A feast of music in lockdown from Leeds Town Hall


LEEDS International Concert Season’s uplifting programme of free lunchtime music, “paused” since mid-January, has now resumed. Monday Organ recitals, Wednesday chamber concerts and a weekend festival of song are to be livestreamed from Leeds Town Hall and can be enjoyed at any time, wherever you are.

Leeds City Organist Darius Battiwalla pulls out all the stops of the Town Hall’s great organ on 22nd February and 29th March. Visiting organ virtuosi include Margaret Phillips on 1st March, legendary Birmingham City Organist Thomas Trotter on the 8th, and Halifax based Alan Horsey on the 15th. Anna Lapwood, the trailblazing organist of Pembroke College Cambridge is at the console on 22nd March. April’s recitalists include Huddersfield Town Hall Organist Gordon Stewart on the 12th, Graham Barber of St Bartholomew’s Armley on the 19th, and Leeds Philharmonic Chorus conductor David Hill on the 26th.

The Opera North String Quartet, musicians from Leeds Conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music Arcturus chamber music group, and many more artists will give Wednesday lunchtime recitals.

Devotees of art song will be delighted by Leeds Lieder’s early spring festival on 25th & 26th March: The voice of soprano Fatma Said has been acclaimed for its “smoky low range, pristine diction and pungent word painting”. Said and pianist Joseph Middleton bookend their recital with Ravel’s exotic Shéhérazade and his evergreen Greek Folk Songs. The duo will be preceded by soloists from the Momentum Young Artists Programme: Bernadette Johns and Alexandra Standing will perform works by Schubert, Frank Bridge and Mahler.

The voice of mezzo soprano Kitty Whateley has been described as “warm, voluptuous and winsome”. Kitty’s parents are the actors Madelaine Newton and Kevin Whately who is of course best known for Morse, Lewis, and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. The family’s programme is entitled “This Other Eden”. It will bring together songs ranging from Warlock to Horowitz and words by Shakespeare, Housman and Hardy. Momentum young artists Laurence Tilsby and Ian Tindale will perform works by Schubert, Schönberg, and Wolf in the first half.

A Livestream pass for each song recital costs just £11 but most of the concerts can be accessed free of charge. Livestream passes and more details are available at www.leedstownhall.co.uk

by Geoffrey Mogridge



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