Pianist Thomas Kelly

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra


Sheldonian Theatre

Thursday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01865 980980 or www.oxfordphil.com

Oxford Philharmonic takes a break from its Beethoven festivities this week and turns its attention to Sibelius. This enticing concert features the composer’s most famous work, the gloriously stirring Finlandia, alongside the Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47 (with soloist Anna-Liisa Bezrodny, the orchestra’s Associate Concertmaster) and his Symphony No.5 in E flat major Op.82, which was inspired by the sight of a flock of sixteen swans taking flight over a lake. Douglas Boyd, best known as Garsington Opera’s artistic director, makes his Oxford Philharmonic conducting debut.

Witney Music Society


High Street Methodist Church, Witney

Friday, 7.30pm

Tickets: www.witneymusicsociety.org.uk

Conductor George Parris, a former Lay Clerk at Oxford’s Queen’s College and Magdalen College, founded The Carice Singers – named after Elgar’s daughter – in 2011, and the group has built up an impressive reputation for its fresh, beautiful sound. This Witney concert includes a selection of songs and partsongs by Elgar, Howells, Monteverdi, Ireland, Stanford, Vaughan Williams and more. Forget Friday 13th superstitions – this should be well worth leaving the house for!

Oxford Symphony Orchestra


Oxford Town Hall

Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Robert Max – Oxford Symphony Orchestra conductor. Photo: Kevin Leighton: London Symphony Orchestra Discovery Conducting Masterclass – supported by the Murray-Smith Laird Charitable Trust.

The ever-impressive OSO returns to the Town Hall with a selection of favourites from the classical music repertoire, from Rachmaninov’s ravishing Symphony No.2 and Tchaikovsky’s popular Piano Concerto No.1 to Borodin’s exotic and captivating Polovtsian Dances from his opera Prince Igor. The concert features piano soloist Thomas Kelly and is conducted by Robert Max.

The Merry Opera Company


Chipping Norton Theatre

Saturday, 7.45pm

Tickets: 01608 642350 or www.chippingnortontheatre.com

The bold, innovative Merry Opera Company makes a welcome return to Oxfordshire with a Mozart classic Don Giovanni, directed by John Ramster and offering a fresh take on opera’s most famous philanderer and his eventual, inevitable downfall. If you can’t make Chipping Norton, there’s another chance to catch this production at The Player’s Theatre, Thame, on 22nd March (www.thameplayers.co.uk). 

Oxford Bach Choir


Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01865 980220 or www.tickets.oxfordbachchoir.org

Oxford Bach Choir joins the Beethoven birthday party with this monumental setting of the Mass, which Beethoven composed between 1819 and 1823. It was premiered in St Petersburg in 1824, just three years before Beethoven’s death. This is the OBC’s first performance of the mass for more than twenty years. With Katherine Crompton (soprano), Susanna Spicer (alto), Justin Lavender (tenor), Edward Grint (bass) and the London Mozart Players, conducted by Benjamin Nicholas.

Benson Choral Society


Dorchester Abbey

Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: www.bensonchoralsociety.org.uk

Vaughan Williams’ groundbreaking A Sea Symphony, one of the first to use a choir throughout, is the centrepiece of this concert, which also features Grieg’s popular Piano Concerto in A minor. With Lorena Paz Nieto (soprano), Stephen Gadd (baritone), Anita D’Attellis (piano), The Elgar Orchestra and guest conductor Richard Laing.

Oxford Coffee Concerts


Holywell Music Room

Sunday, 11.15am

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

The award-winning Moscow-born pianist Petr Limonov – described by violinist Nicola Benedetti as “one of the finest pianists and musicians I have had the honour of playing with” – returns to the Holywell to perform Mussorgsky’s popular virtuosic piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition, which was based on the pictures by Russian painter Viktor Hartmann. Tickets include pre-concert coffee from The Vaults and Garden Café (from 9am) or The King’s Arms (from 10.30am). Tickets are selling fast for this concert, so book yours now!

Orchestra of St John’s


Ashmolean Museum

Wednesday, 7.30pm

Tickets: www.osj-org.uk

OSJ orchestra leader Jan Peter Schmolck is the violin soloist in this latest in the Ashmolean Proms series, which includes Delius Two songs to be sung of a summer night on the water, Glazunov Winter, Tchaikovsky Spring, Piazzolla Seasons and Autumn Leaves with soprano Hannah Fraser-Mackenzie. John Lubbock conducts.