With only two weeks to go, we’re very excited here at WildKat PR as we prepare for the Oxford Chamber Music Festival 2015. The festival takes place 30 September – 3 October, with concerts in Holywell Music Room, University Church of St Mary the Virgin and Merton College Chapel. The festival’s theme – ‘From a Tender Age’ – provides a fascinating programme, which explores the relationship between music and youth, and includes first opuses, first loves, early inspiration, compositions dedicated to children and the genius of Wunderkinder.
The festival’s four days are packed with diverse and exciting events, but we thought we’d draw your attention to a few highlights in particular.
Wednesday evening’s concert, Expectation and Fate, explores early influences, and begins with Steve Reich’s Different Trains – a piece inspired by his childhood train journeys. This concert also includes Vierne’s lesser-known Piano quintet op. 42, which is a memorial to his son, who was killed in WW1.
Similarly, Friday afternoon’s concert features a special arrangement of Berg’s Violin Concerto – dedicated to Alma Mahler’s daughter – “To the memory of an angel”. Other highlights include Prokofiev’s narrated Peter and the Wolf, featured in Thursday’s concert Wonderland. Through this magical story, Prokofiev captures the hopes and fears of childhood and sets each instrument as a particular character.
Saturday’s Brunch Concert combines our two favourite things – food and music – and includes Saint-Saëns’ The Elephant, Ravel’s Mother Goose and Ridout’s Ferdinand the Bull. It promises to be great fun for adults and children alike. In contrast, adolescent love is captured in Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet, which is part of Thursday’s evening concert, Jeunehomme/Dame.
Furthermore, in addition to works about youthfullness, the festival also combines works written by adolescents and child prodigies. These namely feature in Friday’s lunchtime concert, Early Impressions, and Friday evening’s concert Wunderkind.
This diverse festival provides a sensational programme for both old and young, and additional events – including evening drinks with supper and Saturday brunch – provide both opportunities to socialise with fellow concertgoers and the chance to meet the fantastic performers. This year artistic director Priya Mitchell will once again be joined by an exceptional group of musicians, including Ilya Gringolts, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Hugo Ticciati and leading Scandinavian cellist Torleif Thedeen. Described by the Independent as ‘an event unlike any other’, and hailed ‘a musical miracle’ by The Daily Telegraph, this festival promises to be unforgettable, and we look forward to seeing you there!