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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

27 Apr

Humanitas Illustrated Lecture by Dame Mitsuko Uchida

How they differ, comparing two major piano concertos: Beethoven N.4 in G Major and Mozart’s K. 503 Pianist Mitsuko Uchida is amongst the best loved and respected in the music world. She returns to Oxford to give an illustrated lecture in memory of the late Lord Weidenfeld who created the Humanitas Visiting Professor at Oxford and Cambridge. To book tickets, please register here.  

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5 May

Concert: Bringing Proust’s Imaginary Music to Life

Oxford students re-imagine Proust’s fictional music The French writer Marcel Proust is perhaps best known for the length of his magnum opus, the seven-volume A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), a complex and rewarding work which has fascinated generations of readers. Less well known is the fact that Proust devoted a surprising amount of the novel to music. In particular, the descriptions of the fictional music of the imaginary composer Vinteuil have provoked many questions:…

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13 May

Cello and Chamber Music Masterclass

Legendary cellist Rohan de Saram comes to Oxford on a rare visit to share his knowledge and experience of several of the greatest 20th century composers and their works.

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13 May

In Conversation: Rohan de Saram

Natalie Clein will be in conversation with Rohan de Saram and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Tickets available on the door (£5). Free for music students.

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18 Jun

Bate Collection Family Concert with Gosford Hill School


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