Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, OXFORD PIANO FESTIVAL, Friday and Saturday, 8pm

Tickets: 01865 980980 or www.oxfordphil.com  

The 21stOxford Piano Festival comes to a glorious finale this weekend with two not-to-be-missed recitals. If you were expecting to see piano legend Menahem Pressler at the Holywell Music Room on Friday, sadly this incredible performer – who will be 96 in December – has had to withdraw due to recent ill-health. He is being replaced by another popular pianist, John Lill, who will play Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Op.15 and Carnaval, Op.9, and Brahms’ Two Rhapsodies, Op.79 and Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, Op.24.

John Lill

On Saturday evening, prize-winning pianist Steven Osborne – who is making his festival debut this year – plays Schubert’s Sonata No.21 in B flat major, D.960and excerpts from Messiaen’s extraordinary Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésusin the atmospheric setting of Christ Church Cathedral. 

Steven Osbourne

Music in the Vale, TO LANDS BEYOND TIME, All Saints Church, Goosey, Saturday, 6pm

Tickets: 01367 718344 or email DJPedderDPA@btinternet.com

Enjoy an early evening treat in this lovely 13thcentury church with Triocca – Ríona Ó Duinnín (flute), Nancy Johnson (viola) and Geraldine O’Doherty (harp) – in a recital of music by Debussy, Bax and contemporary Irish composer John Buckley. Interval refreshments are included in the ticket price, and proceeds go to the church.

Music at St Peter’s, BOXWOOD AND BRASS, St Peter’s, Wallingford, Saturday, 8pm

Tickets: https://musicatstpeterswallingford.org.uk

Early music wind ensemble Boxwood and Brass – praised by Gramophonemagazine for performing “with spirit and vigour” – is known for its virtuosic and historically informed interpretations of wind music of the late 18thand early 19thcenturies. Here, in the lovely setting of St Peter’s Church, they perform arias from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro(arr. Stumpf and Sartorius), bookended by two Beethoven pieces, Sextet in E flat, op.71and Septet in E flat, Op.21 (arr.Czerny).

Oxford Coffee Concerts, MAXWELL STRING QUARTET, Holywell Music Room, Sunday, 11.15am

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading young string ensembles, the prize-winning Maxwell Quartet has been described as “brilliantly fresh, unexpected and exhilarating” by The Scottish Herald. Check them out in this Sunday morning recital, where they’ll be playing Haydn’s String Quartet in C major, op.74 No.1 and Mozart’s String Quartet No.17 in B flat major, K458 (‘The Hunt’). Coffee is available before the concert from The Vaults and Garden Café from 9am or The King’s Arms from 10.30am, and is included in the ticket price.

Oxford Bach Soloists, BEHOLD AND SEE, New College Chapel, Sunday, 3pm

Tickets: www.oxfordbachsoloists.com

This acclaimed baroque ensemble, founded in 2015 by conductor Tom Hammond-Davies, is on a unique mission to perform the entire canon of J.S. Bach’s vocal works in chronological order and in their original context. In this 75-minute recital they perform four cantatas written in Leipzig in 1723 for the 7th, 8th, 9thand 10thSundays after Trinity. If Cantata 46 (‘Behold and see, if there be any sorrow like my sorrow) sounds familiar, it’s because its opening section was recycled over 20 years later for the famous Mass in B Minor.

Nicola Lisle


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