The concert calendar – normally buzzing in January – is looking decidedly thin, thanks to the national lockdown. But don’t despair – there are some fabulous online concerts coming up over the next few weeks, as well as some possible live concerts and exciting future plans, so take a look at our round-up, put your feet up and enjoy!
Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
First off the starting block is Oxford Philharmonic, which recently announced a series of four online concerts during January and February. Cello sensation Sheku Kanneh-Mason joined the orchestra for a New Year’s Day concert, which featured George Morton’s chamber orchestra arrangement of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor and the world premiere of Sappho in Manchester: Interlude for String Quartet and Orchestra by Swedish composer and cellist Mats Lidström. This concert is still available to watch online.
Coming up on 15th January is an evening of baroque classics, including Vivaldi’s Concerto for 4 Violins in B minor, Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D major and Bach favourites Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041 and Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G major. Marios Papadopoulos directs from the harpsichord, and soloists include flautists Anthony Robb and Robert Manasse, and violinists Carmine Lauri, Natalia Lomeiko, Tamás András, Yuri Zhislin, Charlotte Scott and Shlomy Dobrinsky.
On 29th January, violist Yuri Zhislin is guest conductor for Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C major, Op.48, Glazunov’s Alto Saxophone Concerto in E flat major, Op.109 (arranged by Zhislin for the viola) and the world premiere of Libby Croad’s Suite for Strings.
A Mozart evening awaits on 15th February, with the Violin Concerto No.3 in G major (featuring soloist Charlotte Scott) and the Symphony No.29 in A major. Marios Papadopoulos conducts.
All concerts are free to enjoy online. If you missed the orchestra’s Oxford Vaccine Tribute concert on 18th December, featuring Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel, this is also still available to watch online.
For links and further details, visit www.oxfordphil.com
Orchestra of St John’s
The OSJ’s socially distanced concert series continues in Dorchester Abbey from 30th January, but obviously keep an eye on the website in case the situation changes. Each concert will be performed twice, at 6pm and 8pm, with no interval.
The first concert features Glazunov’s Intermezzo Romantico, four songs by Fauré, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Dansenègre and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll with soprano Ilona Domnich.
Ilona joins the orchestra again on 14th February, performing the same programme but with a selection of Valentine songs instead of the Coleridge-Taylor piece. The concert also features the OSJ Ashmolean Voices.
Welsh harpist Gwenllian Llyr is the soloist on 27th February, in a programme that includes Schoenberg’s Notturno for strings and harp, George Walker’s Idyll, Debussy’s Dances for string and harp and Suk’s Serenade.
On 13th March the orchestra performs Bach’s magnificent St Matthew Passion, with Robert Jenkins (Evangelist), Frazer Scott (Christ), Jake Muffett (Pilate), Hannah Davey (soprano), Charlotte Tetley (alto), Xavier Hetherington (tenor), Tom Mole (bass) and the OSJ Ashmolean Voices, conducted by John Lubbock.
All concerts will also be available free on the orchestra’s YouTube channel, with donations appreciated.
For links and details, visit www.osj.org.uk
Witney Music Society
The next concert in the Witney Music Society series will now be online, and features oboist Amy Roberts and pianist Gamal Khamis – a founder member of the Lipatti Piano Quartet – in a programme of music by Telemann, Handel, Richard Rodney Bennett, Debussy, Britten and Saint-Saëns.
Other concerts in the series include the Chiaroscuro Quartet on 12th February, playing Haydn, Mendelssohn and Schubert, and the Kosmos Ensemble on 12th March (programme to be announced).
Find out more at www.witneymusicsociety.org.uk
After months of closure, the SJE is hoping to bounce back this year with the latest in its popular International Piano Series. Dates are still to be announced, but it’s a starry line-up so far with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Stephen Hough, Angela Hewitt, Isata Kanneh-Mason and Steven Osborne. Keep an eye on the SJE’s website for further announcements.
Meanwhile, there is a livestreamed event on 11th March to look forward to. Vocal trio Voice – Emily Burn, Victoria Couper and Clemmie Franks – has teamed up with composer Laura Moody and visual artist Innerstrings to explore the music and legacy of 12th century female composer and visionary Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard Transfigured: A medieval trance for the 21st century features original music by Bingen performed alongside contemporary works inspired by her music, all against a backdrop of an atmospheric light show.
For details, visit www.sje-oxford.org
Looking ahead, Garsington Opera has announced its 2021 season, which runs from 2nd June to 25th July – by which time, hopefully, we might be back to some sort of normality. New productions include Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Handel’s Amadigi (marking Garsington’s first opera in partnership with The English Concert) and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, and there is a revival of Garsington’s popular 2016 production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Full details, including casts and creatives, are online now. Public booking opens on 23rd April.
Meanwhile, if you missed Fidelio in Concert last September, you can still catch this glorious production on the Garsington website.
For links and details, visit www.garsingtonopera.org