A welcome from Sholto Kynoch, Oxford Lieder's Artistic Director:
It seems increasingly unlikely that life will be back to normal by October, particularly when it comes to large gatherings, but we are determined still to stage a thrilling Festival and I am delighted to share some details of that with you now. We have been working on a trailblazing project: an innovative virtual Festival, presented completely live over eight days, with many of our favourite internationally-renowned artists performing in venues around Oxford and streamed in superb quality. Although we are all eager to be back sharing music in person – and are also laying plans for a tremendous celebration of our 20th anniversary next year – I hope you’ll share our excitement at the many possibilities offered by a temporary move online.
Passes for the Festival this autumn are on sale now and I would be so grateful if you felt able to buy yours now. This pioneering project needs your backing if it is to go ahead. Your early booking will give us the confidence to proceed. By buying a ‘Pioneer Pass’ you will be playing a crucial role in this Festival’s success. Further details follow below.
I am truly thrilled to think that we can bring you an imaginative, uplifting programme this October. It is also with our artists in mind that we present this Festival: I count myself among the many colleagues who are beyond eager to start making music and connecting with audiences again. And we have a unique opportunity to vastly increase the reach of the Festival, which could have a hugely positive, long-lasting effect. It is certainly a change, but there are myriad exciting possibilities and I hope you’ll want to join us. Please book now!
Stay safe and well, and we look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you.
CLOSER THAN EVER TO OUR ARTISTS
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.
CONNECTIONS ACROSS TIME
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.
THE DREAMING SPIRES
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.
A SEAT OF LEARNING
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.
A FESTIVE WEEK
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 available now, priced at £90. Passes give access to all of the Festival's 35-40 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%.
THE PIONEER PASS:
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.
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.
HOW WILL IT WORK?
- 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.
We are keeping the possibility of in-person attendance within our planning, should circumstances change over the coming months.