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Holywell Music Room

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Holywell Street Oxford, OX1 3BN United Kingdom

In the summer of 1998, the Holywell Music Room celebrated its 250th anniversary. The oldest custom-built concert hall in Europe, it opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1748. Designed by Thomas Camplin, Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall, the building was probably the brainchild of William Hayes, then Professor of Music at the University. The project was funded by public subscription (established in 1742). The room continued as a concert venue throughout the eighteenth century and until 1836, from which time it was used for a number of other events, including auctions and exhibitions. By the 1870s, it was being used for weekly rehearsals by the Oxford Philharmonic Society and its future as a musical venue was further secured after 1910 when the Oxford University Musical Union obtained a lease on the building. The Holywell was restored and refitted in 1959-60 and since that time has been the location for many hundreds of recitals and concert series featuring prestigious visiting musicians as well as many local groups and student performers.

While Wadham College owns the Holywell Music Room, the use of this room is divided between the Faculty of Music and the College. The Faculty makes use of the room during University Term Time and Wadham during vacations, with each using its own discretion regarding policy and charges.

Upcoming Events

28 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival : The Schumann Project – Late Style & Legacy study day

Laura Tunbridge leads a fascinating study day on Schumann’s later works and his legacy. Ensemble ISIS perform Robin Holloway’s Fantasy-Pieces on the Heine Liederkreis of Schumann, with pianist Maki Sekiya, which incorporates a performance of the Op. 24 Liederkreis with tenor James Gilchrist. Introduced by the composer.  

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5 Nov

Trio Khimaira – A concert offered on the occasion of the Balzan Musicology Workshop

Trio Khimaira is made up of three extraordinary musicians – Ziad Ben Youssef (oud), Luis Velasco-Pufleau (guitar) and Yanal Staiti (percussion). The trio bring an exhilarating range of influences to bear on their playing together, and have developed a musical language that lies at the boundary of written and oral, composed and improvised forms. Drawing on their different backgrounds, the group blend traditional Arabic genres, Latin American music, and flamenco, producing an astonishing soundworld. For this concert, Trio Khimaira focuses…

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13 Nov

European Connection

Newly-founded chamber ensemble Improviso present music from eighteenth century Europe, including works by J.S. Bach, Telemann, and Sammartini. Featuring instruments from the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

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20 Nov

The Villiers Quartet

Purcell Fantasias Carl Nielsen At the bier of a Young Artist Robert Saxton Fantazia for String Quartet Sibelius Quartet in D minor Voces Intimae In their second year of the Radcliffe Chamber Music Residency at the University of Oxford, The Villiers Quartet present the first of their four concerts this year. The concert places the pure, clever structure of the Fantasias of Purcell alongside a modern-day equivalent – the Fantazia for String Quartet by Oxford composer Robert Saxton – a rich,…

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23 Nov

The Villiers Quartet Lunchtime Concert

Sibelius – Adagio and Fugue in D minor (12′) Kui Dong – “Spring” (6′) Tchaikovsky – Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11 (30′)   Music students! Please email events@music.ox.ac.uk to reserve your free ticket

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29 Nov

Bate Concert – Prince Regent’s Band

The Prince Regent’s Band Richard Fomison – soprano saxhorn and cornets Richard Thomas – contralto saxhorn, tenor saxhorn and cornets Anneke Scott – tenor saxhorn and ventilhorn Phil Dale – baritone saxhorn Jeff Miller – contrabasse saxhorn The Celebrated Distin Family The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments has invited the Prince Regent’s Band for a concert celebrating the Distin Family and explore nineteenth century music for brass instruments. The Distin Family was one of the earliest and most famous of…

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1 Feb

The Villiers Quartet Lunchtime Concert

Finn Shields – Neuvoton (7′) Dmitri Shostakovich – Quartet no. 3 in F major, Op. 73 (32′)

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3 Feb

The Villiers Quartet

Schubert Quartettsatz Schoenberg Quartet no. 2 with soprano Julia Sitkovetsky Webern Langsamer Satz Brahms Quartet in C minor op. 51 no. 1 Music Students! Email events@music.ox.ac.uk to reserve your free ticket

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