Loving Leeds: The Accordion at Lambert's Yard

Han, 3 May 2017, Loving Leeds


I’m always on the lookout for interesting sounding concerts so I was really excited to receive an invitation to attend ‘The Accordion’.

Hosted by Manchester Collective (a creative arts organisation “comprising some of the most exciting musical talent from a new generation of international instrumentalists”) the show promises to span “nearly 300 years of music featuring that enigmatic machine, The Accordion.”

The programme certainly sounds intriguing: “As we take you from the high-octane rhythms of Nelson’s My Inner Disco to the heady Argentinian harmonies of Piazzolla’s Five Tango Sensations, from the mountains of Bulgaria to the dark corridors of Trojan’s The Ruined Cathedral, the only certainty is that you won’t ever look at the accordion in the same way again.”

The press release states: “With Brexit likely to present new challenges for cross-country collaboration in the arts, Manchester Collective are to give a performance which shines a light on the importance of international partnership. Musicians from Poland, Hungary, India and the UK will meet at Lamberts Yard on 21st May to present ‘The Accordion’, with Eurovision Musicians Contest finalist, Bartosz Glowacki at the helm.

Where Argentinian tango and Bulgarian folk meet Vivaldi, audiences can expect the unexpected. Rakhi Singh, Music Director of the Manchester Collective said; ‘When you take it out of the concert hall, music can be presented in its rawest and most naked form. When you create an atmosphere with no pretence, people respond. You can really feel the focus in the room.

Manchester Collective are committed to accessibility, with ticket prices capped at £12 and students can attend for free. All concerts are streamed online, free for audiences to access. A partnership with Classic FM has allowed 70,000 views from across the world to witness the work of the group so far.

Following impressive debuts in Manchester, Liverpool, Salford and Sheffield, the Collective see Leeds as a natural step. Adam Szabo, Artistic Director of the Collective, said; ‘Leeds is going through a cultural resurgence. With the Capital of Culture bid launched for 2023, the people of Leeds have never been more culturally aware. Following the success of our work across Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield, the most natural step was to present a show in Leeds. Our audiences are incredibly diverse and we’re eager to replicate that here.’

Equally at home with the classical masterpieces of the Western canon and the avant-garde repertoire of the contemporary music world, the Collective seeks to inspire and challenge audiences all over the UK through outstanding live performance.”

I like the idea of classical music being taken out of the concert hall and think it’s great that Manchester Collective are trying to make music more accessible with lower-priced tickets and online streaming. I’m trying to broaden my usual remit of rock/indie/pop gigs and I’ve also not been to Lambert’s Yard (on Lower Briggate) before, so I’m looking forward to this.