Fifty Concerts for Fifty Years

View the full Fifty Concerts series

From January 2019, we’re planning fifty concerts featuring student and alumni musicians, professional and community partners, and events in Manchester and beyond, to celebrate all that Chetham’s is today.

We’ve already announced the first events in this very special year. Pianists Boris Berman and Leon McCawley open the Striking Gold Piano Series, joined later in the year by three more of the greatest names in the keyboard world – Peter Donohoe, Murray McLachlan and Paul Lewis.

In The Stoller Hall, Chetham’s has a flawless venue for chamber music – and they make the most of it with the first chamber event of the year, the Gould Piano Trio with Robert Plane, clarinet. Later in the year we launch our first ever Vocal Weekend, and welcome chamber ensembles and soloists including cello alumni Guy Johnston and Gabriella Swallow.

Chetham’s current students will, of course, play a central role in the year – and their first major event of 2019 is Elgar’s Enigma Variations, performed as part of the Spring Music course, at The Stoller Hall and the Royal Academy of Music in London. In October 2019 Paul Mann conducts them in a programme including Stravinsky’s Petrushka, in Lancaster and Manchester. And in July they form the centrepiece of the entire year, joined by friends and former students from across the world in Mahler’s magnificent Symphony No. 8, filling The Bridgewater Hall – and the Radio 3 airwaves – with Chetham’s inimitable sound.

Featured Events

A selection of the fifty events we’re planning, in Manchester and beyond, to celebrate 50 years of music

Flavours of France at Wigmore Hall
Thursday 14 March
Chetham’s comes to London in an intimate concert by student and alumni performers, performed at the capital’s leading venue for chamber music.

This Woman’s Work
March 2019

Fifty years since the first female students joined Chetham’s, we celebrate the vital role of women in music, as performers, teachers, learners and, in particular, as composers
World première of a special commission by Emma-Ruth Richards, with music and discussions showcasing the work of Clara Schumann, Nicola LeFanu, Sally Beamish and emerging female composers, including Chetham’s students and alumni
Supported by the PRS for Music Foundation

Striking Gold

A gathering of some of the greatest names in the piano world, highlighting late works by important composers
Supported by Chetham’s Piano Summer School and EPTA

Boris Berman
Wednesday 30 January

Leon McCawley  
Tuesday 5 February

Peter Donohoe 
Thursday 25 April

Murray McLachlan
Monday 5 November

Paul Lewis
Thursday 12 December

Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra

The School’s flagship ensemble gives three significant performances across the anniversary year

ELGAR Enigma Variations
Thursday 14 February, The Stoller Hall
Friday 15 February, Royal Academy of Music

MAHLER Symphony No. 8
Friday 5 July, The Bridgewater Hall
The centrepiece of the 50th anniversary year.
Chetham’s musicians welcome friends from around the world, as special guest players and singers join them for Mahler’s unsurpassable Symphony of a Thousand, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Friday 18 October, The Stoller Hall

Chamber Music

The Stoller Hall hosts a programme of music by leading professionals, including numerous former students and friends of the School

Vocal Weekend
Friday 22-Sunday 24 February
Marcus Farnsworth – Ruby Hughes – Joseph Middleton
A weekend of performance, vocal and choral workshops, and masterclasses by outstanding vocal specialists

Guy Johnston, cello
Tom Poster, piano
Wednesday 6 March
Album launch featuring music by Rachmaninov and Saint-Saëns

Additional performances include:

Brodsky Quartet
Martin Roscoe
Gould Piano Trio
Victoria Quartet
Fitzwilliam Quartet
Gabriella Swallow