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Past Events > 2020

Connections Across Time - A Brief History of Song

10th - 17th October 2020

Over a packed eight days, world-class artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly and Roderick Williams will present some 40 concerts and events, from venues across Oxford and completely live. From the comfort of your own home, you will be able to enjoy these concerts live-streamed in the highest quality.

We’ll be exploring every possible advantage of this temporary move online: live Q&As with artists will follow concerts; we’ll be taking you into special and unusual venues; tickets will also give access to two further weeks of viewing as well as a host of fascinating and informative pre-concert resources.



At the heart of the Festival will be an exceptional series of live concerts, with artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, James Gilchrist, Stephan Loges, Ashley Riches, Carolyn Sampson, and Roderick Williams, performing in stunning Oxford venues. We will be bringing you closer than ever to these artists, through interviews, live Q&As where you will have the chance to question the artists directly, and in the world-class filming and audio that will beam them directly to your home. We retain our strong commitment to the best emerging talent, and recitals will be given by the winners of this year's Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, as well as recent winners of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Awards.


Our ‘Connections Across Time’theme will coax out links between Bach and Schubert, Dowland and Britten, and range from 14th-century songs by Guillaume de Machaut to freshly-minted works. Many of the perennial favourites of the song repertoire will naturally feature as well, with concerts devoted to Schubert, Schumann, Fauré and others. We explore diverse settings of poets, looking for example at the reception of the great Persian poet Hafiz across centuries and at Thomas Hardy's approach to the passing of time.


Oxford itself and our many wonderful venues are an integral part of the Festival and will remain so. In addition to the usual range of venues at the Festival, we plan to take you into some stunning spaces that would not usually be accessible. A combination of our intimate art form, these magical places, and carefully crafted filming will create a different but special atmosphere and keep the Festival rooted in the fabric of the city.


We are also fortunate to be based in Oxford for the wealth and diversity of specialists on hand who can draw connections between music, poetry, art, history, science and geography. With an online Festival, we can be more imaginative than ever with our study events. As well as masterclasses and live study events with musical illustrations, every concert will have a host of resources provided, from pre-recorded talks and interviews to curated playlists and listening notes, available to ticket holders from two weeks before the Festival.


This Festival will be diferent to others, but the personal, intimate feel that is a hallmark of Oxford Lieder will remain. We plan to host small online gatherings in study and listening groups, and will invite interaction at various events including the end of almost all recitals. We are also looking at any other ways to ensure people feel this is a truly shared experience and will announce further plans along with the full artistic programme in July.


Festival Passes are priced at £90. Passes give access to all of the Festival's 40 events, completely live and for two weeks after the Festival, as well as all associated resources; notes, translations, interviews, talks, and more. They represent a saving of some 60%.



Please also consider buying a special Pioneer Pass. The Pioneer Pass is a statement of enthusiasm and support for this year’s Festival, and includes a number of exclusive benefits:

  • Access to all 35+ Festival events, with a full month of access to the Oxford Lieder digital concert hall after the Festival, to enjoy all the concerts, talks and more at leisure

  • A special live concert, for Pioneer Pass holders only, on the eve of the Festival

  • Exclusive artist interviews and other content

  • An exclusive post-Festival DVD, with a selection of Festival highlights

  • Two guest tickets to Dame Sarah Connolly’s recital, to share with friends

  • An invitation to a special party, where we can convey our thanks in person, as soon such an event is viable

The Pioneer Pass supports Oxford Lieder and our artists, at a cost of £250 (equivalent to the total ticket cost of all Festival events). By buying a Pioneer Pass now you'll be helping ensure the success of this innovative and ambitious project.


Individual concert tickets will be available in July, when the full line-up is announced. They will be priced between £3 and £12 and will give access to additional resources for each event approximately two weeks before the Festival begins. All concerts will be streamed completely live on the Oxford Lieder website, in the digital concert hall for each event, and will be available to ticket holders for two weeks after the Festival ends.

Passes are on sale now and we would be delighted if you felt able to book straight away, so that we can finish the detailed planning of the Festival. As it is an online Festival, tickets will be useable per household. If you feel able to enhance your support by booking a Pass per person, we would be most grateful.

If for any reason we are unable to go ahead with this Festival, refunds will be processed automatically.


  • Concerts will be completely live, vibrantly filmed and streamed on our website in HD with top-level audio, and then available for two weeks after the end of the Festival (four weeks for Pioneer Pass holders).
  • Ease of access will be key, and we will create various tutorials for anyone not comfortable with navigating online resources. We plan to have a technical partner for anyone keen to improve their home AV setup.
  • Booking passes and tickets will work in the same simple, secure way as usual via our website. Tickets already have a unique 8-digit number, and this will become your password for each concert.
  • Every concert will have its own ‘digital concert hall’, where its other resources (interviews, notes, texts, etc.) will be available approximately two weeks before and for two weeks after the Festival.
  • Questions at study events and artist Q&As will be sent live by Twitter or email. Study groups and other gatherings will be hosted on Zoom.

Thursday 1st October 2020

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7:30 PM

Oxford Lieder on Radio 3 In Concert


01 Oct 2020 19:30 | BBC Maida Vale

TUNE IN at 7.30pm on Thursday 1 October, and for 30 days afterwards. As a curtain-raiser to the main Festival, Artistic Director Sholto Kynoch and several Festival artists perform live at BBC Maida Vale studios. The programme includes Ashley Riches in Schumann's great song-cycle, Dichterliebe, songs featuring (and about) the violin by Hugo Wolf, Rebecca Clarke and S...

Friday 9th October 2020

Saturday 10th October 2020

Sunday 11th October 2020

Monday 12th October 2020

Tuesday 13th October 2020

Wednesday 14th October 2020

Thursday 15th October 2020

Friday 16th October 2020

Saturday 17th October 2020

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10:00 PM

40b. Songs of the Stars: Lotte Betts-Dean & Sean Shibe

Late Night

17 Oct 2020 22:00 | The Radcliffe Observatory

Event 36 - Songs of the Stars with Lotte Betts-Dean and Sean Shibe was due to be livestreamed on Friday 16 October, but technical glitches meant we recorded it live instead. This event will be broadcast at 10pm on Saturday 17 October.  To access the event and to book tickets please go to the web page for event 36 (Friday 16 October, 10pm) - please click here to be di...