Nottingham’s Young Musician of the Year Joins Viva for New Year’s Eve Gala Concert

Celebrated East Midlands orchestra Sinfonia Viva will be joined by the 2016 Young Musician of the Year – Nottingham’s Sheku Kanneh-Mason for its annual New Year’s Eve Gala Concert at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.

Cellist Sheku (17) is a Year 13 pupil at Trinity Catholic School and the Royal Academy of Music and won the prestigious annual competition which was held at the Barbican in London in May. Sheku will perform Dvorak’s Rondo for Cello and Orchestra and Saint-Saens’ Swan at the early evening concert, which is under the baton of ‘Mr New Year’s Eve’ Nicholas Kok.

The programme for the Gala Concert has been inspired by the work of William Shakespeare and is likely to be the final event worldwide to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

The evening starts with a selection of music from Bernstein’s West Side Story – a contemporary and well-known story based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Other Shakespeare-inspired pieces include Mendelssohn’s Nocturne and Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream; Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture by Tchaikovsky and Henry V: Overture – The Globehouse by Walton.

More contemporary pieces from films and musicals inspired by Shakespeare’s plays range from Porter’s Where is the life that late I led? from the musical Kiss Me Kate – based on Taming of the Shrew - and This can’t be love from Rodgers and Hart musical The Boy From Syracuse, which took its lead from Comedy of Errors. Baritone Grant Doyle will also make a welcome return to the stage alongside Viva for the spine-tingling Can you feel the love tonight from Disney’s The Lion King which is based on Hamlet.

The programme finishes with a selection of popular, end-of-year, celebratory music by Strauss and, of course, Auld Lang Syne.

With the popular 6pm start and 8.15pm finish there is then plenty of time for the audience to continue the celebrations and see in the New Year.

Nicholas Kok, who introduces each piece to the audience, said: “The works of Shakespeare have inspired some truly magical pieces of music over the centuries from such composers as Mendelssohn to songs that are an integral part of films and musicals based on his classic tales. “The earlier time for the Gala Concert has proved to be a winner with audiences over the past three years and the combination of lyrical melodies and rousing renditions is sure to put everyone in the celebration mood on this very special night of the year. “Returning to Nottingham every New Year’s Eve is a highlight in all the players’ busy schedules and we are particularly delighted to be joined by the fantastic young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. “He delighted television and radio audiences and of course the judges in this year’s BBC Young Musician of the Year and we are very much looking forward to performing alongside him to mark the end of what has been a spectacular year for him.”

Tickets start from just £15 and the popular Premium Seats are again available which includes a free programme available on the night. Tickets are on sale now from the Royal Concert Hall Box Office, Tel 0115 989 5555 or online at .  

Sinfonia Viva is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. For more information about the New Year’s Eve concert and all of Viva’s other performances in Nottingham and across the East Midlands, visit the website,

Back to news