The Stoller Hall in Manchester has announced its first ever programme of concerts and live events celebrating the natural world through music.

As an independent music venue committed to sustainable practices, The Stoller Hall at Chetham’s in Manchester is launching the Sounds of Nature programme for 2022, and hopes to inspire change across the music industry.

The new programme of concerts and family friendly music events will celebrate how our changing planet has inspired music around the world.

For every ticket purchased for events in the Sounds of Nature programme, The Stoller Hall will donate at least £1 to City of Trees, a conservation campaign helping deliver a green recovery plan by planting trees and restoring woodlands for the people and wildlife of Greater Manchester.

The season launches on Thursday 24th February with Freedom To Roam: The Rhythms of Migration – an evening of music and film featuring a world renowned line up of musicians. The event continues its UK tour following this northern premiere at The Stoller Hall.

The ideas behind the event were originally conceived by flautist Eliza Marshall during a visit to the Inner Hebrides in 2018 which resulted in a beautifully crafted album fusing Celtic, African and Indian sounds with classical, folk and a hint of electronica. The album will be played in its entirety live on stage by Marshall, with album co-writers harpist Catrin Finch, violinist Jackie Shave and Dónal Rogers on guitars/bass plus special guests including tabla player Kuljit Bhamra (MBE) and cellist Robert Irvine.

‘Connected’ – a half-hour documentary directed by award-winning director Nicholas Jones’s and co-produced by Eliza, explores issues around rewilding, conservation, migration, mental health and climate change. It features (amongst others) Virginia Mckenna, author Nick Hayes and rewilding pioneer Alan Watson Featherstone and will be screened on the night, prior to the live musical performance.

Additional highlights of The Stoller Hall’s Sounds of Nature programme include Melting, Shifting, Liquid World, designed and composed by Holly Harding, a PhD student at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Looking at the fragility of our modern world, this immersive piece takes place in The Stoller Hall Atrium and invites the audience and performers to listen to a newly reimagined version of Vivaldi’s iconic The Four Seasons alongside Hollie Harding’s immersive work for string orchestra, electric viola and bone conduction headphones.

In April, Ghost Owl with Brooks Williams & Aaron Catlow join together the talents of these acclaimed musicians to create an evening of acoustic guitar and violin duets inspired by, and written for, the Barn Owl (aka the Ghost Owl).

As part of The Stoller Hall’s commitment to curating world-class musical programming starring the best talent local talent – and continuing their partnership with The Stoller Hall as orchestra in residence – the Northern Chamber Orchestra will perform with Chetham’s School of Music alumni, Ben Hulme, who is now principal horn of the BBC Philharmonic. The evening’s programme will feature Mancunian composer Adrienne Spilsbury’s Eyebright (2019), inspired by visits to wildflower meadows in Cheshire. The concert opens with Johann Strauss II – one of his finest waltzes with his most substantial and impressive introduction. Mendelssohn’s exhilarating Italian symphony, which he composed aged just 22, concludes this box of delights.

As a pre-curser to the Sounds of Nature series launch, Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra – made up of some of the UK’s most talented young musicians on the cusp of great musical careers from the affiliated and prestigious Chetham’s School of Music – will perform in The Stoller Hall this February. Featuring debut solo performances by percussion student Sofia Stevenson and young pianist Rebeka Tan – the evening’s nature themed concert will also include African Sunrise / Manhattan Rave, by Manchester born composer and flautist David Heath alongside pieces by Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff, conducted by Jonathan Bloxham.

Sixth form student, Sofia is one of the UK’s most exciting and promising young percussionists, and is following in the footsteps of Chetham’s last percussion starlet Fang Zhang, who won the BBC Young Musician Award in 2020/21. GCSE student Rebeka, an exceptionally gifted rising piano star, hails from China, and has travelled from Shanghai to continue her musical education at Chetham’s.

For Families and young people, Sounds of Nature will also feature a number of concerts and one-off events bringing the magic and wonder of nature and the natural world to life. Kicking off this family programme is The Race to Space: A Musical Adventure – a daytime concert aimed at 3-12 year olds. Youngsters and their families are taken on an interactive musical adventure to space discovering music from Holst’s The Planets, as well as other extra-terrestrial musical worlds. Additional family events will be added throughout the year.

Throughout the Sounds of Nature year of programming, The Stoller Hall will also share its own journey towards sustainability with audiences, aiming along the way to set a benchmark for the live music industry by providing a stage for the best artists and performers within the region, sourcing sustainable products in the venue bar and reviewing energy efficiencies within its state-of-the art building. The Stoller Hall team will even take part in the City of Trees tree planting conservation work in Manchester.

Fran Healey, General Manager at The Stoller Hall, said: “We are beyond excited to announce this eclectic and exciting new season inspired by the natural world. There are so many great composers and musicians – both established and up and coming – whose work celebrates the challenges and also the beauty of nature. This season is designed to shed a spotlight on and celebrate these themes. As an increasingly sustainable and environmentally conscious venue, it also gives us the opportunity to give something back to the wider music industry, to share best practice with like-minded venues and performers. We are thrilled to bring audiences on this journey with us too. For every ticket purchased, we will make a donation to the Forestry Commission to help fund a ring of forests around the M60 motorway, in Greater Manchester.”

Tickets for the Sounds of Nature events are available to book online at

Full Sounds of Nature Programme:


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