Those of you who are Festival regulars will see that we have more events than ever before. Some people will come to everything, many will come to a significant proportion, and some people will choose just one or two. What I hope is that everyone will find much that appeals. For anyone visiting the site who has not attended the Festival before, I can assure you of the very warmest welcome to Oxford.
The Festival is built around a friendly and informal atmosphere, truly festive. Take a few days or a week (or two!), immerse yourself in song, and find out what we are all about. The range of music and artists is as great as ever. In his bicentenary year, we celebrate Robert Schumann in many of our concerts. As ever, programme the three Schubert song cycles, but the repertoire also stretches to Russia, France, Scandinavia and beyond, through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. We welcome back some favourite artists – Wolfgang Holzmair, James Gilchrist, Stephan Loges and Sophie Daneman, to name but a few – and are excited to hear for the first time such names as Sir Willard White, Felicity Palmer and Katarina Karnéus, as well as the winners of last year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the best talent from the leading music colleges. In response to a growing number of requests, we have a number of events for adult, non-professional singers, including a “bring and sing” and a master class taken by Henry Herford. We continue our work in local schools and run our renowned course for advanced students, this year led by Ian Partridge. As usual, there are talks given by a range of engaging speakers and many other events to enjoy.
Ticket prices have remained almost identical to last year. We have decided to keep the cost of the Festival Pass at the same level as 2009, despite having substantially more going on. This now offers exceptional value and we hope that many of you will be tempted to take this up. Click here for details. Next year will be our tenth, an extraordinary thought for all of us. I would like to thank all of our supporters – individuals, trusts, foundations and companies – without whom we would certainly not have come as far as we have. Please don’t forget that the greatest support you can give is to come and enjoy the Festival, and help us to spread the word about it.