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A quick look at Oxford’s diary of classical music events for the season ahead

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Handel: Messiah at University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Classical music events in Oxford and Oxfordshire

Classical music events in Oxford and Oxfordshire

We pick out some of the best classical music events in Oxford and across Oxfordshire that you can’t afford to miss in the weeks and months ahead. There is something for everyone, from splendid chamber music to superb operas – head to any of the performances below, and you’ll be in for a treat. You’ll find a growing diary of Classical Music, Opera & Ballet events in Oxford and across Oxfordshire in the ‘What’s on’ section.

Bach’s St John Passion

Bach’s St John Passion

14 April
Sheldonian Theatre

Drama and suffering lie at the heart of Bach’s concentrated depiction of Christ’s arrest, rendition and execution, the St John Passion. In the expert hands of Professor Owen Rees, Director of Music at The Queen’s College who conducts his own choir and six outstanding soloists, this Maundy Thursday performance will be both dramatic and devotional.

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Stephen Kovacevich

Stephen Kovacevich

25 April
Sheldonian Theatre

True statesman of the piano Stephen Kovacevich plays the concerto here after a slice of pure sunshine from Fanny Mendelssohn, and Keble College’s chapel choir joins the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and four distinguished soloists for a performance of Haydn’s exuberant and perfectly formed mass in celebration of the ‘saviour of Europe’ following his defeat of Napoleon in 1798, Admiral Lord Nelson.

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Sir Bryn Terfel

Sir Bryn Terfel

05 May
Sheldonian Theatre

There is no voice on earth quite like Sir Byrn Terfel’s. Here, the bass-baritone joins the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra for some of the most monumental moments in Wagner, and roles the Welsh singer has made his own the world over.

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Angela Gheorghiu with Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Angela Gheorghiu

19 May
Sheldonian Theatre

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s season of great singers continues with the Oxford debut of Angela Gheorghiu, featuring arias from two of Verdi’s most inventive operas, and perhaps his best-loved overture.

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Beethoven and his Colleagues VI

Beethoven and his Colleagues VI

28 May
Holywell Music Room

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra Solo Cello Mats Lidström is joined by Sholto Kynoch to resume their series of Beethoven’s cello sonatas, beginning with a genuine rarity: the composer’s own cello arrangement of his perky Horn Sonata in F major. You’ll also hear two more of Beethoven’s five cello sonatas.

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Join Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s own Associate Concertmaster and Solo Cello are soloists in this celebration of Brahms’s magisterial craft.

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Beethoven’s Ninth with Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Beethoven’s Ninth

12 June
Sheldonian Theatre

Beethoven’s ninth still sounds palpably off-the-leash despite the two centuries of musical evolution that have passed since its first performance in 1824. Marios Papadopoulos conducts it here with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra joined by singers from Beethoven’s home town of Bonn, Germany.

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Beethoven’s Mass in C major

Beethoven’s Mass in C major

29 June
Sheldonian Theatre

Beethoven’s primary concern in his radiant Mass in C major was ‘not God or princes, but the human being entering the church.’ Greek-American conductor Peter Tiboris is at the helm of the Orchestra for a concert which also includes Beethoven’s great concert aria Ah! perfido.

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