2023-24 Season Welcome
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 2023-24 JdP season. Last year was notably successful: there was a palpable sense of return to normal musical life and a pleasing resurgence in audiences at our venue generally. Our new season accordingly builds on this momentum with a mixture of old and new.
The Villiers Quartet embodied both qualities last year through their exciting new line-up of players, and their wonderfully acute performances of the Beethoven late quartets. The quartet concludes its cycle with three further concerts at the JdP this season, with their final one on Saturday 11th May focussing solely on Beethoven’s extraordinary Große Fuge.
2023 is also the fiftieth anniversary of the great Catalan cellist, Pablo Casals. We have chosen to commemorate this with two cello concerts: Steven Isserlis’s special programme on Casal’s legacy in October, and Florian Berner’s Bach Six Cello Suites recital in November.
The Villiers’ concert programmes reflect our own continued focus on the music of women composers. This is shown by the performances of music by Rainier, Maconchy, Mitchener, Gowland, Saunders and Musaelian throughout the year. Please hold February 23rd in your diary for the remarkable Elena Fischer-Dieskau’s debut concert at the JdP, featuring music by Mel Bonis and Clara Schumann.
What has changed? The new emphasis on jazz, early and contemporary music this year. The Gwilym Simcock concert on March 2nd 2024 is the JdP’s first collaboration with the university’s jazz orchestra OUJO.
We are holding concerts at The Small Chapel @ St Giles for the first time. Its beautiful acoustic, stillness and intimacy makes it perfect for early music and quiet instruments such as the lute. If you are in town on Tuesday 12th September 2023, do make an effort to attend Duo Oriana's recital. The wonderfully talented Intesa duo concludes our artistic season on Friday 7th June 2024 with its recital for two viola da gambas.
Now is also an incredibly exciting time for new music generally at the University of Oxford. We have decided to reflect this with a renewed emphasis on contemporary music at the JdP: watch out for our first-ever January new music festival in 2024; our series of Ensemble Isis <edge> concerts profiling the music of Christian Mason and Elaine Mitchener; Chris Ferebee’s beautiful ‘Nightjar Songs’ in May; and five other concerts profiling the work of our talented student composers here at Oxford.
Professor Martyn Harry JdP Artistic Director