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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.

February 2020

Richard Causton | La Terra Impareggiabile

February 6 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD United Kingdom
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Baritone Marcus Farnsworth and pianist Huw Watkins give a recital in which they give the world premiere of Richard Causton's song cycle La Terra Impareggiabile (The Incomparable Earth). Written over a span of more than twenty years,  La Terra Impareggiabile sets words by the Sicilian poet and Nobel Prizewinner Salvatore Quasimodo…

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Ensemble ISIS

February 7 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD United Kingdom
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Conducted by Dr John Traill. Programme to feature works by Richard Causton alongside student compositions. Tickets: £5 Faculty of Music students and staff: to get your free tickets, email events@music.ox.ac.uk 

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Rohan de Saram: Chamber Music Coaching

February 20 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD United Kingdom

Ahead of the evening's concert, celebrated cellist Rohan de Saram will coach student chamber music groups.

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Music for Two Cellos: Old and New | Rohan de Saram and Neil Heyde

February 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD United Kingdom

Rohan de Saram, "one of the greatest cellists of our time", joins with cellist Neil Heyde of the Kreutzer Quartet to perform works for two cellos spanning the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including Offenbach's cello duos. Programme Jacques Offenbach – Duo for two cellos, op. 53 no. 2 (1847) David…

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Contrapunctus Workshop

February 28 @ 2:00 pm
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD United Kingdom
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Free and open to all. Ahead of their concert on Saturday 29 February, Owen Rees and soloists from Contrapunctus will work with Faculty of Music students on seventeenth-century repertoire and performance issues.

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March 2020

Love’s Voice: Intimations in Song

March 12 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3SD United Kingdom

A song-recital in Europe's oldest purpose-built concert hall. A celebration of love in its many forms and intensities. Cherished song-cycles by John Ireland and Gerald Finzi are placed alongside four masterful settings of John Addington Symonds by Ian Venables, 'Britain's greatest living composer of art song' (Musical Opinion), and the…

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