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3:00pm Thursday 5th December 2013
2:11pm Thursday 5th December 2013
5:50pm Friday 29th November 2013
5:46pm Friday 29th November 2013
1:04pm Friday 29th November 2013
1:00pm Friday 29th November 2013
12:19pm Friday 29th November 2013
3:16pm Thursday 21st November 2013
12:00pm Friday 15th November 2013
10:44am Friday 15th November 2013
4:21pm Friday 8th November 2013
3:00pm Thursday 7th November 2013
5:14pm Thursday 31st October 2013
10:20am Thursday 31st October 2013
Welcome to Elizabethan England. “We might all think we know what the Elizabethan period looked like,” said Dr Tarnya Cooper, curator of Elizabeth I & Her People, the National Portrait Gallery’s major autumn exhibition. “The remarkable portraits of Elizabeth I as a static bejewelled queen and her courtiers in their finery are familiar from history books. This exhibition, based on new research, provides an alternative narrative and allows us to come face-to-face with a cast of other Elizabethans including butchers, soldiers, businessmen and women as well as writers and artists.”
1:56pm Tuesday 29th October 2013
6:21pm Friday 25th October 2013
5:34pm Friday 25th October 2013
6:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013
The Britten 100 celebrations continue next week with a fascinating double bill that pairs Britten’s haunting Curlew River with a new opera by Scottish composer Sally Beamish and librettist Clara Glynn.
3:47pm Friday 11th October 2013
4:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013
12:30pm Saturday 5th October 2013
4:13pm Thursday 3rd October 2013
12:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013
When I opened the brochure for this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival, one name instantly jumped out at me — that of Sir Willard White. The legendary Jamaican-born bass is making a welcome return to the festival with his wife, soprano Sylvia Kevorkian, and regular accompanist Eugene Asti, and their programme of Brahms, Schubert, Quilter, Liszt and Berlioz at the Church of St John the Evangelist is undoubtedly one of the festival’s must-see concerts.
4:33pm Thursday 19th September 2013
3:24pm Thursday 19th September 2013
5:14pm Thursday 12th September 2013
12:00am Thursday 12th September 2013
Britten in Oxford has become the main focus of the city’s cultural life this year. So it’s surprising to discover that Oxford Sinfonia’s forthcoming Britten concert was actually conceived long before the centenary was being talked about.
6:59pm Thursday 5th September 2013
12:00am Thursday 5th September 2013
Oxford outfitters Shepherd & Woodward have been selling clothes for more than 150 years. But how often have they dressed a trumpet? The instrument involved is decorated with a colourful, tasselled cord, which looks thoroughly authentic. But it’s actually a dressing gown cord — one of a series bought from Shepherd & Woodward by internationally renowned trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins.
2:30pm Thursday 29th August 2013
12:00am Thursday 29th August 2013
There’s a lot more to baroque music than you might think. It’s not just early music played on instruments that look and sound a bit different from modern ones. It’s a whole different discipline, involving different skills and techniques — as violinist Monica Huggett, a recognised baroque specialist, reveals.
12:00am Thursday 29th August 2013
Rob Castell is as batty as his show — hilarious, random, enthusiastic, passionate and utterly incapable of standing still for a second. The combination of these characteristics is presumably why Barbershopera is so contagious and successful, culminating in a truly eccentric, funny and English format with a cult following and sell-out performances all over the world.
2:10pm Friday 23rd August 2013
12:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013
Alongside his most obvious claim to fame, international cello star Steven Isserlis can also claim what he calls a “very distant” family connection to composer Felix Mendelssohn, as well as to Karl Marx and Helena Rubinstein. Perhaps more pertinently, he also has Russian ancestry, which makes the inclusion of Russian composer Tchaikovsky in the Dorchester Abbey Festival programme seem particularly apt. The 54-year-old London-born cellist is this year’s headline act, and he will join the Orchestra of St John’s for Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile for Cello and Strings and Rococo Variations Op.33. Does he feel a particular affinity for Tchaikovsky, I wondered? “Well, I love Tchaikovsky; I think he’s wonderful and I’m very fond of the cello music. One of my favourites? In a way, yes — I think his music is unique and powerful and charming, and I wouldn’t want to be without it!”
2:13pm Friday 16th August 2013
2:08pm Friday 16th August 2013
12:00am Thursday 15th August 2013
The Four Seasons, the delightful CD recently issued by Oxford’s premier period instrument ensemble the Band of Instruments, is not, as you might assume, by Vivaldi. This is by his contemporary Giovanni Antonio Guido, an Italian working in Paris, whose delicious seasonal Suites — Like Vivaldi’s, illustrating a set of poems — are almost as French as Vivaldi’s are Italian. Well, almost. Guido was an international violin virtuoso; born in Genoa but trained in Naples during the 1680s and ‘90s, at a time when the city’s Conservatories were the greatest musical schools in Europe. By 1703, he had moved to Paris, where he is mentioned as “an excellent violinist in the service of the Duke of Orleans” — significantly enough, at a ‘Concert for the Queen of England’ (ie, the ‘Queen over the Water’). How touchingly her title suggests the rather shaky ‘legitimacy’ of James II’s exiled court at St Germain (though apparently the Queen — Mary of Modena — was very musical and a lot more popular in France than her husband). Guido’s distinguished patron — Phillip Duke of Orleans — was to become Regent of France 12 years later, on the death of his uncle Louis XIV in 1715, and it seems to have been about then that Guido created these Seasons. But they are not, like Vivaldi’s, written for international publication (the effect of Vivaldi’s Concertos on German musicians, particularly Bach, is well known). Instead, they were written for performance at a brand new Parisian private house, that of the banker Pierre Crozat, for a party to unveil a decorative scheme by the greatest artist of the age, Antoine Watteau. This whole event vividly suggests a decisive moment in French — indeed European — culture. The death of Louis XIV brought to an end a gloomy period in which the Sun King, debilitated by military defeat in the War of the Spanish Succession and by his reliance on his last, ultra-Catholic mistress Mme de Maintenon, seemed increasingly out of touch in Versailles. The new Regent promptly moved the seat of government (and the five-year-old infant King) back to Paris, to the Orleans family seat at the old Palais-Royal, whence Louis XIII and Richelieu had ruled France 100 years before. He also, as a passionate art-collector and musician, created the enlightened (to some ‘frivolous’) atmosphere from which flowered the incomparable art of the French 18th century.
10:00am Monday 12th August 2013
11:33am Friday 9th August 2013
11:26am Friday 9th August 2013
12:00am Thursday 8th August 2013
Anyone who has ever played a stringed instrument will know how much strain it can put on your back, neck, shoulders and wrists, whether you play every day or for only a few hours a week. Nervous tension and severe stage fright are also demons that many players have to battle.
3:00pm Thursday 1st August 2013
12:00am Thursday 1st August 2013
We’ve had Garsington, we’ve had Bampton and we’ve had Longborough, but the al fresco opera season is not over yet. Now Waddesdon Manor is getting in on the act, its stunning French chateau-style house providing a perfect backdrop for two of the most popular operas.
4:33pm Thursday 25th July 2013
12:00am Thursday 25th July 2013
5:35pm Wednesday 24th July 2013
12:00pm Wednesday 24th July 2013
4:14pm Thursday 18th July 2013
3:00pm Thursday 18th July 2013
12:00am Thursday 18th July 2013