Concert - Festival Finale
May
5
6:00 pm18:00

Concert - Festival Finale

  • Holywell Music Room

The traditional festival finale brings the artists together for two great works of chamber music: Schumann’s paradigm-shifting Piano Quintet and the magnificent Beethoven Septet.

Book early to avoid missing out – or better still, become a Friend of the Festival!

Schumann - Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op. 44

interval

Beethoven - Septet in E flat Major, Op. 20 

 

Amandine Savary - piano
Jack Liebeck - violin 
Victoria Sayles - violin
Simon Oswell - viola
Christian-Pierre La Marca - cello
Matthew Hunt - clarinet
Amy Harman - bassoon
Katy Woolley - Horn
Enno Senft - D bass

PLEASE NOTE EARLIER TIME - 6PM

Lecture - Professor Peter Braude - "The myth of three parent babies and avoidance of mitochondrial disease"
May
5
4:00 pm16:00

Lecture - Professor Peter Braude - "The myth of three parent babies and avoidance of mitochondrial disease"

  • Holywell Music Room

Peter Braude is emeritus professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King’s College London. He was formerly head of the Division of Women’s Health at King’s and led the Centre for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. He has been a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group that explored the ethical issues surrounding novel techniques for the prevention of mitochondrial DNA disorder.

 

Mitochondria are tiny organelles within every cell that regulate the cell’s energy and metabolism. Each mitochondrion has its own small loop of DNA (mtDNA) that is separate and different from the rest of the DNA present as chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell, which is responsible for our inherited characteristics.

A number of untreatable severe, debilitating and potential lethal disorders are caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA. New technologies arising from in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may offer a means to avoid passing on these awful diseases, but they are not without significant legal, ethical, and technical difficulties. Such techniques, - often wrongly dubbed creation of three parent babies - are forbidden by law in the UK, but parliament will soon be considering whether or not to amend the law to allow implementation of these techniques, once their safety and efficacy have been demonstrated. Professor Braude will explain the technology involved and explore some of the challenges that this new method presents. 


Please note: Sir Tim Hunt has had to withdraw due to a diary conflict; we are very grateful to Professor Peter Braude PhD FRCOG FMedSci who has agreed to replace him at short notice.  Professor Braude's talk is also related to DNA and is entitled "The myth of three parent babies and avoidance of mitochondrial disease".

PLEASE NOTE EARLIER TIME - 4PM

Concert - O Duo – Oliver Cox & Owen Gunnell
May
4
8:00 pm20:00

Concert - O Duo – Oliver Cox & Owen Gunnell

  • Holywell Music Room

This dynamic percussion duo have taken the classical world by storm with their charismatic and fun take on the genre.  Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell's fascinating programme contains some of their own compositions as well as classical favourites from Bach to Brubeck. Unmissable.

O Duo - Bongo Fury
Albeniz - Suite Espagnola
Bach - French Suite No. 5 (excerpts)
Chopin - Etude in G flat major (black key)
Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond - Take 5
O Duo - Searching 

interval

W. Siegel - 42nd St Rondo  
Prokofiev - Prelude “The Harp”
Glass - Mad Rush
Oliver Cox - Signals from Space 

O Duo - Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell

Lecture - Nicola Harrison (Pembroke College, Oxford) - “The Singing Mind”
May
4
5:30 pm17:30

Lecture - Nicola Harrison (Pembroke College, Oxford) - “The Singing Mind”

  • Holywell Music Room

Nicola Harrison is a writer, journalist, professional singer, director and lecturer of singing and song interpretation at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford. As a result of past training as a Senior Registered Nurse she has been qualified to work with vocal groups suffering from severe mental health problems, brain damage and learning disabilities to find new ways of surmounting these and other challenges to the teaching of singing.

Talk description: 

When professional singers perform they have to multi-task at a super-heroic level. This presentation takes a look at the complex demands this makes on the minds and bodies of singers and how a new technique might be used to train vocalists more efficiently. Can we harness the imagination to stimulate the correct muscles of singing? And if we can, what might be the implications for medicine? This talk involves live performance, engages the audience and brings them into the action.

Pierre Fournier Award Concert
May
4
2:30 pm14:30

Pierre Fournier Award Concert

  • Holywell Music Room

Oxford May Music's collaboration with The Pierre Fournier Award for young Cellists continues and the current prizewinner performs for us as part of the prize.

Chiara Emberle - Cello
Keiko Tamura - Piano

Beethoven - Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102 No. 1
Schumann - Fantasiestücke, Op. 73

interval

Penderecki - Capriccio per Siegfried Palm (1968)
Poulenc - Sonata

Sublime to Ridiculous - Brendel and Hersch
May
3
8:00 pm20:00

Sublime to Ridiculous - Brendel and Hersch

  • Church of St John the Evangelist

Legendary pianist and published writer Alfred Brendel and musical comedian Rainer Hersch unmissable double-bill. 

The first part of the evening features legendary pianist Alfred Brendel reciting a selection of his humorous, imaginative and at times totally zany prose relating to music and other subjects. This will be interspersed with suitably witty musical interludes from the festival's resident musicians. (Please note, Alfred Brendel will not be playing the piano!)

Following that, whether you are a professor of music or couldn’t tell a string quartet from a string vest, Rainer Hersch conducting the Oxford May Music All-stars Orchestra is a guaranteed laugh every four bars. From the William Tell Overture to Carmina Burana, nothing is safe from these madcap virtuosos. Here, at last, is a classical concert that “will have you rolling in the aisles and composers spinning in their graves” (BBC Radio 4).  A sell-out at his annual April Fools Day Concert at the Royal Festival Hall, and with orchestras worldwide, this is Rainer Hersch’s first orchestral appearance in Oxford.

“After seeing this show you’ll find yourself gleefully clapping in the wrong place, creating symphonies of coughs and providing mobile phone counterpoints to the Great Masterworks – the concert hall won’t be the same again” Tom Service, The Scotsman

“An Anglo-Tuetonic blend of English self-deprecation and Germanic highbrow virtuosity” The Guardian

“You’ll never see another show quite like this” Edinburgh Evening News

Lecture - Prof. Cyrus Cooper (Universities of Southampton and Oxford) - “Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis Throughout the Lifecourse”
May
3
5:30 pm17:30

Lecture - Prof. Cyrus Cooper (Universities of Southampton and Oxford) - “Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis Throughout the Lifecourse”

  • Church of St John the Evangelist

Cyrus Cooper is Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton, and Chair of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Oxford. He leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis.

Talk description:

Osteoporosis constitutes a major public health problem through its association with age-related fractures.  Life expectancy is increasing around the globe.  Assuming constant age-specific incidence rates for fracture, the number of hip fractures occurring worldwide among people aged 65 years and over will rise from 1.66 million in 1990 to 6.26 million in 2050.   Among current risk factors for low bone density and trauma (low body mass index, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and dietary calcium intake) the trends are best explained by physical inactivity. Debate continues on the role of more aggressive osteoporosis therapeutic strategies; although pharmacologic intervention might be efficacious, only a minority of hip fracture patients remain so treated, and the scope for even greater reductions in incidence remains an enticing prospect.

Concert - Violin and Organ
May
3
2:30 pm14:30

Concert - Violin and Organ

  • Greyfriars Church

Victoria Sayles and Christian Wilson will perform a diverse and original programme in a combination that is sadly very rarely heard together.  

Rheinberger - Overture and Allegro Op. 150, No. 6
Handel - Sonata Op. 1, No. 6 (HWV 364)
Bach - Canonic Variations on “Vom Himmel Hoch” (organ solo)
Vitali - Chaconne in G Minor

Victoria Sayles - Violin
Christian Wilson - Organ

Concert - The Dark Power of Music
May
2
8:00 pm20:00

Concert - The Dark Power of Music

  • Holywell Music Room

Here we turn to the dark side beginning with a 2002 film by Tim Meara starring (a more youthful) Jack & Katya, illustrating the passions of Tolstoy’s novel “The Kreutzer Sonata” in music and dance. Kreutzer is the theme, with Beethoven’s epic violin sonata and the passionate outbursts of Janacek’s String Quartet No .1 “Kreutzer Sonata”.  The relationship and power of these works will be explained by Stephen Johnson

Beethoven - Sonata No. 9 in A major "Kreutzer"

interval

Janacek - String Quartet "Kreutzer Sonata"

Beethoven
Jack Liebeck - Violin

Katya Apekisheva - Piano

Janacek
Mateja Marinkovic - Violin
Victoria Sayles - Violin
Simon Oswell - Viola
Benjamin Hughes - Cello

Stephen Johnson - speaker

Lecture - Stephen Johnson - "Fire and Ice"
May
2
5:30 pm17:30

Lecture - Stephen Johnson - "Fire and Ice"

  • Holywell Music Room

Stephen Johnson has written regularly for The Independent, The Guardian and BBC Music Magazine and is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and 4.  He presents Radio 3's Discovering Music and has won a Sony Gold Award for his broadcasting.

Talk description:

It is often claimed that the condition now known as Bipolar Affective Disorder is particularly common among creative personalities. Quite a number of classical composers have been said to have suffered from it. But inevitably posthumous diagnoses tend to be rather vague. So which of the classical greats look most likely to have been bipolar? And can their condition be related in any meaningful way to the music they composed? Stephen Johnson (himself a sufferer from bipolar disorder) investigates.

Concert - Festival Players
May
1
8:00 pm20:00

Concert - Festival Players

  • The Holywell Music Room

Resident artists and special guests join forces in a varied programme: Mozart’s G Minor Piano Quartet; the amazing Sextet by Frank Bridge; a rarity, the Grand Duo by spohr; and finally another of Mendelssohn’s youthful chamber works, the Piano Sextet.

Mozart - Piano Quartet in G minor, K478
Frank Bridge - String Sextet in E flat Major, H. 107

interval

Spohr - Grand Duo Op. 67 No. 2
Mendelssohn - Sextet for Piano and Strings in D Major, Op. 110

Jack Liebeck - violin
Victoria Sayles - violin
Simon Oswell - viola
Simone van der Giessen - viola
Thomas Carroll - cello
Christian-Pierre La Marca - cello
Enno Senft - double bass
Amandine Savary - piano

Lecture - Prof. Myles Allen (University of Oxford) - "Are we living in a new geological era - The 'Anthropocene'?"
May
1
5:30 pm17:30

Lecture - Prof. Myles Allen (University of Oxford) - "Are we living in a new geological era - The 'Anthropocene'?"

  • Holywell Music Room

Myles Allen is Professor of Geosystem Science in the ECI/School of Geography and the Environment and in the Department of Physics, University of Oxford, and is Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts.

Talk description:

Around the turn of the millennium, Eugene Stoermer and Paul Crutzen suggested we are living in a new geological epoch, possibly the first in which a single species, humankind, was reshaping planetary systems on a global scale. When did this so called 'Anthropocene' begin? When, and how, might it end? Is this really a significant event in Earth history, or is it ridiculously hubristic for us to consider our own influence on the world comparable to the massive and often cataclysmic events that have shaped the planet in the past? I will talk about the evidence for, and against, the notion of an Anthropocene epoch, and what it might mean for us to live on a planet which, for better or for worse, we increasingly control.

Concert - Trio Dali
Apr
30
8:00 pm20:00

Concert - Trio Dali

  • Holywell Music Room

Trio Dali were formed in 2003 and are now established as one of the most exciting Piano Trios in Europe. Having won plaudits for their recordings and performances they were joined in 2013 by Jack Liebeck and are on course to forge an exciting future together.

They play trios by Haydn, the founder of the genre, the ethereal beauty of the trio by Faure and end with Mendelssohn’s magnificent C Minor. 

Haydn Piano Trio in C major, Hob. XV:27
Faure Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 120

interval

Mendelssohn Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 66

Lecture - Prof. Gerry Gilmore FRS (University of Cambridge) - "Counting Stars"
Apr
30
5:30 pm17:30

Lecture - Prof. Gerry Gilmore FRS (University of Cambridge) - "Counting Stars"

  • Holywell Music Room

Gerry Gilmore FRS is Professor of Experimental Philosophy at the Institute of Astronomy in the University of Cambridge.  He leads the effort to understand the structure and origin of our Galaxy and his team has provided us our current understanding of how the masses of stars are distributed at birth.

Talk description:

Counting stars is one of the oldest of mankind's investigations of our Universe. Every culture developed mythological `explanations', struggling to break the `What came first?' conundrum. Astrological applications remain popular today. Scientific explanations eluded Newton, but progressed following the scientific application of the telescope by William Herschel, in Slough.

Understanding the distribution and motions of stars today remains a challenge. Remarkable technology - the GAIA spacecraft was launched last December - links with particle physics to challenge our understanding of when and where the chemical elements we are made of were created including the Milky Way.