The complete Shostakovich string quartets among the 2013 Utzon Room offerings.

The Sydney Opera House today announced its 2013 series of ten solo and chamber recitals in the intimate surrounds of the Utzon Room.

The highlight, in July, will be a sprawling weekend marathon of five concerts encompassing all 15 Shostakovich quartets, performed by stalwart London ensemble the Brodsky String Quartet.

In October, the Opera House shares its 40th birthday celebrations with another long-serving British group, The Tallis Scholars, who will sound the magnificent high C of Allegri’s Miserere in the Concert Hall. The Renaissance choir has soared in the charts this year, on the back of a reference to Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in Alium in the best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Last year the Utzon Room Series suffered a blow when American soprano Deborah Voigt suddenly cancelled her highly anticipated recital to undergo emergency knee surgery. In 2013, there are two great Wagnerian sopranos on board, just for good measure: British Susan Bullock comes with her regular accompanist Malcolm Martineau ahead of her performances in the Melbourne Ring Cycle, while Brisbane-based Lisa Gasteen returns to the Opera House.

There are two intimate solo Bach programs: American pianist Simone Dinnerstein plays the Goldberg Variations – the work that made her famous when she self-financed her now critically acclaimed recording of it; and German-born Christian Tetzlaff performs the complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin.

Sydney Opera House head of classical music and Utzon Series curator Yarmila Alfonzetti says the smaller concerts, which attract major international artists but sell out at just 200 seats, cannot turn a profit and are seen by the Opera House as a purely artistic venture.

The Utzon Music Series received an Editor’s Choice in the Limelight Season Preview issue, out now