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Oxford May Music 2024

Fri 3 May - Mon 6 May

Oxford May Music stands alone in the brilliant way it combines cutting-edge science with world class music. And it does so in a wonderfully welcoming festival atmosphere!

Curated, as always, by violinist Jack Liebeck and particle physicist, Professor Brian Foster OBE FRS, the 2024 programme opens the doors with ‘Carnaval Samba’, features Danny Driver playing Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ Variations and includes a sublime evening of song with soprano Carolyn Sampson. Along the way are fascinating talks by four scientists, each at the forefront of their field.

The four talks

Friday 3 May 5.30-6.30 pm
Building animal bodies; how heads and tails, tops and bottoms and left and right evolved.
Professor Seb Shimeld, University of Oxford

Saturday 4 May, 5.30-6.30 pm
A Mystery We May Solve: What is Dark Matter?
Professor Kimberly Palladino, University of Oxford

Sunday 5 May, 5.30-6.30 pm
The Remarkable Science of Nanopores: from Gene Sequencing to Organ Repair
Professor Hagan Bayley, University of Oxford

Monday 6 May, 4.00-5.00 pm
From Cues to Cravings: Understanding the complex neurobiology of addiction.
Dr Lauren Burgeno, University of Oxford


The seven concerts

Friday 3 May, 8.00-10.30 pm
Concert 1 – Opening Night
Sally Beamish Carnival Samba for Piano Trio, Brahms Piano Trio No.1 and Schoenberg ‘Verklärte Nacht’

Saturday 4 May, 2.00-3.30 pm
Concert 2 – Pierre Fournier award prize-winner concert.
This year’s prize winner, cellist Annie Jacobs-Perkins, performs across classical, romantic and modern styles.

Saturday 4 May, 8.30-10.30 pm
Concert 3 – Count down
Berwald’s Septet, Vaughan-Williams piano quintet and Brahms A-major piano quartet.

Sunday 5 May, 2.00-3.30 pm
Concert 4 – Owen-Apekisheva piano duo
Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva perform Beethoven’s sonata for 4 hands in D major and suites by Ravel, Fauré and Holst.

Sunday 5 May, 8.00-10.30 pm
Concert 5 – But I like to sing
A glorious mix of classics and new compositions with soprano Carolyn Sampson and pianist Joseph Middleton.Monday 6 May

Monday 6 May, 2.00-3.15 pm
Concert 6 – Goldberg
Danny Driver plays Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ Variations for solo keyboard.

Monday 6 May, 6.00-8.30 pm
Concert 7 – Festival Finale
Nine players crowd the state for a virtuosic farewell with Mendelssohn’s String Sinfonia, Beethoven’s string quintet in C major, and Spohr’s nonet.


For full Festival details and information on Season Passes, concessionary tickets and free tickets for 8-25 year olds under the Cavatina scheme, see Oxford May Music


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Date and Time

Fri 3 May
Mon 6 May
Evening concerts £23/concessions £18; afternoon concerts £13/£10, talks £3/£2 (free with same day concert ticket). Festival passes also available.


SJE Arts
St John the Evangelist church, 109A Iffley Road
Oxford, OX4 1EH


Oxford May Music
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