JUNE 2017 NEWS
A period of consolidation
We are currently enjoying a lull in musical activities at IT&T since the larger scale of our performances next season has effectively prevented our putting on our usual May concert in the Sheldonian. This has provided a much-needed opportunity to concentrate on fundraising and we are delighted to have received significant contributions from Woodford Investments and the Pye Charitable Settlement. Alongside this, of course, we are constantly working to expand the number of Friends and smaller donors who are invaluable in oiling the daily cogs of the orchestra and to whom we owe our very existence. If you enjoy our concerts, do introduce us to your friends and help us put our unique stamp on Oxford musical life.
Music at Oxford debut
Instead of agonising over a self-promotion, May provided us with the much less stressful experience of making our debut for Music at Oxford with Merton College Choir and Ben Nicholas. I enjoy these concerts the most, where another organisation bears financial responsibility and my role is merely to book the players and enjoy the music, without having to worry about ticket sales. The concert, on May 6th, was a sell-out (no ticket worries after all) and featured some of my favourite choral music - Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Cantata no 4 ‘Christ lag in todesbanden’. As ever, it was great to see our regular Friends and supporters and to be exposed to another concert-going public in Oxford - those who subscribe to MAO - and who will now know who we are.
A tremendous boost will be given to our profile by our forthcoming recordings; a collection of works by William Hayes with Keble College Choir under Matthew Martin in June and vocal music by Pelham Humfrey with Edward, in France, in July. The Keble disc particularly, with its Oxford college choir and period-instrument orchestra and composer feels like a real statement of what we are hoping to achieve in and for Oxford. Obviously it will be some time before the discs become commercially available, but we will definitely keep you posted. (I am rereading this having just completed this recording. What a discovery William Hayes turned out to be! A devotee of Handel, Hayes was the man who persuaded Handel to visit Oxford. The keyboard concerto we recorded, interestingly, was an improvement on many of the concertos Handel himself churned out at times. We also recorded extracts from ‘The Passions’ and ‘The Fall of Jericho’: exciting stuff!)
A musical soirée at magical Worton Organic Garden
I am thrilled to announce there will be another Friends’ evening at Worton Organic Garden this summer, on Saturday July 15th at 6pm. This year IT&T will be presenting David Miller in a programme entitled ‘Masters of the Lute and Guitar’. David will perform on an assortment of instruments in this ravishing setting and the evening will include organic pizza, salad and wine, all produced from the garden itself. (Maybe not the wine!) IT&T has exclusive access to a small number of tickets for Friends only at a cost of £35 per head. Please see the website for details.
Sheldonian concert opens 17/18 Season
IT&T’s next big promotion will be our Sheldonian concert on Friday, October 6th at 7.30pm. This concert will be a new departure for both the orchestra and the soloist, with IT&T taking ‘The Road to Romanticism’ and Bojan Čičič performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto for the first time with an orchestra. For those of us familiar with Bojan as a great exponent of seventeenth and eighteenth century music, it will be fascinating to hear his unique take on this well-known piece, especially in combination with Edward Higginbottom’s fluidity and originality as a conductor.
Bojan Cicic: solo CD
I’d also like to take this opportunity to plug Bojan’s own newly-released CD. It is a recording of 6 wonderful Sonate da Camera by the little-known composer Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli. I am a huge fan of Bojan’s and can only say this disc is a joy, both in discovering the composer and in Bojan’s exhuberant interpretation. The recording is on the Delphian label, to find out more, please visit www.bojancicic.com .
Annual events: Wotton Concert Series and Messiah at University Church
Autumn once more sees IT&T in Wotton-under-Edge on November 18th as part of their concert series and we are very pleased to say we have secured a date for our candlelit Messiah in the University Church again this year. It will take place on Saturday, December 16th, at 5pm. Tickets will go on sale in early Autumn and we highly recommend early booking. Last year we sold out a month before the date, even after having created extra seating, which we won’t be doing this year since the experience was rather less than satisfactory for those sitting near the church’s generator! As usual, there will be an advance booking period for Friends.
This performance of the Messiah is sandwiched between two trips to Spain, the first to Santander and the second to Las Palmas, Barcelona and Alicante. It is a heartening affirmation of our work at IT&T to receive this return invitation.
Collaborations in 17/18 continue to develop: IT&T will appear in the next two instalments of Natalie Clein’s Bach Project through the University’s Music Faculty on January 27th and April 27th; we are reunited with the Summertown Choral Society on February 3rd; Instruments of Time and Truth will once again occupy a prominent role in the Keble Early Music Festival February 20 -24 2018; Friends can attend our St John Passion in New College on March 11th at 3pm (no confusion re the start time in 2018!) ; and we begin a new collaboration with the Oxford Bach Choir at the Sheldonian on June 9th 2018.
As you can see, Instruments of Time and Truth goes from strength to strength and I relish the opportunity for reflection these newsletters provide. I look forward to seeing you in the Sheldonian on October 6th.