Katie Melua and the BBC Concert Orchestra to perform original work inspired by Oxford research

A one-off musical performance of wholly original songs developed by young musicians in Oxford working with the singer-songwriter Katie Melua comes to the Sheldonian Theatre on 28 April.

This is part of the award-winning performer’s Visiting Fellowship in the Humanities Cultural Programme at the University of Oxford. In recent weeks, she has led workshops with Oxford student musicians and young people to develop the work, which is inspired by Oxford historian Professor Peter Frankopan’s book, The Silk Roads. The works draw on Professor Frankopan’s account of these ancient trade routes, exploring journeys through time, geographies and cultures.

Join us for an evening held in the iconic Sheldonian Theatre, that transcends musical styles, moving from pop to classical as Katie Melua frames the narratives of student song-writers, who will perform alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra and University players in a concert that embraces creative collaboration.

Katie Melua says: “I believe that songs are one of the most potent carriers of culture, human experience, and story-telling. I have forever felt that universities are the source of cutting-edge thinking and cultural development, but rarely do I see the two playgrounds of musical artistry and academic study come together.

“I’ve got this great desire to hear real wisdom in popular songs. Songs that can really heal and that can do great things for mankind. The idea behind the project is to examine what it takes to write a great song and the workshops are going to culminate in a concert at the Sheldonian Theatre.”

Professor Wes Williams, who is leading the Humanities Cultural Programme at the University of Oxford, says: “Katie Melua’s Visiting Fellowship exemplifies all that is unique about the Humanities Cultural Programme. It brings together world-leading research and cultural practice; it offers students and young people from across Oxford the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with an award-winning singer and songwriter; and its legacy begins with the public performance of a wonderful new body of work. We hope as many people as possible will join us to fill the Sheldonian Theatre on the 28th April."

Katie Melua and Dr Luke Lewis have guided the University of Oxford students and young people from local charities Young Women’s Music Project and In-Spire Sounds, through the process of song-writing to create a unique soundscape, where stories new and old sing their way down the Silk Road.

This event is brought to you by the Humanities Cultural Programme. To find out more about Katie Melua’s Visiting Fellowship, please visit the TORCH website. Tickets are available via Music at Oxford.