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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.

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October 2017
21 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Masterclass for Music College Applicants with Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman leads a class for those aspiring to study music at college. Free to observers. To book a performance place, please buy a ticket. Sophie will be in touch within 5 working days from receipt of your booking. If you have any questions prior to making a booking, please…

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21 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Showcase Recital: Joel Williams (tenor), James Atkinson (baritone), João Araújo (piano)

Three outstanding young musicians give this year’s Royal College of Music platform recital, including works by Brahms and settings of Rückert by Schumann.

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21 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Rückert Lieder: Sylvia Schwartz (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)

The dazzling soprano Sylvia Schwartz returns to the Festival to perform Mahler’s five settings of Rückert: an extraordinary meeting of words and music. The programme also includes songs by Reger and Strauss.

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22 Oct

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features Viv Mclean with the Adderbury Ensemble performing Dvorak's Piano Quintet No. 2 and Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 74 'Harp'.

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22 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Mahler: Reader, Thinker, Composer: Christina Sidak (mezzo-soprano) and Deirdre Brenner (piano)

Christina Sidak, one of Austria’s most exciting young mezzos, and superb American pianist Deirdre Brenner perform songs by Gustav and Alma Mahler, and other repertoire that features in the day’s discussions, including songs by Schubert and Schumann.

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22 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – From Vienna to Moscow: Michael Mofidian (bass-baritone), Keval Shah (piano)

Bass-baritone Michael Mofidian and Keval Shah gave an exceptional recital at the Spring Weekend of Song auditions for the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platforms. They were clear winners (joint with Peter Harris and Hamish Brown, who give their showcase recital on Satuday 14 October) and today give their Festival recital…

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22 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Sibelius & Mahler: Maria Forsström (mezzo-soprano), Matti Hirvonen (piano)

In the centenary year of Finnish independence, it seems apt to celebrate the country’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius, who met Mahler in 1907. Following a selection of Sibelius songs, this exceptional duo of Swedish artists perform Mahler’s profoundly moving Kindertotenlieder.

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25 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Across Borders: Ben Johnson (tenor), James Bailieu (piano)

These two superb artists, both stars of the new generation, perform early songs by Mahler and explore contemporaneous developments in English song through Elgar, Parry and others, who fell under many of the same influences while finding their own different and individual voices.

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25 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Spring Sonatas: Sophie Rosa (violin), Sholto Kynoch (piano)

Richard Strauss’s uplifting Violin Sonata in E flat, Op.18, was written in 1887–8, the early years of his romance with his future wife, Pauline. It is coupled with Beethoven’s equally sunny 'Spring' Sonata, played here by prize-winning violinist Sophie Rosa.

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25 Oct

Oxford Lieder 2017 – Liebeslieder Walzer: Elena Copons (soprano), Christina Sidak (mezzo-soprano), Jan Petryka (tenor), Martin Hässler (baritone), Deirdre Brenner (piano), Sholto Kynoch (piano)

A celebration of Viennese culture would not be complete without some element of dancing! Brahms enjoyed great success during his own lifetime, and his acclaimed two sets of Liebeslieder Walzer ('Love-song Waltzes') have been hugely popular ever since the first of them were heard in 1870. A team of four…

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26 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Brahms & Schubert: Tom Poster (piano), Sholto Kynoch (piano)

A recital of piano duets, featuring Brahms' exuberant Waltzes, Op. 39, a tribute to his adopted city of Vienna, and Schubert's miraculous Variations in A flat, D813.

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26 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Mahler, Berg, Korngold & Strauss: Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo-soprano), Julius Drake (piano)

World-famous mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager returns to the Festival to perform songs by Gustav and Alma Mahler, Berg (Op.2), Korngold and Strauss. Korngold’s Op.38 songs are among his finest, and include various references to his famed film scores.

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27 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Russian Romances: Katherine Broderick (soprano), Sergey Rybin (piano)

Katherine Broderick and Sergey Rybin give a programme of passionate Russian song, including works by Mussorgsky, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov and others, as part of our day exploring the Russian Revolution of 1917.

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27 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – 1917: The Last Flowering: Alexander Karpeyev (piano)

As part of our day exploring Russian song and the Russian Revolution of 1917, we welcome the Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko, winner of the Song Prize at the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, for an evening of Tchaikovsky songs, almost the Russian equivalent of a ‘Schubertiade’.

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27 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Tchaikovsky: Andrei Bondarenko (baritone), Gary Matthewman (piano)

As part of our day exploring Russian song and the Russian Revolution of 1917, we welcome the Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko, winner of the Song Prize at the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, for an evening of Tchaikovsky songs, almost the Russian equivalent of a ‘Schubertiade’.

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28 Oct

Oxford Lieder Festival 2017 – Mastercourse Concert with introduction by Ann Murray

At the end of an immersive week of study and preparation, led by Ann Murray with a team of prestigious guest tutors, nine outstanding duos present the fruits of their labours in a delightfully varied programme that is always a Festival highlight. The concert will be in two parts with…

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29 Oct

Coffee Concert

This week's concert features the Tippett String Quartet. Borodin: String Quartet No. 2 in D major Beethoven: String Quartet no 10 in E flat major, op 74 (“Harp”)

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29 Oct

Oxford Chamber Music Society – Touching Bass

Mozart Oboe Quartet K370 Westhoff Imitation of Bells Bottesini Elegy for double bass Mozart Adagio for cor anglais and string trio K580a Britten Phantasy Quartet for oboe and strings Bottesini Gran Duo Concertante for violin and double bass, oboe and strings This is high end entertainment, with several of the pieces featuring a virtuoso double bass,…

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30 Oct

OUCMS Concert

Featuring the Oxford University Chamber Music Society. a thriving Oxford University Chamber Music Society serves to provide opportunities for individuals and existing ensembles at Oxford University to rehearse, play and perform chamber music

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31 Oct

Megan Henwood in Concert

Megan Henwood plus support.

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November 2017
4 Nov

OUWO Concert

OUWO is proud to present a fundraising concert in tandem with the National Autistic Society. After a workshop with a group of children from the NAS, we will be putting on a concert in the evening of popular themes from film and musical theatre to raise funds both for the…

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5 Nov

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features the Tippett String Quartet with Olivier Stankiewicz (oboe), performing Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F, Januibe Tegra's New work for solo oboe, and Britten's Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings.

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5 Nov

Handel: The Messiah

The Kennington & District United Church Choirs in Oxford came into being in December 1973, when singers from the three Kennington churches, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist, came together for a united Carol Service. The Carol Service continues each year on a Sunday evening just before Christmas. From this fairly…

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8 Nov

Masters Composers: Lunchtime Concert

Featuring the new music by composers on our Masters courses: by Jacob Landau, Harris Ferguson, Tom Metcalf, Patrick Keefe and Alastair Matthews.

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8 Nov

Composers lunchtime concert

Masters composers lunchtime concert Music by Jacob Landau, Harris Ferguson, Tom Metcalf, Patrick Keefe and Alastair Matthews.

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11 Nov

Oxford Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble

Established in 1998, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra occupies a unique position within the UK orchestral landscape. Hailed as ‘thoroughly impressive’ by BBC Music Magazine, its reputation is based on the uncompromising artistic standards of its founder and Music Director Marios Papadopoulos, and maintained by some of the finest musicians in the…

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12 Nov

Coffee Concert

With Viv McLean. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BMV 998

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13 Nov

OUCMS Concert

Featuring the thriving Oxford University Chamber Music Society serves to provide opportunities for individuals and existing ensembles at Oxford University to rehearse, play and perform chamber music.

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14 Nov

Reiko Fujisawa, piano

Reiko is excited to return to Oxford’s wonderful Holywell Music Room. Programme: Thomas Adès - 3 Mazurkas Beethoven - Sonata No.23 in F minor Op.57 ("Appassionata") Chopin - Sonata No.3 in B minor

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15 Nov

Bate Concert – The Prince Regent’s Band

The Prince Regent's Band The Prince Regent’s Band was formed to explore the wealth of historic chamber music for brass and wind instruments from a period roughly defined as between the French Revolution of 1789 and the end of First World War in 1918. Members of the current The Prince Regent’s Band are…

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15 Nov

Bate Concert – The Prince Regent’s Band

The Prince Regent's Band The Prince Regent’s Band was formed to explore the wealth of historic chamber music for brass and wind instruments from a period roughly defined as between the French Revolution of 1789 and the end of First World War in 1918. Members of the current The Prince Regent’s Band are…

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16 Nov

Piano Masterclass with Katya Apekisheva

Katya Apekisheva is one of Europe’s most renowned pianists, in demand internationally as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. Since becoming a prize-winner in the Leeds International and Scottish Piano Competitions and collating awards such as the London Philharmonic ‘Soloist of the Year’ and the Terence Judd Award…

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17 Nov

Eastward Journey: Recital of Slavic Music

Haas and Dvořák of Czech; Mussorgsky and Shostakovich of Russian; Lysenko, Filtz, Shamo and Nyzhankivsky of Ukrainian cultures. Rarely performed song cycles and excerpts (some never performed in the UK before this duet) by these legendary composers of the three Slavic countries, so close to each other, but so individual in expressing emotions…

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19 Nov

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features the Carducci String Quartet performing the Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 95 and Debussy's String Quartet.

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19 Nov

Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017

The final round of the biennial Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers' Competition, aimed at identifying the country's finest emerging young singers.

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20 Nov

The Oxford Trobadors Concert

Medieval and modern Occitan songs and music. Programme to include familiar favourites and new compositions.

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24 Nov

The Villiers Quartet

The Villiers Quartet are in their last year of the Radcliffe chamber music residency at the Faculty of Music presented in association with Music at Oxford. Following a brilliant couple of years with concerts in the fabulous Holywell Music Room, they offer an engaging variety of music in their final…

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24 Nov

The Villiers Quartet

The Villiers Quartet are in their last year of the Radcliffe chamber music residency at the Faculty of Music presented in association with Music at Oxford. Following a brilliant couple of years of workshops, lecture-recitals and concerts in the fabulous Holywell Music Room, they offer an engaging programme in their…

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24 Nov

The Villiers Quartet

The Villiers Quartet are in their last year of the Radcliffe chamber music residency at the Faculty of Music presented in association with Music at Oxford. Following a brilliant couple of years of workshops, lecture-recitals and concerts in the fabulous Holywell Music Room, they offer an engaging programme in their…

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26 Nov

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features Tim Horton (piano) and Benjamin Nabarro (violin) performing Debussy's Violin Sonata, Bartok's Second Violin Sonata and Beethoven's Violin Sonata Op. 30 No. 1.

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26 Nov

Oxford Chamber Music Society – Piano Trio Masterpieces

Mendelssohn Piano Trio no 1 in D minor op 49 Brahms Piano trio no 2 in C major op 87 Ravel Piano Trio Three masterpieces of the piano trio genre – think of the virtuoso piano excitement of the Mendelssohn, the grandeur of the Brahms and the impressionistic poetry of the Ravel. To…

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27 Nov

Ellie Blamires with the Ripieno Players

Featuring works by C.P.E Bach, Elliott and Stravinski.

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December 2017
3 Dec

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features the Heath String Quartet, performing Haydn's String Quartet in D minor, Widmann's String Quartet No. 3 and Mendelssohn's String Quartet in F minor.

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10 Dec

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features the Adderbury Ensemble performing Ravel's Septet (Introduction and Allegro), Saint Saens' Fantasie and Mozart's Clarinet Quintet.

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17 Dec

Coffee Concert

This week's Coffee Concert features Daniel Lebhardt performing Beethoven's Sonata in D minor, Op. 32, No. 2 'Tempest Sonata', and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit (complete).

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January 2018
21 Jan

Oxford Chamber Music Society – Schubert & Different Trains

The Bingham is one of the most innovative of UK string quartets, venturing where not all ensembles choose or dare to go so we are particularly excited to have in the Reich and Crumb two ‘Bingham classics’. Their performance of the first of Schubert’s three late, great quartets will be…

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27 Jan

Bach and the concerto

Bach Project: Bach and the concerto Pre-concert discussion at 6:30pm with John Butt, Alexander Janiczek, James Boyd and members of Instruments of Time and Truth. Concert at 8:15pm, Curated by the Faculty's Director of Performance, Natalie Clein Alexander Janiczek, violin Dan Edgar, violin James Boyd, viola Instruments of Time and Truth…

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27 Jan

Bach Project: Bach and the Concerto

Director of Performance Natalie Clein leads the Bach project, exploring the music of JS Bach. Natalie Clein, Cello Alexander Janiczek, violin Dan Edgar, violin James Boyd, viola Instruments of Time and Truth Programme to include: Bach Violin concerto in A major with Alexander Janiczek Bach Concerto for Viola, Strings and…

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February 2018
9 Feb

Contrapunctus Workshop

A workshop on vocal consort singing techniques, led by Owen Rees and members of Contrapunctus.

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9 Feb

Contrapunctus Workshop

A workshop on vocal consort singing techniques, led by Owen Rees and members of Contrapunctus.

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23 Feb

The Villiers Quartet

The Villiers Quartet are in their last year of the Radcliffe chamber music residency at the Faculty of Music presented in association with Music at Oxford. Following a brilliant couple of years with concerts in the fabulous Holywell Music Room, they offer an engaging variety of music in their final…

Find out more »
23 Feb

Villiers Quartet

The Villiers Quartet are in their last year of the Radcliffe chamber music residency at the Faculty of Music presented in association with Music at Oxford. Following a brilliant couple of years of workshops, lecture-recitals and concerts in the fabulous Holywell Music Room, they offer an engaging programme in their…

Find out more »
23 Feb

The Villiers Quartet

The Villiers Quartet are in their last year of the Radcliffe chamber music residency at the Faculty of Music presented in association with Music at Oxford. Following a brilliant couple of years of workshops, lecture-recitals and concerts in the fabulous Holywell Music Room, they offer an engaging programme in their…

Find out more »
27 Feb

Workshop: Voice Culture

Shruti Samvaad ~ A Conversation with Music A discussion on the basics of Hindustani Classical Music. Part of the Sounds of South Asia series.

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28 Feb

Ensemble Isis Concert with Shruti Jauhari

Appropriation, cross-pollination and cultural transmission The Faculty’s New Music ensemble, Ensemble Isis with Music Director John Traill, performs Maurice Delage's Quatre poèmes hindous (chamber version), traditional Hindustani works performed by vocalist Dr Shruti Jauhari and a new work by Des Oliver in a programme that explores issues of appropriation, cross-pollination…

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28 Feb

Ensemble Isis Concert with Shruti Jauhari

Appropriation, cross-pollination and cultural transmission The Faculty’s New Music ensemble, Ensemble Isis with Music Director John Traill, performs Maurice Delage's Quatre poèmes hindous (chamber version), traditional Hindustani works performed by vocalist Dr Shruti Jauhari and a new work by Des Oliver in a programme that explores issues of appropriation, cross-pollination…

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March 2018
4 Mar

Oxford Chamber Music Society – Beethoven, Brahms & Rachmaninov

Rachmaninov Cello Sonata in G minor op 19 Beethoven Clarinet Trio in B flat Gassenhauer op 11 Brahms Clarinet Trio in A minor op 114 A new ensemble, but with experienced musicians, including the brilliant clarinettist Anna Hashimoto, who has earned worldwide praise   Elena Kiseleva and Tatiana Chernyshova, who both began their training in Moscow,…

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9 Mar

International Women’s Day Concert

The Holywell Music Room plays host to a celebration of female musicians featuring the Faculty of Music's Director of Performance, Natalie Clein. Natalie Clein, Cello Chi-chi Nwanoku, Double Bass Katya Apekisheva, Piano Hannah Roberts, Cello Boris Brontsyn, Violin Phil Dukes, Viola Programme to include: Louise Farenc - Piano Quintet Joel…

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9 Mar

International Women’s Day Concert

International Women's Day Celebration Following last year's concert celebrating International Women’s Day, the Music Faculty is proud to present this year’s celebration curated by the Director of Performance and Artist in Residence, cellist Natalie Clein. Natalie Clein, cello with Chi-chi Nwanoku, double bass Katya Apekisheva, piano Hannah Roberts, cello Boris…

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April 2018
15 Apr

Oxford Chamber Music Society – Dr K. Sextet

The Dr K. Sextet explores and tells stories, drawing on an eclectic mix of composers from around the world who have used folk tales to create fascinating musical stories. Programme to include: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Dances from the Two Fiddlers (sextet), Sadie Harrison Bell Music for St Casimir (clarinet and piano), Thomas Simaku My Beautiful…

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22 Apr

Oxford Chamber Music Society – Mozart Quintet; Mendelssohn Octet

Mozart String Quintet in G minor K516 Dobrinka Tabakova Insight Mendelssohn Octet in E flat op 20 Founded in 2012 by violinist Eloisa-Fleur Thom and cellist Max Ruisi, London-based 12 ensemble has now acquired an international reputation. We are delighted to welcome three quarters of them (including Eloisa-Fleur and Max) in what will…

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27 Apr

Bach and the voice

Instruments of Time and Truth Ian Bostridge, tenor Giles Underwood, baritone Claire Booth, soprano Discussion with Claire Booth, Ian Bostridge, Giles Underwood Programme of Cantatas Cantatas to include: Cantata 199 Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut Cantata Ich Habe Genug BWV 82

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May 2018
5 May

Oxford Philharmonic: Mozart, Barber and Nielsen

MOZART Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat major, K. 452 BARBER Summer Music, Op. 31 NIELSEN Wind Quintet, Op. 43 The Soloists of the Oxford Philharmonic; Marios Papadopoulos piano Marios Papadopoulos is joined by The Soloists of the Oxford Philharmonic for an evening of summer music. Shortly after…

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9 May

Two Chairs Writing Competition

The 'Two Chairs Creative Writing Competition' runs across the UK from September 2017 to March 2018. It invites school pupils, university students and the creatively minded public to write short poems or prose pieces reflecting their ideas and experiences of cultural differences, of communication and crossing between cultures, and of…

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