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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

23 Jan

Trumpet Masterclass with Alison Balsom

27 Jan

Bach Project: Minds in counterpoint

Exploring Bach’s Goldberg Variations  After our very successful first Bach day in October which focused on string playing and performance practises associated with Bach, I wanted for our Bach Day part 2 to delve in to some more general but equally fascinating elements of Bach’s music. I couldn’t think of a better piece to use as a conduit to discuss what his music does to us and why than Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I am thrilled to present two performances of…

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28 Jan

Masterclass with Henning Kraggerud

We are thrilled to welcome the esteemed Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud to the Faculty of Music, in collaboration with Music at Oxford. Henning will host this masterclass for three accomplished young violinists from the University, providing a unique opportunity for the chosen musicians to hone their techniques, as well as a unique opportunity for us, as the audience, to witness the intense discipline required by an international soloist. Born in Oslo, Henning is a recipient of Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize…

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1 Feb

The Villiers Quartet Lunchtime Concert

  Finn Shields (Oxford composition student) – Neuvoton Sophie Sparkes (Oxford composition student)  – Surges II Dmitri Shostakovich – Quartet no. 3 in F major, Op. 73 Tickets are available HERE.   

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3 Feb

Concert: The Villiers Quartet

The quartet’s second concert has a very Viennese flavour, ranging from Schubert’s single movement, said to be ‘…the only movement in Schubert’s instrumental work, prior to the “Unfinished Symphony”, which prepares us for the greatness which bursts forth in that symphony’, through to Webern’s early and lushly scored Langsamer Satz (literally: ‘slow movement’). Soprano Julia Sitkovetsky joins the players for Schoenberg’s other-worldly setting of Stefan George’s poetry.   Schubert Quartettsatz Schoenberg Quartet no. 2 with soprano Julia Sitkovetsky Webern Langsamer Satz Brahms Quartet in C minor op. 51 no. 1 Music…

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5 Feb

Bate Concert: Mike Bardsley & Arne Richards

17 Feb

Concert and Talk: The Harmonie in Beethoven’s Vienna

Pre concert talk 6.45pm Claire Holden, Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded Transforming 19th-Century Historically Informed Performance project at the Faculty of Music discusses approaches to performing early 19th-century arrangements with members of Boxwood and Brass. The Harmonie in Beethoven’s Vienna A rare chance to hear this extraordinary harmonie version of Beethoven’s symphony on instruments of the early 19th century, exactly 200 years after it was issued by the composer’s publisher. Leading specialists Boxwood & Brass place this tour-de-force in…

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25 Feb

Concert: Broadside Ballads

Sam Lee, Lisa Knapp, Nathaniel Mann. Three of the UK’s most innovative folk artists reinvent a collection of British Broadsides – low cost daily song sheets sold for pence – giving a rare insight into Britain’s music, literary and political history. Delving into the collection of Broadsides at the Bodleian Libraries and beyond, Sam Lee, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann lead a five-piece band, and bring to life Broadside Ballads for a new generation. All three artists challenge the preconceptions…

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28 Feb

Concert: The Bate Players – Brandenburg 6


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8 Mar

Masterclass with Natalie Clein

Tickets available from www.musicatoxford.com      

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18 Jun

Bate Collection Family Concert with Gosford Hill School


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