As Instruments of Time and Truth's second season draws to a close, I'd first like to thank everyone who has supported us by coming to concerts, encouraging others to come, becoming a Friend, or a Corporate Sponsor. I'd also like to thank the musicians for their wonderful playing, their loyalty and good-humour throughout. Thank you to the soloists who have waived fees or accepted low fees in order to help us get off the ground and to Chris Bucknall for all his unpaid work in establishing our education projects. Thank you to our new adminstrator, Aliye Cornish, for her initiative and computer skills (!) and, above all, to Edward Higginbottom for his efforts on our behalf and his profound and inspiring musicianship. I have 100% faith in the validity of what we are doing for musicians and audience alike and I believe that smaller enterprises, like IT&T, will be vital in ensuring the future of classical music in this country, post-Brexit.
At the start of our second season, Gabriel Amherst and I were worried about the challenge of maintaining momentum, once the novelty of IT&T had worn off. We needn't have been. We are now filled with a huge sense of achievement at all we have done this year and excited at the prospect of the 16/17 season.
RECAPPING ON THE 15/16 SEASON
September 28th, Marlow, Haydn symphonies 6,7 and 8 and songs, with Esther Brazil.
September 30th, Sheldonian Theatre, Haydn symphonies 6,7 and 8 for ‘The Divine Office’ Festival.
October 2nd, University Church, Handel Coronation Anthems with the choir of The Queen's College, conducted by Owen Rees for ‘The Divine Office’ Festival.
November 1st launch of our coaching series at St Edmund Hall, with Chris Bucknall and Joseph Crouch.
November 28th, Wotton-under-Edge, ‘A Baroque Christmas’ conducted by Benedict Hoffnung.
December 10th, Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona ‘Messiah’ with Oxford Voices, conducted by Edward Higginbottom.
December 19th, University Church, ‘Messiah’ with Voices of Time and Truth, conducted by Sir Martin Smith.
January 22nd, SJE Arts launch of our GCSE workshop, ‘Deconstructing Mozart 40', presented by Edward Higginbottom.
January 23rd, SJE Arts, concert of CPE Bach, Benda and Mozart, conductor and organ Edward Higginbottom, violin Bojan Čičič.
January 30th, St Andrew's Linton Rd, Christmas Oratorio, with Summertown Choral Society, conducted by Duncan Saunderson
February 13th, St Edmund Hall, university coaching session with Pavlo Beznosiuk and Chris Bucknall on the baroque sonata.
March 13th, New College Chapel, J.S.Bach St John Passion with New College Choir, conducted by Robert Quinney.
April 29th, New College Chapel, ‘The Rare and the Mythical’ a collaborative concert with ‘The Bate Players’ as culmination of a series of coaching sessions, directed by Chris Bucknall.
May 14th, Dorchester-on-Thames Abbey, Concert in aid of Parkinson's UK with The London Chorus, conducted by Ron Corp.
June 11th, Sheldonian Theatre, Farewell Concert for Sir Curtis Price and Rhian Samuel, with New College Choir, conducted by Robert Quinney.
June 25th, Holywell Music Room, ‘Harmonic Inspiration’ Vivaldi L'Estro Armonico, directed by Persephone Gibbs.
June 27th, Magdalen College Chapel, ‘Twilight Bach’, a collaborative concert with pupils of Magdalen College School as part of the Oxford Festival of the Arts, conducted by Jon Cullen.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 16/17
Our 16/17 season officially opens on Friday, September 23rd in the Sheldonian, with the first of our ‘Classical Masterpieces’ concerts and we are thrilled to be joined by world-famous soloist and the University's new Director of Performance, Natalie Clein, in Haydn's C major cello concerto.
This concert will be preceded, on the 22nd, by a repeat of ‘Deconstructing Mozart 40'; our workshop for GCSE students. Matthew Martin has facilitated our using Keble College Chapel to this end, providing the opportunity of entering the mysterious world of the university to over 200 local schoolchildren. We are sure this will be an impressive and memorable experience and forms part of our initiative to invest in the audience of the future.
Natalie Clein has invited IT&T to perform at a conference on Bach hosted by the University, on October 8th. The short concert will feature prominent soloists Maggie Cole, harpsichord and Kati Debretzeni, violin.
Friday, November 25th sees IT&T's London debut, at King's Place, entitled ‘Le Coucher de Soleil - Music from the last years of Louis XIV and the Dauphin’ as part of the ‘Baroque Unwrapped’ weekend. Directed by Edward Higginbottom, this concert can also be heard at the Holywell Music Room on Friday, November 18th.
As I write this, IT&T is about to submit its first Arts Council application, which represents weeks of work - guidance on how to fill out the form extends to 87 pages! Should we be successful in our application, we have several more self-promoted concerts in Oxford planned- more news shortly.
On November 26th IT&T makes its 3rd appearance in the Wotton Concert series in Wotton-under-Edge, followed shortly, on December 11th by a Messiah in nearby Tetbury under the umbrella of the Tetbury Music Festival. This is a repeat of last year's collaboration with Sir Martin Smith conducting and a welcome addition to IT&T's regional profile.
Our final concert of 2016 is another Messiah, on December 23rd at 5pm. Conducted by Edward Higginbottom at the University Church, we want to repeat the festive spirit of last year's Messiah with candlelight, Christmas trees and prosecco: please join us in celebrating all the wonderful opportunities available to us here in Oxford - the beautiful venue in our historic city, with local musicians and our warm and appreciative local following.
Future concerts planned for 2017 include the B Minor Mass with Keble College Choir, Dixit Dominus with Merton and the St John Passion in the Oxford Early Music Festival. We have also been invited to perform two concerts of Mozart symphonies in Salzburg in June by Martin Randall Travel and to tour the Messiah in Spain, in December, with Edward.
I'd like to remind Friends of our first designated Friends’ event on August 27th- a supper/recital at the magical Worton Organic Garden featuring our leader, Bojan Čičič. Tickets @ £35 each, to include organic pizza and wine, can be booked via the concerts page or by phoning David Blake on 07718 518964. If you don't know Worton I urge you discover its unique delights and, if you do, I'm sure you can imagine what a special event this will be.
As ever, our continued existence depends on you, our supporters. Please keep coming to concerts, bring your friends and know that a direct debit of £5 a month from you would make a real difference to us and to Oxford's musical landscape.
We look forward to seeing you at our 16/17 season.
Judith Evans, Concerts Manager.