From murkily glamorous Prohibition-era cabaret to unique sonic meditations on the natural world, the RNCM hosts an exhilaratingly diverse programme of orchestral concerts throughout its autumn season.

Here are six of the best.

Manchester Collective: Different Trains | Wed 20 Sep | 8pm | £10-£19

Heading back to the RNCM as artists-in-residence for the 23/24 season, Manchester Collective kick off their latest stay with Different Trains — an ‘exhilarating journey through time and memory’.

Inspired by minimalist composer Steve Reich’s childhood recollections of railway journeys, the production blends field recordings and spoken word with a stunning live score.

The Easy Rollers: Drop Me Off in Harlem | Thu 5 Oct | 7.30pm | £10-£19

Promising a rollicking cabaret-style show featuring a setlist of hits spanning the Jazz Age (1920-1933) and the Swing Age (1933-1947), The Easy Rollers bring their authentic charm and propulsive rhythms to the RNCM with their celebrated touring show, Drop Me Off in Harlem.

Formed in Manchester – several band members are RNCM alumni – The Easy Rollers have captivated audiences around the UK with sleek speakeasy melodies, feel-good ditties and inventive comedic vignettes since 2016.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari | Wed 25 Oct | 7.30pm | £8.50-£16

Billed as silent cinema’s ‘original horror film’, the 1920 German Expressionist masterpiece is shown live on a big screen while organist Darius Battiwalla performs a fully improvised soundtrack, thrillingly reconceptualising the unsettling tale of a deranged hypnotist and his homicidal sleepwalking minion.

RNCM Session Orchestra | Sat 28 Oct | 7pm | £11-£16

Featuring a specially curated ‘Earth’ setlist of brand new arrangements inspired by our planet, the RNCM Session Orchestra transports audiences through six decades of musical evolution in an electrifying night of captivating compositions, led by Director Andy Stott.

Terje Isungset Ice Quartet | Fri 10 Nov | 8pm | £21

Hailed as the founding father of ‘ice music’, Terje Isungset returns to the UK with his own wintry paean to nature featuring ice horn, ice bass, ice percussion and even an ‘iceophone’, all hand-crafted from natural frozen lakewater by award-winning ice carver, Bill Covitz.

Based on music from his original albums Winter Songs and Beauty of Winter, accompanied by brand new material, the ethereal concert promises ‘a chiming, intimate and utterly beautiful world of sound’ (BBC Music).

RNCM ArkEnsemble | Fri 1 Dec | 6pm | £5-£9

Developed with a mission to transcend musical convention, the RNCM’s trailblazing ArkEnsemble returns on Fri 1 Dec with another captivating, innovative performance which aims to ‘push the boundaries of what you thought was possible in a concert hall’.

Led by the RNCM Head of Saxophone Rob Buckland, the pioneering group of wind and brass players envelops audiences in a whirlwind of sound, set against an entrancing stage backdrop.

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Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Fri 14 Jul 2023