Live music set to return to Dewsbury Town Hall

After more than a year of silence, live music will return to Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Halls, with a full programme of orchestral, chamber and organ concerts for the Kirklees Concert Season 2021-22.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 2:00 pm
Sitarist and composer Jasdeep Singh Degun

Opening in September, the Orchestra of Opera North’s adventurous programme at Huddersfield Town Hall ranges from a belated birthday celebration for Beethoven, to the drama and dissonance of the twentieth century, to a world premiere and new commissions from emerging composers.

Intimate chamber concerts with small ensembles from the orchestra return to Dewsbury Town Hall on Wednesday lunchtimes, concluding with a warm farewell to leader David Greed.

Under new guest curator David Pipe, Monday lunchtime concerts on Huddersfield Town Hall’s famous Father Willis organ include guest debuts, works by contemporary composers alongside more traditional repertoire, and the return of former borough organist Dr Gordon Stewart.

Garry Walker conducts the Orchestra of Opera North at Huddersfield Town Hall

Lunchtime concerts at Dewsbury throw the spotlight on members of the Orchestra of Opera North and some distinguished guests including Kathleen Ferrier Award-winning soprano Katherine Broderick (October 20); singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Alice Zawadzki, whose background takes in classical violin, gospel, jazz and folk (January 19, 2022); and sitarist and composer Jasdeep Singh Degun (February 16), whose Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra received its premiere at Huddersfield just before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

There is another commemoration of Shostakovich’s 125th year on November 10, when his Octet is paired with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

The final concert of the chamber season will also be the final Kirklees performance of David Greed as leader of the orchestra of Opera North. From his appointment at its inception in 1978, he has steered the ensemble to international acclaim, and will bow out with Opera North’s performances of Wagner’s Parsifal in June 2022.

On March 16 at Dewsbury, he will be joined by special guests and colleagues for a celebration in stories, laughter and music of a brilliant career.

Audiences will be anticipating this year’s festive period with more excitement than ever, with families and friends reunited and the chance to celebrate with music and singing in person once again.

Opera North’s Christmas concert returns to Dewsbury Town Hall on December 16, promising seasonal sounds old and new from the company’s orchestra, chorus and youth ensembles, conducted by chorus master Oliver Rundell.

Garry Walker, music director at Opera North, said: “I’m delighted to be, at last, back in Kirklees and able to bring this great selection of programmes to our beloved audiences. We’ve missed you!

"I’m particularly proud of the variety and balance of the overall season, which will show off the flexibility, excellence and virtuosity of our orchestra and chorus. I feel there’s something here for everyone.

“The last year has been incredibly tough for us all – for Opera North, for our audiences and for our communities – so it is with a real sense of enthusiasm that we return to live music making with audiences.”

Colin Parr, strategic director responsible for culture at Kirklees Council, said: “After a tough year, we are extremely pleased to be welcoming back live music to Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Halls. With an exciting programme confirmed from September, we can’t wait for concert-lovers from across the borough to finally return and hear their favourite music.

“We hope this will mark a key point in time for the restart of live music in Kirklees, building up to the Year of Music in 2023, which aims to shine a spotlight on the richness and diversity of music today, bringing in all communities, formats and genres.”

Tickets for all events will go on sale in July, to allow for alignment with Government guidance as the path out of lockdown continues. For more details on the programme and booking information, visit operanorth.co.uk.