Welcome from the Artistic Director to the 2017/18 Season
I am writing to welcome you to the JdP’s concert series this year. This is the 125th Anniversary of St Hilda’s College, and the JdP is thrilled to be hosting four days of concerts and events which will initiate a whole year of college celebrations. The four days will be framed by two outstanding concerts – the jazz composer Zoe Rahman’s solo piano concert on Saturday 17 February and Steven Isserlis’s recital of music by Shostakovich and Rachmaninov for cello and piano – that form part of a JdP concert ticket special offer. The celebrations will feature our finest student performers, and the world premiere of a new commission. We are delighted that our alumna, the composer Nicola LeFanu, has written a cantata ‘St Hilda’ for choir and orchestra.
These celebrations highlight the development of the JdP’s own mission. The music building was opened in 1995 to bring outstanding classical concerts to Oxford. This season’s concerts of chamber music from the Piatti and Kreutzer Quartets and piano concerts from Jonathan Powell and Tim Horton maintain this sense of purpose. Yet the JdP’s active engagement with academia has also led to new possibilities for exploration and enquiry – such as the remarkably successful DANSOX lecture series convened by Professor Sue Jones and the first-ever series of contemporary music workshops, lectures and concerts entitled ‘Liveness, Hybridity and Noise’ funded by the John Fell Foundation and Arts Council England. The JdP’s new LIVESTREAM service and on-demand archive means that all these events, and many of our concerts can be watched online, prefaced by a pre-concert talk. The JdP’s setting on the cusp of East Oxford also makes it an ideal venue for engaging with the local community, as shown by our series of Children’s Cushion Concerts, our ‘Aladdin’ pantomime and the Moving Music series.
At a time of great change, I am proud that the JdP is disseminating new ideas, and sponsoring the creation of new artistic work, as shown by the MASH Marathon, the Opera Double Bill and the exciting collaboration of Rambert Dance and Ensemble Klang on 6 July.
Professor Martyn Harry
JdP Artistic Director