World-renowned Oxford Chamber Music Festival heading in exciting new directions
October 3 – 7 October
Philip Pullman ‘The festival is a national treasure’
Violinist Priya Mitchell’s annual musical celebration in her home town of Oxford is a landmark event eagerly anticipated by lovers of chamber music, who come for the unusual and eclectic programming and a truly authentic experience of music-making in a variety of venues in Oxford. Musicians from all over Europe gather to create wonderfully electric performances.
This year’s theme is ELEMENTS – earth, air, water and fire – each of which is essential to life and survival. The message about sustainability and respect for the environment is highlighted by naturalist and gardener Jeremy Naydler, local historian Mark Davies, philologist and curator at the British Museum Irving Finkel and folk singer and song collector Sam Lee.
DJ-champion DJ Kypski, oud-player Joseph Tawadros and Sam Lee will bring a diversity to the festival, and internationally acclaimed classical musicians like Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Pieter Wispelwey (who will perform Bach’s six iconic cello suites), Yura Lee winner of the ARD music prize, Nicholas Daniel, leading oboe-player, Sarah Willis (the British horn player who became the first woman to join the brass section of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) Chi-chi Nwanoku, Reto Bieri, Natacha Kudritskaya and many more.
- Following the 2017 residency of Peteris Vasks, we are delighted to welcome Sally Beamish as composer in residence this year. Each concert will feature one of her compositions, including a new Elements-themed commission for the festival.
- In addition to Oxford’s beautiful historic venues like the Sheldonian Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral and Holywell Music Room, we are widening our horizons with concerts on a boat, a meadow and in the greenhouses of Worton Organic Garden.
- Inspired by the ELEMENTS we have dedicated our festival to sustainability and devised a plan with this in mind.
- Our educational work is at the centre of the festival’s activities. For the first time we collaborate with two partner schools: d’Overbroecks and Summerfields. Apart from masterclasses and recitals there will be a special schools concert presented by Alexander Armstrong, a musical treasure hunt through Christ Church Cathedral for primary schools, and a family concert at Oxford Botanic Gardens.
- Young music students have the opportunity to be part of an international music festival at our fringe concert ‘Out of this Air’.
- Eberhard Feltz, the legendary chamber music guru, will teach masterclasses, working with the Marmén Quartet, winners of the 2018 Royal Overseas League Competition.
Please take a look at our programme.
We hope you will come and enjoy the alchemy of the Oxford Chamber Music Festival.
‘The music you will hear this year reminds us where we come from: that we need all the four elements to live, survive and complete us and should protect and celebrate them. My hope is that the elusive fifth element, the realm of spirit, builds a subliminal bridge to connect and unite us through the music we will hear.’ Priya Mitchell