WEEKEND ROUND-UP: 26-28 JULY

Oxford Philharmonic’s OXFORD PIANO FESTIVAL at various venues from Saturday

Tickets: 01865 980980 or www.oxfordphil.com 

Oxford will soon be reverberating to the tinkling of ivories as the annual Oxford Piano Festival, always a highlight of Oxford Philharmonic’s year, gets underway. The opening recital at the Holywell Music Room on Saturday features prize-winning French ensemble Trio Metral – two brothers, Joseph (violin) and Victor (piano), and a sister, Justine (cello) – playing Schubert’s Piano Trio No.2 in E flat major, D.929 and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No.2 in C minor, Op.66.  

On Sunday, Russian pianist Boris Berezovksy makes his festival debut at Oxford Town Hall playing Schubert’s ‘Wohin?’ from Die schöne Müllerin, the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamand other delights by Bach, Kreisler, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Scriabin. 

The festival continues until Saturday 3rdAugust with further recitals and masterclasses. Visit the Oxford Philharmonic website for full details.

WATERPERRY OPERA FESTIVAL

Waterperry Gardens

25th-28thJuly

Tickets: www.waterperryoperafestival.co.uk

After a successful launch last year, the Waterperry Opera Festival is back with another four-day operatic feast against the backdrop of Waterperry’s glorious 18thcentury house and ornamental gardens. The festival – which now has composer Jonathan Dove as its patron – was the brainchild of tenor Guy Withers and opera director Rebecca Meltzer, who are passionate about putting on bold, innovative, site-specific productions that they hope will appeal both to opera buffs and those new to opera.

A fantasy theme links this year’s two headline operas, Mozart’s The Magic Fluteand Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, both of which take place in Waterperry’s stunning amphitheatre. Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park, to be performed in the ballroom at Waterperry House, has been revived from last year, as has the family-friendly Peter Rabbit’s Musical Adventure, which takes place in the garden and is the perfect way to introduce youngsters to classical music. 

There is also a Young Artist Programme and a series of workshops, talks and masterclasses. Full details can be found on the festival’s website.

Charivari Agréable

EARLY MUSIC BY CANDLELIGHT SUMMER FESTIVAL

Exeter College Chapel

Friday, 8pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

This lovely festival continues on Friday with Game of Queens, which marks the 500thanniversary of the birth of Catherine de Medici, the Queen consort of Henry II of France, with music and readings from Renaissance France, Italy and England and features Isobel Collyer (reader and soprano), Layil Barr (records and bass viol) and Kah-Ming Ng (virginals). 

Coming up later in the week are Queen Anne’s Solace, which features music by Dowland, Handel and others, and an evening featuring Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Scarlatti’s Salve Regina.

The festival continues to 18thAugust with a variety of themed concerts; visit www.charivari.co.ukfor full details.

Oxford Coffee Concerts

MARK ASHFORD, GUITAR

Holywell Music Room

Sunday, 11.15am

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Acclaimed classical guitarist Mark Ashford has won numerous prizes and performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the UK and overseas, and is currently head of guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. In this hour-long recital he focuses on music by 18thand 19thcentury Spanish composers Sor, Granados, Albeniz and Tarrega, as well as playing the Sonata in E K380by Italian composer Scarlatti, who was influenced by Spanish folk music, and Choros No.1 by Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos. Don’t forget to grab a coffee (included in the ticket price) before the concert from The Vaults and Garden Café from 9am or The King’s Arms from 10.30am.

By Nicola Lisle

From Saturday

Tickets: 01865 980980 or www.oxfordphil.com 

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