What’s on

Emmanuel Pahud and Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday 1 June 7.30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

At the time of his appointment as principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of just 22, Emmanuel Pahud was the orchestra's youngest member. He has gone on to forge a formidable international career and is one of the foremost ambassadors for the instrument. Following Mozart's pastoral, elegant sixth serenade, Pahud joins the Oxford Philharmonic to perform the exuberant first flute concerto. To open the second half, Associate Concertmaster of the Orchestra, Charlotte Scott, performs Schubert's delightful Rondo in A major. Concluding the programme is Mozart's 'Prague' Symphony which came to bear the name of the city after its rapturous reception there at its premiere in 1787.

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Remembrance – South Bank Sinfonia and The Parliament Choir

Saturday 2 June 7:30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

Even in the darkest times, music can remember, restore and reconcile. In the decade in which Europe was ravaged by the Great War, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Maurice Ravel drew on earlier musical memories to create masterworks that would themselves become memorials. The Lark Ascending and Le Tombeau de Couperin (Couperin's Tomb) are complemented by an exquisite interlude by the Irish-French composer Augusta Holmès. La Nuit et l'Amour (Night and Love) forms part of Holmès’ symphonic ode Ludus Pro Patria (Patriotic Games), an evocation of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ great painting of Picardy youths in battle training. A hundred years after the First World War, New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie echoes the evergreen sounds of Vaughan Williams in a powerful oratorio commemorating the everyday people who strove to retain hope and dignity as the years of carnage shattered their humanity.

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Music at Oxford present Oxford Bach Choir: Haydn’s Nelson Mass

Saturday 9 June 7:30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

Music at Oxford is thrilled to host Oxford Bach Choir’s performance of these two cornerstones of the choral repertoire. Under conductor Paul Spicer, we can look forward to the sheer scale and magnificence of these impressive and much-loved works. Haydn’s Nelson Mass, arguably the composer’s greatest single composition, was originally entitled Missa in Angustiis or ‘Mass for Troubled Times’, which indeed they were. Austria at the time was under threat from Napoleon, and Haydn himself was suffering from illness and exhaustion. Handel’s first important church work Dixit Dominus exceeds the scope and design of his other Latin psalm settings in its virtuosity and luminosity.

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Music at Oxford Presents Merton College Choir Gala: Elgar The Apostles

Friday 15 June 7:30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

A rare opportunity to hear this magnificent work, given as part of the celebration of the tenth birthday of Merton College’s phenomenally successful choir.

Believed by many, including his close friend and publisher Jaeger, to contain some of Elgar’s very finest writing, The Apostles tells the story of Christ’s later life and passion through the experience of those around him, most tellingly perhaps Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot. Despite the huge forces it requires – a large orchestra and chorus, plus no fewer than six solo singers – Elgar’s deeply felt oratorio tells a profoundly human story in every gloriously scored bar.

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Music at Oxford Present Royal Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra with Trevor Pinnock

Friday 22 June 7:30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

The Royal Academy of Music collaborates with many eminent international partners, such as the Juilliard School in New York. This concert celebrates the Academy’s friendship with Japan and, in particular, its close links with Tokyo Geidai. A joint orchestra from both institutions will be performing in London, Oxford and Tokyo under the esteemed conductor Trevor Pinnock. Pinnock is a regular visitor to all of the major orchestras in the world and has established himself as the pre-eminent figure in marrying an informed historical performance style with modern orchestral practice. The Eroica Symphony is one of the most radically compelling masterpieces of the early 19th century and inhabits a world where struggle and resolution laid the path for large-scale structure from that point on. It also shares thematic material with the composer’s ballet Creatures of Prometheus of which we will hear the overture. Mozart’s well-known and beguiling Sinfonia Concertante – a concerto for violin and viola – completes this stimulating programme.

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Oxford Symphony Orchestra

Saturday 23 June 7.30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

Beethoven's powerful Egmont overture opens a programme which features Mahler's radiant Fourth Symphony and prize-winning soloist Indira Grier performing Schumann's lyrical and poetic Cello Concerto. Clare Tunney, soloist in the Mahler symphony, is a singer with a growing reputation who has recently been accepted on the Royal Academy programme for advanced operatic singers.

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Oxford Proms Present Romantic Classics

Saturday 18 August 7:30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

Oxford Proms in their eighth season feature Russian Classics plus the delightful concertino for clarinet by Weber and an opening overture by our resident composer Tim Perkins.

We are delighted to welcome back star pianist Jocelyn Freeman to play Rachmaninov’s dramatic and passionate second piano concerto after her brilliant performance of Liszt’s second piano concerto in last year’s proms, also clarinet virtuoso Catriona Scott who gave a stunning performance of Mozart’s clarinet concerto at our opening concert in 2012.

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Rick Wakeman Piano Odyssey Tour

Sunday 21 October 8:00pm. Sheldonian Theatre

Following the hugely successful Piano Portraits tour last year, in support of the album of the same name, Rick Wakeman will return in Autumn 2018 with a new show based on the follow up release, entitled Piano Odyssey. The fourteen-date tour will feature even more classic tracks given Rick’s unique piano treatment, and will travel to towns and cities not previously visited in 2017.

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