Dame Sarah Connolly & Sir Simon Keenlyside to Give Inaugural Performances in Pembroke College Cambridge’s Newly Refurbished Auditorium

By Afton Wooten
(Photo credit: Marco Borggreve, Christopher Pledger, & Robert Workman)

The recently updated 200-seat chamber hall at Pembroke College Cambridge welcomes baritone Sir Simon Keenlyside on Oct. 5 and mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly on Nov. 1.

Keenlyside opens the Bliss International Song Series with Schubert’s “Winterreise.” Connolly follows with selections by Brahms, Mahler, Frank Bridge, and Edmund Rubbra. Artistic Director Joseph Middleton performs alongside at new Steinway piano.

Middleton commented on the new auditorium in a press release by saying, “Pembroke College remains the single most important place for song recitals in the region, attracting the world’s finest singers to perform the greatest repertoire in front of a warm and discerning audience. The opening of the superb new Pembroke Auditorium is the icing on the cake. Cambridge now boasts a stunning chamber music hall, perfect for this intimate art-form. I am particularly drawn to the marriage of text and music and it is this that makes Lieder such a special corner of the repertoire. The rich tapestry of subject matter encourages us to look into ourselves for reflection and the very nature of this music-making, one that is collaborative (poet and composer, singer and pianist, performers and audience) encourages community and thoughtful exchange.”

The Bliss International Song Series is a year-round program of concerts dedicated to art song performed by the world’s leading opera stars. In its first decade, the series has featured baritone Sir Thomas Allen, soprano Dame Felicity Lott, tenor Ian Bostridge, baritone Roderick Williams, and soprano Fatma Said to name a few.