The Grand Tour – A European Journey in Song

The seventeenth Oxford Lieder Festival (12-27 October 2018) will celebrate a rich tapestry of music, words and performance in European song and will showcase the pinnacles of the repertoire while exploring wider cultural influences.

International stars including Louise AlderSarah ConnollyVéronique GensJames GilchristThomas OliemansChristoph PrégardienKai RüütelCarolyn SampsonToby Spence and Camilla Tilling, together with prize-winning young artists, take part in a wide range of concerts and related events.

Sholto Kynoch, founder and Artistic Director of the Festival, has just been been elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in the Academy’s 2018 Honours.


In a new collaboration with the Bodleian Library, Oxford Lieder is co-hosting the Albi Rosenthal Fellowship: a three-month residency at the Bodleian, this year specifically for a composer. American composer Ross S. Griffey has been appointed and, as well as his residency at the Bodleian Library, in October he will lead a composition workshop at the Oxford Lieder Festival and give a talk on his research, with some of his existing work being heard. Following the residency, Oxford Lieder will commission a major new cycle – based on his research in the Bodleian – to be premiered at the 2019 Festival.


Oxford Lieder presents other events throughout the year, including a Spring Weekend of Song, as well as recitals across the country through the Oxford LiederYoung Artist Platform. Exceptional young professional duos apply for the Young Artist Platform, and this year’s winners – selected through 45-minute audition recitals at the Spring Weekend – are: Harriet Burns (soprano) and Michael Pandya (piano) and Jessica Dandy (contralto) and Dylan Perez (piano). They give a series of recitals in music clubs, societies and festivals nationally, as well as showcase recitals at the Festival in October.

Festival passes are already on sale from www.oxfordlieder.co.uk  / 01865 591276 General booking opens on 1 June 2018
3 April 2018

Hastings Philharmonic

Peasmarsh Festival fans should hotfoot it to St Mary in the Castle in Hastings on 14 April to see Richard Lester as soloist for the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra. Professor Lester is well known and loved in this part of East Sussex for his tireless work as co-artistic director of the popular annual Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival. He is also a Professor of the cello at the Royal College of Music and a virtuoso welcomed at the most famous music venues all over the World as soloist and member of award-winning chamber music ensembles, such as the Florestan Trio, Domus, Hausmusik and the London Haydn Quartet.

The Elgar Cello Concerto was not always as popular as it is today; from the 1960s it became a regular at the proms capturing the audiences’ imagination through the  Jacqueline du Pre/ Daniel Barenboim partnership. Later on a Julian Lloyd Webber’s performance further enhanced its popularity.  However the cello concerto’s premiere in 1920 was a considered a bit of a disaster and a pointer towards a decline in Elgar’s reputation in his latter years.

Nevertheless the town of Hastings kept faith with Elgar, who was a prime guest of honour at the inaugural festival for the purpose-built White Rock Pavilion in 1927. The Hastings Municipal Orchestra produced two memorable performances of Elgar’s Cello Concerto at the White Rock Pavilion in the 1930s:  in 1937 with Pablo Casals as soloist and in 1931 with his pupil Gaspar Cassado. Hastings loved the cello, judging by the popularity of Paul Tortelier’s visits  in 1952 and 1953 when he joined in Hastings music festivals but not, this time, with Elgar’s music.

The Hastings Philharmonic wishes to play a part in restoring Hastings’ reputation as a centre of excellence for classical music, something that has been reinforced especially by the growing reputation of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. This first link between the Peasmarsh Festival and Hastings Philharmonic will make this concert a milestone event and the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra performance of Tchaikovsky’s popular 5th Symphony at the same concert will add to the attraction of this much anticipated occasion.

Richard Lester – Cello
Marcio da Silva – Conductor
Cello Concerto Elgar
Symphony no.5 Tchaikovsky

At St Mary in the Castle, Pelham Crescent, Hastings,  7pm, Saturday 14th April

Tickets     £22.50/£17.50  https://www.musicglue.com/hastings-philharmonic/events/2018-04-14-tchaikovsky-and-elgar-st-mary-in-the-castle