Announcing our new 2024-2025 Nottingham Classics Season


Nottingham’s musical hero returns: Sheku Kanneh-Mason headlines a star studded 2024-2025 season of Nottingham Classics concerts

The air will be buzzing at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 19 October when the city’s favourite musical son will stride onto the stage for his first concerto appearance since 2018. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will be performing Shostakovich’s dramatic 2nd Cello Concerto with John Wilson’s all-conquering Sinfonia of London in what must be the hottest ticket of the 2024-2025 season. Apart from Sheku’s irresistible charisma, the hand-picked Sinfonia of London has been winning prestigious awards with such regularity – including an unprecedented hattrick at this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards – that its trophy cabinet must surely be feeling the strain.

Three other famous London orchestras join the line-up in 2024-2025, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra led by Principal Guest Conductor, Karina Canellakis, and Vasily Petrenko cementing his reputation as one of Nottingham’s best-loved maestros with another high-profile concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and leading American violinist Esther Yoo. The BBC Concert Orchestra, which has been busy building a loyal following in Nottingham in 2023-2024 joins forces with the choirs of both the city’s universities for Carl Orff’s riotous roof-raiser, Carmina Burana on 4 December.

2024-2025 also marks a moment in history for Nottingham Classics’ resident orchestra, the Hallé. After nearly a quarter of a century as the orchestra’s Music Director, Sir Mark Elder hands the baton to the prodigiously talented Singaporean, Kahchun Wong, who gives his first Nottingham performance as the Hallé’s Principal Conductor on 22 March. Kahchun also gives the season finale on 3 June with Beethoven’s uplifting 9th Symphony. Elsewhere the Hallé features its multi-faceted Artist-in-Residence, Thomas Adès on 26 November and is joined by two outstanding Nottinghamshire opera singers – Lizzie Ryder and Emily Hodkinson – for its sell-out festive season spectacular on 12 December.

In a season with lots of local interest, Mansfield’s world-famous girls choir, Cantamus, joins the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for a performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets in the composer’s 150th anniversary year. The concert also features a rare opportunity to hear Sir Arthur Bliss’s dynamic Piano Concerto performed by British music specialist Mark Bebbington.

It’s another season of great soloists, too. British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is joined by international prize-winners Gabriella Montero and Federico Colli, whilst former BBC Young Musician winner, violinist Jennifer Pike gets the season started on 1 October with the BBC Philharmonic and two dazzling showpieces by Ravel and Saint-Saëns, whose spectacular ‘Organ’ Symphony provides the concert’s  finale.

There’s more to enjoy besides the big orchestral sounds. Four of the concerts are followed by late night AFTER:HOURS performances, including Royal Philharmonic Society award-winner, sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun and Cantamus Girls Choir. The Sunday Piano Series returns with six exceptional artists, including two former BBC Young Music category winners, Leon McCawley and the phenomenal Scottish pianist, Ethan Loch, whose brilliant performances bely his being blind since birth.

Finally, before it all begins in October, there’s Nottingham’s first ever BBC Prom to enjoy at 4pm on Sunday 8 September. The BBC Concert Orchestra performs a programme inspired by Nottingham’s legendary and industrial past, with another local hero, acclaimed pianist Clare Hammond. In a harmonious piece of symmetry, she returns to the concert hall where she made her concerto debut as a teenager with Nottingham Youth Orchestra.

View the season here