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Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Oxford Early Music Festival. This year’s inaugural festival brings some of the country’s top singers and musicians to Oxford, to perform alongside emerging local talents, in the beautiful surroundings of Oxford college chapels and city churches. Please use the links at the top to navigate and to find out more about the Festival. If you have any questions, then please get in touch via the contact form. To stay updated on festival developments, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or join our mailing list!

 

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‘Ein neues Lied’: Music of Change in an Age of Reform

The Reformation was already been well underway before Martin Luther turned his attention to music. Nonetheless, it quickly became one of the defining features of the Lutheran Church, and J.S. Bach’s music is often seen as the culmination of the Lutheran musical tradition. However, numerous composers can be seen to have produced some incredibly beautiful music in the aftermath of Luther’s calls, which laid the groundwork for Bach’s work.

‘Inventio’: Bach for unaccompanied violin and viola da gamba

Oxford residents and top class players Bojan Čičić and Susanne Heinrich come together to perform a one-act concert of beautiful music by J.S. Bach, for the unlikely yet effective combination of unaccompanied violin and viola da gamba. Combining solo works alongside duets, the pair will explore Bach’s lyricism and counterpoint at a focal level rarely appreciated, in the meditative setting of the Oxford city church of St Mary Magdalen.

What is the Oxford Early Music Festival?

Oxford Early Music Festival is the newest early music festival in the UK. Originally conceived in the summer of 2012 by three friends (including two sisters), who had variously grown up, studied and worked in Oxford and are now active in their respective careers as musicians and administrators, the festival’s aim is to present a weekend of concerts by outstanding artists in some of the city’s best loved venues. For a city almost synonymous with early music and which gave rise to some of the best known groups of the movement, it seemed odd that nobody had tried to bring together the artists who make up the vibrant local early music scene within the stunning surroundings of the college chapels and city churches.

 

This year’s concerts and events are concentrated on the bank holiday weekend from Saturday 4th-Monday 6th May. However, it is hoped that the festival will expand into something larger in years to come. For more information about this year’s events, please see the concerts page.