snowbear’s Story and Dandylion and the Sad Stem – these will be sure to have the whole family up on their feet and singing along. 

    Our classical season features more of the world’s most amazing chamber musicians.  Brought to you in partnership with the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society, as well as the continuation of the epic Mozart Made in Manchester project with Manchester Camerata, and even incredible classical music stars and household names, like Riopy and the Ayoub Sisters. 

    We are bringing great names from comedy and TV too – Babatunde Aléshé of I’m A Celebrity fame, and TV vocalist Tommy Blaize who you will surely have all heard on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing over the last few years.   

    Jazz and folk a plenty too of course ….. Dave Bristow, Philip Lassiter, Chris Wood …. to name but a few. 

    Maybe even more incredibly, we also have events on sale right through to next Autumn.  Have you ever seen the Young ‘Uns?  If not, I really do promise they are not to be missed.  And our Guitar and Medieval Festival plans are coming along a-pace – more on those soon! 

    Without our audiences, our venue has no soul, and we feel privileged to have incredibly loyal audiences and advocates for our venue.  We love hearing your feedback – it is essential to our journey and to making sure the Stoller Hall is right for you.  Please keep it coming!   

    We hope to see you soon…

    Fran x 

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  2. Behind the music…with Steven Isserlis

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    We sat down with one of the world’s greatest living cellists, Steven Isserlis, who will be making his long-awaited return to Manchester with pianist Alasdair Beatson on Monday 3 October 2022.

    Steven says:

    I am very happy to be back in Manchester […] and we will be playing Mendelssohn’s Variations Op.17 – a gem of a piece. And another gem by Mendelssohn’s close friend, even teacher at some point, Ignaz Moscheles [with his Cello Sonata Op.21] that was actually dedicated to Schumann.

    Steven Isserlis will also perform what he describes as “the greatest love songs for cello and piano”, in his arrangement of Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for Piano and Cello in A-Flat Major, Op.70. Eagle-eyed classical music fans will know that this Schumann classic was originally written for Horn, however Steven remarks that Schumann himself did specify that it could also be played on cello. His return to Manchester concludes with Brahms’ Cello Sonata No.2 in F major, Op.99, regarded as one of the great cello sonatas of the romantic period.

    Steven Isserlis has been steeped in music from birth. His grandfather was the Russian pianist and composer Julius Isserlis, while older branches of his family tree have a direct line to Felix Mendelssohn himself. Steven has communicated through music from an early age, and the references within his upcoming programme at The Stoller Hall can be seen as a fitting tribute to the deep musical heritage that runs within the Isserlis family.

    It is perhaps the culmination of his musical lineage and remarkable encounters with some of the very best that has enabled him to become one of the most internationally acclaimed musicians of our time – so much so, that he has been bestowed the honour of playing two Stradivarius cellos throughout his career.

    But instead of basking in the international acclaim, Steven Isserlis remains a humble educator choosing to continue sharing his intrinsic and extraordinary skills with young musical protegés across the world; with a quest to break down the metaphorical boundaries that many people assume to exist in classical music:

    Anyone new to classical music performance: go in and enjoy it! Classical music really is for everybody. And I think the more you know it, the more you love it and the more you need it. […] It comforts, and it shows us glimpses of a better world.

    Steven Isserlis and Alasdair Beatson will perform live on Monday 3 October 2022. Tickets are now available via The Stoller Hall website .