After celebrating the opening of our long-awaited restaurant, Kino, we’re thrilled to announce an international programme of chamber music for the Howard Assembly Room upstairs, marking the first year since we reopened the venue.

Andreas Haefliger

Beyond his sensitivity, musical insights and transcendent playing, the German-born Swiss pianist is renowned for his long-running creative programming of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. For his Howard Assembly Room debut, the last of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, No. 32 in C minor, is contrasted with Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze – 18 sparkling pieces which reference Beethoven’s opera Fidelio – and Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody, plucked from his 1944 orchestral masterpiece Appalachian Spring.

Doric String Quartet

On 3 November, the Doric String Quartet stage a conversation between Beethoven and his teacher Haydn. Beethoven’s 1810 Quartet in F minor Op 95, full of experimentation and originally intended only for private performance, is followed by the third of Haydn’s ‘Prussian Quartets’. Beethoven’s Quartet in G Op 18/2 has the final word – but sparkles with witty imitations of his mentor’s work.

Katherine Broderick and Kathryn Stott

As Leeds Town Hall’s ambitious renovation project continues, Leeds International Concert Season brings more treats from its chamber season over to the Howard Assembly Room. On 22 November, award-winning soprano Katherine Broderick joins renowned pianist Kathryn Stott for an evening of music revolving around Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth. James MacMillan’s Scottish Songs, a trio of Percy Grainger’s folk settings, and the world premiere of a new commission by British composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad with text by Adam Strickson are among other highlights of their wanderings through place and time. Furthering our commitment to making our performances more accessible, this concert will be BSL-interpreted by Paul Whittaker.

Manchester Collective

Following three stunning shows for capacity crowds in the Howard Assembly Room over the last six months, Manchester Collective return for their 2022-23 season, in another partnership with Leeds International Concert Season. On 20 October Thomas Adès’ exquisite Arcadiana sits at the centre of a programme of early-career works, complemented by Jörg Widmann’s blistering, techno-inspired 180 Beats Per Minute, and Brahms’ String Sextet in G Major.

Few other ensembles could do justice to the wild score for George Crumb’s Black Angels, which involves chanting in foreign languages, instruments played upside down, strings tapped with thimbles and glass rods, screaming, shouting, beating, counting and praying. On 18 March 2023, the Collective returns to this fearsome Vietnam-era lament, more relevant than ever today. The second movement of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ picks up the thread of mortality, destiny and spirituality, and there are contemporary counterpoints in the shape of a brand-new commission by Moor Mother; Edmund Finnis’ Second String Quartet; and Gabriella Smith’s fast and furious Carrot Revolution.

The brilliant, RPS Award-winning guitarist Sean Shibe joins the Collective for Rosewood, ‘a kaleidoscope of musical colours’ on 10 May 2023. He features on electric and acoustic guitars in two new commissions, by British composer Emily Hall and New York composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Moran. Elsewhere the programme ventures from La Folia, the ancient theme that inspired Vivaldi, Bach and many more, to twentieth-century works by John Cage and Julius Eastman.

Amjad Ali Khan

As Opera North weaves together Indian classical and western early music traditions in a reimagining of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo on the mainstage, the Howard Assembly Room prepares to welcome a giant of Hindustani music, Amjad Ali Khan. The sarod maestro follows his summer Prom with an unforgettable performance on an altogether more intimate stage on 1 December.

Škampa Quartet

Coinciding with our mainstage revival of The Cunning Little Vixen in 2023, the Škampa Quartet bring their unrivalled instinct for the accents and rhythms of Czech music to Janáček’s Quartet no 1 (Kreutzer Sonata) and Dvořák’s Quartet in G major. Mozart’s String Quartet 21 in D major, ‘The Violet’ – the first of the composer’s ‘Prussian’ quartets written for King Friedrich Wilhelm II – opens the programme on 2 March.

Tickets for these events and the Howard Assembly Room’s full programme of music, films and spoken word are on sale now.

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