Oxford Lieder


Wolfson College, Oxford

Tonight, 6pm

Tickets: www.oxfordlieder.co.uk

If you’re missing the Oxford Lieder Festival, and already counting down to the next one, here’s a tasty morsel to keep you going.

Felix Kemp

Get down to Wolfson College this evening for the latest in the Song at Wolfson series, which sees rising star Felix Kemp (baritone) making his Oxford Lieder debut with songs by Wolf, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Brahms. Oxford Lieder’s founder and director Sholto Kynoch accompanies on the piano.

Sholto Kynoch

Eric McElroy & April Frederick


Holywell Music Room, Oxford

Thursday, 8pm

Tickets: www.eventbrite.co.uk

In the first of a series of three concerts (the other two follow in 2020), the American pianist/composer Eric McElroy – currently a doctoral student at Merton College – is joined by soprano April Frederick in a programme that merges traditional song with the contemporary.

April Frederick

At the heart of the programme is the premiere of McElroy’s song cycle The Fetch, which is based on poems by Gregory Leadbetter and explores the power of music to awaken the mystical in the ordinary.

Eric McElroy

The programme also includes McElroy’s song cycle A Dead Man’s Embers, based on poems by Robert Graves, Ian Venables Two Songs Op.28 (Flying Crooked; At Midnight) and John Ireland Tryst and During Music. There is a pre-concert talk at 7.15pm discussing the collaboration between poet and composer, and the effect of song-setting on our understanding of poetry.

Opera Anywhere


Rye St Anthony School

Saturday, 6pm

Tickets: www.operaanywhere.com

Get into the festival mood with this enchanting new production of Humperdinck’s fairytale opera. Starting in London on Christmas Eve, 1938, the action swiftly moves to the countryside when Harry and Gracie are evacuated and find themselves living with a cruel and uncaring foster mother. A book of fairytales given to them by their parents for that last magical Christmas inspires them to follow the adventures of Hansel and Gretel – and get a little more than they bargained for! Fun for all the family, this is an ideal production for introducing children to opera.

Opus 48


St John the Evangelist

Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: www.sje-oxford.org

Oxford’s newest medium-sized choir launches its second season with a lovely programme of unaccompanied choral works, including Howells Requiem, Duruflé Four Motets, selected Shakespeare songs by Vaughan Williams, spirituals from Tippett’s A Child of Our Time and excerpts from Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces. 

This promises to be an outstanding performance from an exciting new choir that has already been attracting rave reviews. David Crown conducts. 

JDP Concert Series


JDP Music Building

Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Two legends of the classical music world – long-standing friends and chamber partners Steven Isserlis (cello) and Stephen Hough (piano) – team up for what is sure to be a musical tour de force. The pair will perform two Brahms cello sonatas, together with Suk’s Ballade and Serenade and Hough’s Sonata for cello and piano left hand, ‘Les adieux’, commissioned by Isserlis and recorded by the pair for Hyperion in 2015.

Oxford Harmonic Choir


Oxford Town Hall

Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

This is a rare opportunity to hear this little-performed work, written by Bruch in 1872 and inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. Full of rich melodies, drama and passion, the work sees the chorus playing several different roles throughout. Soloists are Helen Massey (soprano), Angela Simkin (mezzo-soprano), William Johnston Davies (tenor), Alan Fairs (bass-baritone) and Daniel D’Souza (baritone). With the Orchestra of Stowe Opera and conductor Robert Secret.

Instruments of Time & Truth


Holywell Music Room, Oxford

Saturday. 7.30pm

Tickets: www.timeandtruth.co.uk

Immerse yourself in an evening of baroque music from around the Adriatic in this sparkling programme, which explores the relationship between Venice and Croatia in the 18th century. The orchestra’s leader, violin virtuoso Bojan Cicic, leads performances of violin concertos by Vivaldi and Slovenian composer Tartini, alongside works by three composers with connections to Croatia: Stratico, Giornovich and Sorkočević. 

Oxford Coffee Concerts


Holywell Music Room

Sunday, 11.15am

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

The prize-winning Gould Piano Trio, formed in 1987, earned early career breaks when they were selected as YCAT artists and named as British Rising Stars. Their varied career has seen them perform at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, release several acclaimed recordings and commission a number of new works. In this concert they will perform two contrasting piano trios: Rebecca Clarke Piano Trio and Brahms Piano Trio in C, Op.87. With Lucy Gould (violin), Richard Lester (cello) and Benjamin Frith (piano).

Oxford Chamber Music Society


Holywell Music Room

Sunday, 3pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

World-famous oboist Nicholas Daniel is joined by Jacqueline Shave (violin), Clare Finnimore (viola) and Caroline Dearnley (cello) in this lively and varied programme, including Moeran Phantasy Quartet, Lutyens Driving Out the Death, Françaix Cor Anglais Quartet, Mozart Adagio K580a for Cor Anglais Quartet, Knussen Cantata and Mozart Oboe Quartet K370.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment


Mathematical Institute, Oxford

Sunday, 5.30pm

Tickets: 01865 844206 or www.musicatoxford.com

The OAE return to Oxford for the second concert in this series, The Creativity Code, which features one of Bach’s Christmas cantatas, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (Now come, Saviour of the gentiles).

Marcus Du Sautoy

They are joined by Professor Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, who will explore creativity, algorithms, and whether artificial intelligence will ever match up to Bach in being able to write cantatas. The café will be open beforehand for tea and cake!

Music in Adderbury


St Mary’s Church, Adderbury

Sunday, 7pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

The Adderbury Ensemble Chamber Orchestra, directed by Martyn Jackson, is joined by the Australian guitar virtuoso Craig Ogden in this varied programme, which includes Dvorak String Quartet Op.97, Boccherini Guitar Quintet and Vivaldi Guitar Concerto

Adderbury Ensemble


St John the Evangelist

Wednesday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Don’t miss the Adderbury Ensemble’s traditional Christmas concert at the SJE, always an atmospheric occasion with baroque favourites including Pachelbel Canon, Corelli Christmas Concerto, Bach Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and Handel Queen of Sheba.

by Nicola Lisle