“This year feels like a very significant festival in our history,” Oxford Chamber Music Festival‘s founder Priya Mitchell tells me.
Because not only is it the Oxford Chamber Music Festival’s 20th anniversary but all proceeds from this year’s Slava Ukraini concerts are going to Ukrainian charities.
“I have dedicated the festival to celebrating and supporting Ukrainian musicians and composers and hope with all my heart that you will engage with us and support this vital cause by coming to as many concerts as possible,” she adds.
“We are in danger of becoming too complacent and fatalistic about the situation in Ukraine and I want this festival to remind people of the plight of Ukrainians through music,” Priya says.
Therefore the five concerts running from December 13-17 will feature as many Ukranian musicians and composers as possible, as well as gathering some of the best chamber musicians from around the globe.
The world-leading roster of artists confirmed include: Adrian Brendel, Claude Frochaux, Dirk Mommertz, Nathan Braude, Natacha Kudritskaja, Priya Mitchell and Tetiana Lutsyk while Timothy Ridout and Corey Cerovsek make their festival debuts.
The festival is taking place in some of tOxford’s most historic venues from All Souls Chapel to the recently opened Olivier Hall in the historic Quad at St Edward’s School.
You can also enjoy collaborations with Worton Organic Cafe in Cassington and The Vaults in Oxford, as well as a special screening of OLGA, a moving film exploring the exile of displaced Ukrainians, in the Phoenix Picturehouse. (Book via Picturehouse box office: 0871 902 5747).
The concert line-up includes: A Vigil for Ukraine on Tuesday 13 Dec at All Souls Chapel which has already sold out. Then on Thursday 15 Dec there’s a pre-concert reception at the Vaults with music to include Casals’ Song of the Birds
This is followed by the stunning Prayer for Ukraine concert line-up at Holywell Music Room at 8pm featuring composer Valentin Silvestrov’s The Messenger, Mozart, Dvorak’s joyous ‘Dumky’ and the great Anglo-American composer Rebecca Clarke. Book at https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/prayer-for-ukraine-2
On Friday December 16 Ukrainian Soul hits the Holywell Music Room at 7.30pm with Silvestrov Lacrimosa for solo viola, Schubert Fantasie for four hands in F minor D940, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, Lyatoshynsky String quartet no.4 Op. 43 based on Ukrainian folk themes and Kapustin Piano quintet op.89. https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/ukrainian-soul-2
Catch one of two concerts on Saturday 17 Dec at 1pm and 7.45pm in the Olivier Hall at St Edwards. The first ‘Interwoven‘ is a whirl of a concert full of dances by Prokofiev, Glière; Lysenko, Schubert, Myroslav Skoryk and featured composer Valentin Silvestrov. https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/interwoven-2
Musicians Adrian Brendel, Corey Cerovsek, Priya Mitchell, Meghan Cassidy, Sally Bayley, Natacha Kudritskaya, Tetiana Lutsyk and Claude Frochaux will feature in the evenings closing concert at 7.45pm aptly titled Hope. It culminates with Beethoven Razumovsky quartet and Schubert’s sublime Shakespearean Quintet, Skoryk’s stirring Melody, and featured composer Valentin Silvestrov’s Largo from his violin sonata. https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/hope-2
Reflecting on the stunning line-up Priya Mitchell says: “Music is the life blood of the Ukrainian people and its absence is starving their souls despite their extraordinary resilience. Even though the roots of Ukraine’s culture are deeply connected with Europe it’s so easy to forget this tragedy is unfolding close to home.”
For further details go to http://ocmf.net