2016/17 Season in Review
The 2016/17 Concert Season at the JdP has been filled with a wide variety of fascinating concerts, public lectures, drama and festival events. This year we also introduced for the first time our new livestreaming service, combined with an online video library to reach a worldwide audience.
The JdP Concert Series began in October with Jonathan Powell performing the complete Piano Works of Iannis Xenakis alongside works by contemporary British, French and Lithuanian composers. The following month, the ‘creative genius’ Gwilym Simcock performed to a full house. Just one week later the outstanding oboist James Turnbull and the Royal Philharmonic Society award-winning pianist Clare Hammond graced the JdP stage to perform beautiful French sonatas alongside works by renowned Oxford composers. At the end of Michaelmas term, we welcomed back Sara Trickey, Daniel and Joseph Tong for the Richard Wigmore Study Days, this time exploring Late Romantic works by several composers over three concerts.
During Hilary term, Jonathan Powell returned to the JdP to perform four radical works of the first half of the 19th century, all from memory. Our season highlight featured the outstanding lute and theorbo player Elizabeth Kenny joined by countertenor Robin Blaze and actor Dickon Tyrrell in A Shakespeare Miscellany. The JdP also hosted its first Piano Weekend, with Ian Pace bringing together five composers whose works were performed by the great David Tudor, and the following day with a pairing of the works by Domenico Scarlatti & Salvatore Sciarrino by Nicolas Hodges. The term ended with the London Sinfonietta performing a variety of spectral works as part of the Spectralisms international conference at the Faculty of Music.
The second Piano Weekend took place in May at the start of Trinity term. On the 12th, the brilliant pianist Maki Sekiya and theremin player Lydia Kavina performed a recital of contemporary Russian pieces alongside works by Shostakovich. On the 13th May, Jonathan Powell gave a phenomenal 4 ½ hour performance of Kaikhosru Sorabji’s Opus Clavicembalisticum. Towards the end of the month, Simon Wallfisch & Edward Rushton performed a unique recital of French music from the early twentieth century, including the Debussy Cello Sonata. In another unique performance, Sirinu joined us for an innovative concert for lovers of folk, to celebrate the works of composer Howard Skempton. Our season finale was a captivating performance by the Heath Quartet of the works of Haydn, Beethoven and Mendelssohn.
Composers at St. Hilda’s had plenty to do throughout the year, with the M@SH Marathon in January, ANIMA: new music with animation in May, and a fifth Rendezvous in June. The JdP saw many world premieres of student compositions and some fantastic collaborations with St. Anne’s composers and the Ruskin School of Art.
The Thursday Lunchtime Recitals continued to thrive throughout the year with some incredible performances by St. Hilda’s students and professional musicians. Highlights included Fenella Humphreys, Anyssa Neumann, the Royal College of Music Trio, The Millbrook Ensemble, Gamal Khamis, Peyman Heydarian and Timothy Dickinson.
Our DANSOX events this year were varied and fascinating, featuring many highly influential speakers and dancers including Siobhan Davies, Professor Lynn Garafola, Suzie Crow, Yolanda Yorke and Julia Buhrle.
We also had many family friendly concerts. The monthly Cushion Concerts continued with all sorts of instruments including the Saxophone, African Drums and an Opera Singer! Highlights included the Christmas Brass Cushion Concerts, Sir Robert Mayer’s Concert and the annual Patsy Wood Family Prom. Wild Boor Ideas also returned to the JdP for a fantastic production of The Elves and the Shoemaker, which sold out almost every show, and even had a showing for SEN children and their families.
This academic year we hosted three Moving Music concerts for people living with dementia. Christine Cairns was joined by Derek Parvicini, Radley College and Magadalen College School musicians and other friends for these delightful concerts.
Among the many other events taking place at the JdP, we were delighted to host the Lady English Lecture, the Comedy Night and the Sue Lloyd-Roberts Memorial Lecture. All of these events, including many of our own concerts are now available to view again online via our Video Library.