Oxford Lieder Festival: 14 - 29 October 2022
14th - 29th October 2022
The 21st Oxford Lieder Festival, Friendship in Song: An Intimate Art, invites you to explore song as an art form that grew up among friends, often at special and sociable gatherings, and inspired many composers’ most personal and profound works. We explore friendships between composers, poets and performers, recreate the intimate atmosphere of the salon, and generally enjoy a festive spirit of conviviality and shared experience. World-renowned artists mingle with the best of the new generation, and the great works of the song repertoire are complemented by new music and new discoveries.
Passes allow you to enjoy either the full festival or one week for a significant discount, with prices starting from £370 for one week.
The Festival gets off to a stunning start with a recital in the Sheldonian Theatre given by Kate Royal, Christine Rice and Julius Drake, a stellar trio who perform songs and duets by Brahms, Schumann and Kurt Weill. We welcome the thrilling French soprano Patricia Petibon for the first time, with pianist Susan Manoff. James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook celebrate 25 years of friendship and collaboration with a programme of Schumann and Britten. Another exceptional French soprano, Marie-Laure Garnier, stunned audiences last year and returns with duo partner Célia Oneto Bensaid and the Quatuor Hanson for a performance of Fauré’s La bonne Chanson. The Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans performs as both singer and pianist, reviving a lost tradition of intimate music making. The ensemble Schubert & Co. make a welcome return.
The tenor Mark Padmore will be our Artist in Residence, giving a number of concerts and other events during this week, and returning in Week Two to lead the Mastercourse.
We begin a new collaboration with the BeethovenFest Bonn, bringing a recital from their Festival that combines Schumann’s Dichterliebe with a reading by Sir Thomas Allen of Thomas Mann’s short story Tonio Kröger and a recent work by composer Elena Langer, performed by soprano Anna Dennis, counter-tenor Hugh Cutting (winner of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards), oboist Nicholas Daniel and baritone James Atkinson. Our international friendships also continue to grow with young artist exchanges with the International Lied Festival Zeist in the Netherlands and the LIFE Victoria Festival in Barcelona.
A series of lute song concerts explores that most intimate ancestor of the modern song recital, featuring Benjamin Appl with Thomas Dunford, Helen Charlston with Toby Carr, and Mark Padmore with Elizabeth Kenny. Christopher Purves joins the Choir of The Queen’s College at the Freud café-bar on Walton Street to recreate elements of the 18th-century ‘Catch Clubs’ and the original Academy of Ancient Music.
The lunchtime series focuses on Vaughan Williams in his 150th anniversary, with a series of four recitals given by BBC New Generation Artists past and present, including Ailish Tynan, Kathryn Rudge, Alessandro Fisher and William Thomas, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Various related concerts and study events run in parallel.
Three study days complete the opening weekend. Natasha Loges explores the rich history of salon music making, not only as glamorous social gatherings but also safe spaces for new or forbidden ideas. Gavin Plumley discusses Richard Strauss and the importance of song and domestic music making throughout his long life. And Philip Ross Bullock examines both Sir Isaiah Berlin and the important cultural friendships he fostered, and the contemporary Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov.
Week Two begins with a glorious Schubert Weekend. Graham Johnson gives a lecture-recital on Schubert’s Friends and Contemporaries. Mark Padmore gives his final performance as this year's Artist in Residence (before moving on to lead the Mastercourse) with the great Austrian pianist Till Fellner. We welcome the world-renowned German tenor Werner Güra for the first time. Other artists include Birgid Steinberger, Katharina Ruckgaber and Martin Hässler. We take a brief diversion from Schubert to enjoy an all-Dowland recital by the counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, appearing at the Festival for the first time with lutenist Thomas Dunford.
The main evening recitals during the rest of the week are also a who’s-who of internationally renowned recitalists. Roderick Williams and Susie Allan perform Beethoven, Schubert and Josephine Lang. Camilla Tilling and Paul Rivinius devote their programme to the huge influence of Jenny Lind, the ‘Swedish Nightingale’. Christoph Prégardien is joined by his son Julian Prégardien and pianist Michael Gees for their immensely popular ‘father & son’ programme. Other welcome returns include the great German soprano Dorothea Röschmann with Malcolm Martineau, and the ever-popular Carolyn Sampson with Joseph Middleton. The Festival draws to a glorious close with Dame Sarah Connolly, Patron of the Schubert Circle, and Eugene Asti.
From Monday to Friday, eight duos from our Young Artist Programme will take part in the Mastercourse, which will be led by Artist in Residence Mark Padmore. Each duo will work daily with Mark, as well as with guest tutors Julius Drake, Susan Manoff and Simon Lepper. The students give their final concert on the closing day of the Festival, which is always a hugely popular and uplifting event.
Highlights of the Week Two lunchtime concerts include the extraordinary Chinese soprano Yajie Zhang, in an all-Mahler concert with pianist Hartmut Höll, the bass-baritone Michael Mofidian with Keval Shah, and American tenor Joshua Stewart with Deirdre Brenner. The rush-hour series includes performances by tenor Stuart Jackson, the Castalian String Quartet, and a new jazz-infused cycle by pianist-composer Will Bartlett, setting poems by Philip Larkin and sung by jazz legend Norma Winstone. The Choir of Merton College perform the Fauré Requiem on the closing day.
We are also thrilled to introduce the British-Chinese composer Alex Ho as our new Associate Composer. Alex will write two major new song cycles this year and next. For this Festival, he will write for the mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron and pianist Kunal Lahiry, setting a specially-commissioned text by Singaporean poet Theophilus Kwek.
We will happily be returning to a variety of wonderful venues this year, with the Holywell Music Room as our firm base. Trinity College will be our partner college for 2022 and a number of events will take place in their stunning new Levine Building, including the Mastercourse. There will also be an opportunity to see the Old Library and Chapel at Trinity. We’ll be at St John the Evangelist for celebrity evening concerts in Week Two. We also visit Convocation House, the Divinity School, Wolfson College, the Leonid Pasternak collection on Park Town, Freud café on Walton Street, the Mad Hatter bar on Iffley Road, and several college chapels.
Our commitment to supporting the next generation of musicians is stronger than ever. Each evening concert will feature an ‘emerging artist’ slot: a 15-minute showcase given to brilliant young musicians that begins the concert. This initiative was started during the pandemic, but was so well received by audience and artists alike that we have decided to make it an ongoing feature of the Festival. It’s a fantastic platform for the musicians, and a chance for audiences to spot the stars of the future. In March 2022 we had an exceptional round of auditions for our Young Artist programme and appointed eleven outstanding duos to the scheme. They will appear in a number of our illustrated study events, as well as giving the Emerging Artist slots in Week One. In Week Two, they take part in the Mastercourse.
Friday 14th October
14 Oct 2022 19:30 | The Sheldonian TheatreGenerously supported by Freeths Solicitors Our Opening Night recital brings together three great artists and a wonderful selection of songs, in the stunning setting of Christopher Wren's Sheldonian Theatre. Kate Royal is one of the world’s best-known sopranos, who last appeared at the Festival in a memorable, sell-out recital in 2018. We are thrilled to welcome the equally celeb...
Saturday 15th October
15 Oct 2022 20:00 | Holywell Music RoomThomas Oliemans is well known to Oxford Lieder audiences as a masterful baritone, having appeared numerous times at the Festival with the pianist Malcolm Martineau. But Thomas is also a pianist, and has recently given recitals accompanying himself, reviving a lost tradition of the singer-pianist. In tonight’s programme – the first of three Festival concerts following this ...
Sunday 16th October
16 Oct 2022 19:00 | Holywell Music RoomPatricia Petibon is one of the world’s most exciting sopranos, described by The Guardian as ‘a genuine maverick’ and ‘beguiling’ with a voice that is ‘a mixture of muslin and steel’. We welcome her to Oxford for the first time with the peerless pianist Susan Manoff. They perform a programme including works by Bernstein, Poulenc, Satie, Granados and othe...
Monday 17th October
17 Oct 2022 21:30 | FreudStay with us or join afresh after the earlier Catch Club event, as we welcome the hugely popular Oxford Gargoyles. The exuberant jazz-infused close harmonies that are the hallmark of the Gargoyles are arguably a contemporary descendant of the Catch Club. Finish the day, cocktail in hand, with this uplifting performance. PRACTICAL INFORMATION All our seating is unreserved; please arrive ...
Tuesday 18th October
18 Oct 2022 19:30 | Holywell Music RoomJames Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook gave their first recital together 25 years ago, and have enjoyed a prolifically fruitful and prestigious musical partnership ever since. Their many memorable performances at the Festival across the years have made them firm friends of the Oxford Lieder audience. For this celebratory programme, they include repertoire from the earliest days of their collaboratio...
Wednesday 19th October
Thursday 20th October
20 Oct 2022 19:30 | Holywell Music RoomSchubert & Co. is an ensemble formed by Oxford Lieder’s Artistic Director, Sholto Kynoch, and a company of renowned singers, who come together to recreate the original spirit of the ‘Schubertiade’. Gathered around the piano, they perform glorious partsongs that were often some of the composer’s most personal works, as well as solo songs. Expect an informal and celebr...
Friday 21st October
21 Oct 2022 22:00 | New College Ante ChapelThe tenor Nick Pritchard ‘stops hearts and time’ (Daily Telegraph) and he closes the day in the magical surroundings of New College Ante-Chapel, joined by pianist Ian Tindale for a programme of stunning English songs by Ivor Gurney, Rebecca Clarke, Ian Venables and Gerald Finzi. Their programme concludes with Finzi’s poignant cycle Oh Fair to See. PRACTICAL INFORMATION ...
Saturday 22nd October
22 Oct 2022 19:45 | Saint John the EvangelistThis is the last of Mark Padmore’s performances as our 2022 Artist in Residence, before he leads the Mastercourse through the Festival’s second week. For this all-Schubert recital, he is joined by the distinguished Austrian pianist Till Fellner, who plays with ‘natural ease, eloquence and impeccable artistry’ (The Times). PRACTICAL INFORMATION All our seati...
Sunday 23rd October
23 Oct 2022 21:30 | The Mad HatterTicket price includes one drink. Following her earlier recital with Julius Drake (Event 47), Birgid Steinberger returns in a different guise, accompanying herself on the guitar. She has a longstanding commitment to folksongs and her previous Festival events such as this have been immensely popular. Earlier we heard folk music as channelled through the compositional genius of Schubert, but th...
Monday 24th October
24 Oct 2022 19:30 | Saint John the EvangelistRoderick Williams needs little introduction as one of the foremost baritones of today. He and pianist Susie Allan perform Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, a cycle of six songs setting the poet Alois Jeitteles, and the inspiration for many subsequent song composers. They also include groups of songs by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Josephine Lang, setting poetry by Goethe, Heine, Lenau an...
Tuesday 25th October
25 Oct 2022 19:30 | Saint John the EvangelistThe Swedish soprano Jenny Lind (1820-1887) was one of the most celebrated singers of all time and a close friend of innumerable composers, artists and writers, including the Schumanns, Felix Mendelssohn, Chopin, Berlioz, Meyerbeer and Hans Christian Andersen. She settled in London and taught at the Royal College of Music. Camilla Tilling, who was a recipient of the Jenny Lind Scholarship early ...
Wednesday 26th October
26 Oct 2022 21:45 | The Mad HatterCocktails and music in this atmospheric bar, just around the corner from SJE, conclude the day with our 21st-century take on salon music-making. Curated and performed by Lotte Betts-Dean, who is joined by accordionist and BBC New Generation Artist Ryan Corbett, the evening features a range of music, spanning several centuries and styles from French Renaissance and German Lieder to 20t...
Thursday 27th October
27 Oct 2022 19:30 | Saint John the EvangelistThe Grammy Award-winning soprano Dorothea Röschmann is one of the world’s leading singers, recently described as ‘absolutely magnificent’ (The Herald). With pianist Malcolm Martineau, she has given two sensational recitals at previous Festivals and we are thrilled to welcome them both back. They include Schumann's settings of Eichendorff, the Liederkreis op....
Friday 28th October
28 Oct 2022 21:30 | Saint John the EvangelistRachel Fenlon has been a trailblazer in the revival of the self-accompanied recital, performing ambitious and innovative programmes around the world. She gives the last of this mini-series within the Festival, accompanying herself in songs by Debussy, Berg, Alma Mahler and George Crumb. PRACTICAL INFORMATION All seating within each ticket price band is unreserved; please arrive in good ...
Saturday 29th October
29 Oct 2022 19:30 | Saint John the EvangelistIt’s always a special occasion when Sarah Connolly appears at the Festival, and we’re delighted to welcome her and Eugene Asti for this year’s closing concert. For this wonderful finale, they bring a programme of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms – coming full-circle from our opening night! – as well as songs by a young, still-Romantic Arnold Schoenberg and ...