What’s on

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra with Yuri Temirkanov

Thursday 26 April 7.30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

Continuing our Russian focus, 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition winner and Oxford Piano Festival alumna Anna Tsybuleva performs alongside the great conductor and Music Director of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov, for an evening of fiery orchestral classics. Fantastical themes act as inspiration for both the Overture to Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Ludmila and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, the latter evoking exotic images of the fairytale wonders of Arabia. Rachmaninov based his set of 24 variations for piano and orchestra on the famous theme by Niccolò Paganini; the last variation of which caused even the famously dextrous pianist considerable trepidation before his world premiere performance of the work in 1934.

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Music at Oxford Presents Fretwork: The World Encompassed – Simon Callow Narrator

Saturday 28 April 7:30pm. Sheldonian Theatre

When Drake set sail from Plymouth in 1577, he took with him four viol players who had little clue that this would be such an epic journey. They played music to accompany Drake’s worship and sang hymns to the viols; they entertained him while he ate and he also used their playing to impress the natives of South America and Java, where the king returned the favour by sharing his own music.

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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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