Manchester Collective unveils exciting programme for 2022 - here are five highlights you won’t want to miss

Unsurprisingly for a group renowned for pushing boundaries, this year’s plans do not exactly tread common ground

One of Manchester’s most radical classical music ensembles has unveiled further plans for 2022.

Whether it is showcasing cutting-edge contemporary composition, performing well-known works in unusual venues or bringing back to audiences radical and neglected figures from the past, the Manchester Collective has gained a reputation for doing things differently.

And there are plenty of unusual developments and ideas contained in the programme for this year.

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    We’ve had a look through what’s on and come up with five things you won’t want to miss out on.

    Manchester Collective on stage at the Southbank Centre. Photo: Alan Kerr

    Neon

    The Collective’s 2021-22 season has six world premieres in it and that includes the piece by Hannah Peel at the heart of Neon.

    The Emmy-nominated, award-winning composer fuses layers of electronics and field recordings from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo with the acoustic sounds of the Collective’s musicians for the piece that gives the show its name.

    The programme, which is intended to interrogate the darker side of the American dream, also features a world premiere of a new piece for the Collective by Berlin-based artist Lyra Pramuk and US composer Steve Reich’s Double Sextet.

    It’s going on tour in May, with a show at The White Hotel in Salford on 20 May.

    Where The Light Gets In

    Neon, which also includes music by iconoclastic African-American composer Julius Eastman and David Lang, can also be experienced on 22 May at Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In.

    It’s all part of the Collective’s evolving partnership with chef Sam Buckley, who has appeared on the Great British Menu and is behind the acclaimed green-Michelin starred restaurant.

    The former coffee warehouse becomes an intimate music venue, with drinks and nibbles prepared by the restaurant’s chefs accompanying the experience and the opportunity to have a drink and a chat with the musicians after the show.

    This Savage Parade

    The Collective has an ongoing musical partnership with soprano Ruby Hughes and that continues in 2022 with This Savage Parade.

    The Manchester performance is on 23 June at Halle St Peter’s in Ancoats and features a new song cycle set to the words of British poet Alice Oswald written by long-standing Collective collaborator Edmund Finnis alongside music by Barbara Strozzi and Benjamin Britten.

    Shades of Light

    Finnis fans will be able to enjoy a double helping of his music this year as the composer is also at the heart of the Collective’s upcoming LP, Shades.

    It features both his first and second string quartets, the latter commissioned and premiered by the Collective.

    Musicians in the Manchester Collective performing at the Southbank Centre. Photo: Vic Frankowski

    The album, which is being released by the Bedroom Community label, will hit the shelves on 18 March.

    Mirror and Glass

    The Collective is also exploring how to make music more accessible with Mirror and Glass, its first low-stimulus performance aimed at young people aged 16 plus who prefer a quieter and more informal environment.

    It’s taking place on 12 March at London’s famous Wigmore Hall and features music by Arvo Pärt, Caroline Shaw, and Frédéric Chopin.

    The music will not contain any sudden or loud moments and lighting will be kept low, with the performance taking place in the daytime to benefit from the natural light from the ceiling window in the venue.