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Holywell Music Room

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Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD 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.

October 2021

26 Oct

Castalian String Quartet: Janacek, Ligeti, Schubert

Janacek - ‘Kreutzer Sonata’; Ligeti - String Quartet no.1, ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes’; Schubert - D887, G major The Castalian String Quratet present an exploration of works by composers from central Europe, from Janacek's dramatic retelling of Leo Tolstoy's novella of the same name, to Ligeti's micropolyphonic 'Métaphorphasis noctures', and culminating in…

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27 Oct

Oxford Seminar in Music Theory & Analysis: Roundtable Discussion – ‘Analysing Haydn’

Roundtable Discussion: ‘Analysing Haydn’, chaired by Laura Tunbridge.  Based around a performance by the Castalian Quartet of Hans Keller's analysis of Joseph Haydn's String Quartet Op. 76/2, with contributions by Keller biographer Alison Garnham (Visiting Research Fellow, Goldsmiths, University of London), John Bowcock (St Anne’s College, Oxford), Judith Valerie Engel (Christ…

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November 2021

5 Nov

Ensemble ISIS concert

Ensemble ISIS with music director Dr John Traill. A focus on music by Shirley J Thompson including her works: Odyssey Sunbeam (Ilanga) Wildfire Mabuika! Plus Daniel Kidane Constant Tides and works by graduate composers Founded in 2002 by Prof Robert Saxton composer and conductor Dr John Traill (Director of Music at St…

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