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Events > 2022

42. 1822: Schubert and his Friends: Graham Johnson, Martha Guth, Esme Bronwen-Smith, Alessandro Fisher, Charles Cunliffe

22 October 2022, 11:00 - 14:45

Song Connections

Song Connections - study events

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Holywell Music Room

Holywell St

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Part 1: 11am-12.15pm

Part 2: 1.30pm-2.45pm

Graham Johnson is the pre-eminent scholar-pianist of our time, particularly in relation to the music and life of Franz Schubert. He is known for his acclaimed recordings and recitals as well as his many books, including a masterful and comprehensive three-volume survey of Schubert’s songs. His lecture-recitals are always revelatory occasions. We are delighted that he will play a lead role in each Schubert Weekend from this year onwards, helping us trace the final seven years of the composer’s life in detail. He writes:

1822 was the year when Schubert made hay while the sun shone, a time of heady engagement with talented friends and with the pleasures of life in Vienna. The belated publication of his songs had made him more independent: having moved out of Mayrhofer's apartment, the composer was free of the poet's quasi-parental control, though still drawn to his mentor's lyrics. With the support of the glamorous Franz Bruchmann and his wealthy family Schubert moved in the highest social circles. Matthäus von Collin was a powerful member of the Imperial staff. Franz's devotion to the other Franz, the dilettante Schober, remained unshakeable. This edifice of friendship and bachelor laissez-faire came crashing down with the onset of 1823: after this the special glow of 1822 was never to be rekindled.

Graham Johnson is joined by four singers, including the renowned American soprano Martha Guth, BBC New Generation Artist Alessandro Fisher, winner of the 2022 Kathleen Ferrier Awards Esme Bronwen-Smith, and Ferrier finalist Charles Cunliffe.


All our seating is unreserved; please arrive in good time to take your seat. For groups of more than 10, please phone or email the box office to book your tickets.

The event duration is in two approximately 1 hour 15 minutes sections, with a break of 1 hour 15 minutes between them.


(Online bookings only)

Book five or more concerts at the same time: 5% discount

Book ten or more concerts at the same time: 10% discount

Book fifteen or more concerts at the same time: 15% discount

For even further discounts click here for more information on our Festival Passes.

Tickets will be issued as eTickets by default. Printed tickets are available on request, for an additional fee.

Artist Portrait

Graham Johnson

Graham Johnson


"That peerless song accompanist” (Daily Telegraph) Graham Johnson formed the Songmakers' Almanac and has appeared in recital with Sir Thomas Allen, Victoria de los Angeles, Elly Ameling, Arleen Auger, Ian Bostridge, Brigitte Fassbaender, Matthias Goerne, Thomas Hampson, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Philip Langridge, Serge Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Edith Mathis, Ann Murray, Lucia Popp, Christoph Prégardien, Dame Margaret Price, Thomas Quastoff, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Dorothea Rö... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Martha Guth

Martha Guth


Soprano Martha Guth’s operatic performances include the Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Grazer Oper, in Austria, Opera Lyra in Ottawa, Canada and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. In recital she has performed at the Wigmore Hall and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Graham Johnson at the piano, the Vancouver International Song Institute and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival with Erika Switzer, a world premiere at Lincoln Center, the Liederkranz with Pianist Dalton Baldwin, and an all Britten recital with Pianist Malc... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Esme Bronwen-Smith

Esme Bronwen-Smith


British mezzo-soprano Esme Bronwen-Smith is in her last year of postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music, generously supported on the Leverhulme scholarship and studying under the tutelage of Dinah Harris. She is also a 2019/20 Drake Calleja Trust Scholar and a 2020/21 Leeds Lieder Young Artist. She made her professional singing debut as a soloist in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony whilst at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying voice and composition. Esme’s recent operatic engagements include... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Alessandro Fisher

Alessandro Fisher


A member of the BBC’s New Generation Artists Scheme and an Associate Artist of Classical Opera, Alessandro Fisher won First Prize at the 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge, where he was a Choral Scholar at Clare College, furthering his studies at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2018 as Lucano L’Incoronazione di Poppea and his operatic engagements have further included Delmiro / Alindo Hipermestra for Glyndebourne Festival O... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Charles Cunliffe

Charles Cunliffe


Charles Cunliffe is a bass-baritone studying with Giles Underwood and Joseph Middleton at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2019, he was put forward as a RAM outstanding student, and was awarded the Silver Medal by the Company of Musicians, of which he has now become a Young Artist. Charles began singing as a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral, becoming a choral scholar in 2014. Soon after, he was offered a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music to study as an undergraduate. Charles has a strong affinity for song, and in the summer of 20... Read Full Biography


General Admission
Standard Ticket
Under 35s

Festival Passes

Seating Area A
Full Festival Pass
Week 1 Festival Pass (Friday 14 - Saturday 22 inclusive)
Week 2 Festival Pass (Saturday 22 - Saturday 29 inclusive)
Seating Area B
Full Festival Pass
Week 2 Festival Pass (Saturday 22 - Saturday 29 inclusive)

This event is part of a series:

Oxford Lieder Festival: 14 - 29 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 sp...

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