Opera North and the University of Leeds invite community partners to join them at a concert on Wednesday 22 June 2022 to celebrate the opening of the flagship Esther Simpson Building, the new home of the School of Law and Leeds University Business School.

A lover of German Romantic music, Esther Simpson graduated from the University of Leeds in 1924, and spent nearly all of her working life as secretary to the Academic Assistance Council (which would later become the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning and then the Council for At-Risk Academics). While the Council initially focused on helping scholars escape from Nazi Germany, it assisted academics from Greece, Poland, Hungary, Uganda, Zimbabwe and many other countries reach places of safety. Among the refugees Esther helped during the Second World War, 74 became Fellows of the Royal Society, 34 Fellows of the British Academy, and 16 were awarded the Nobel Prize. Awarded the OBE in 1956 and an honorary doctorate from the University in 1989, Esther passed away in 1996.

Opera North is delighted to join the university in hosting this special concert celebrating Esther’s remarkable life. The first half of the evening features student performers from the School of Music. Following a short interval, Opera North will take to the stage to present a stimulating programme (with repertoire including Gideon Klein and Franz Schubert). In a nod to her passion for viola and violin music, we welcome string trio Hannah Perowne, Richard Jenkinson and Lucy Nolan, alongside pianist Martin Pickard and soprano Katie Bird.

Venue: Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.
Time: 7.30pm
Date: Wednesday 22 June 2022


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