Opera North’s principal guest conductor Antony Hermus promises an “amazing” programme of Shostakovich and Prokofiev for the first orchestral concert in the Kirklees Year of Music 2023 at Huddersfield Town Hall on Thursday January 26.

The Dutchman – who will also be conducting Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos on Opera North’s mainstage from next month – is looking forward to being part of the district’s year-long celebration of music, and welcoming audiences new and old to the Leeds-based company’s concerts in Huddersfield and Dewsbury town halls.

For the first concert of 2023, Antony and the Orchestra of Opera North will be joined in Huddersfield by the brilliant Moscow-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg as soloist in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto.

Prokofiev himself was a superb pianist, and combined his composing with a hugely successful career as a solo performer. Full of his trademark wit and style, the Third Piano Concerto demands great skill and instinct of the soloist as they tussle with the orchestra.

“Boris is an amazing virtuoso,” said Antony. “He won the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2013, and he’s made an international career since then. If there’s ever the possibility to work with a pianist, I always try to get Boris. We love working with each other because we are on the same wavelength musically.”

Taking up the second half of the concert is Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony.

Boris Giltburg. Pic by: Sasha Gusov

Antony added: “Huddersfield Town Hall is a really wonderful concert hall. You have the feeling of intimacy, as if you’re in the middle of the sound. You can sit close to the orchestra and really feel the vibes – and I can tell you, with these two works, vibes will come through!”

Dewsbury Lunchtime Concerts begin on Wednesday January 25 with the Opera North Piano Quintet featuring guest leader Andrew Beer of Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, in a concert centred around a performance of Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major.

Tickets for orchestral concerts in the Kirklees Concert Season start at £13, anyone aged 16 or under can see an orchestral concert for just £1, and tickets for under 30s and full-time students are priced at £4.

For more details and booking, visit Kirklees Town Hall bookings website – click here or www.operanorth.co.uk.