Newsletter September 2016

‘Classical Masterpieces’ opens the 16/17 season.

As many of you will know (since you were there!), IT&T has just launched its 2016/17 season with ‘Classical Masterpieces’ in the Sheldonian last Friday. Recently appointed Director of Performance to the University, charismatic cellist, Natalie Clein braved new territory in her debut on gut strings, playing the Haydn C major concerto. Principals of IT&T were lucky enough to have a prior rehearsal with Natalie who exuded an almost tangible creative energy that was truly inspiring. It was such a privilege to have her perform with us (it sounded as if she’d been playing on gut for years) and to receive the vote of confidence her appearance represents in what we are doing with the orchestra. We very much hope this will be the start of an ongoing association.

IT&T encourages aspiration and the audience of the future.

Thursday 22nd September saw Edward Higginbottom and IT&T presenting ‘Deconstructing Mozart 40’ to 160 GCSE students in Keble College Chapel. The second such presentation, ‘Deconstructing Mozart 40' has now been attended byover 200 schoolchildren from across the state and private sectors and from as far afield as Bourton-on-the-Water and Didcot. We are very grateful to Matthew Martin at Keble who facilitated the event and opened the doors on the mysterious world beyond the Porters’ lodge to these young people. One of the reasons I am committed to IT&T is that I believe in humanity's need for classical music. As part of ‘Deconstructing Mozart 40’, all the schools that attended were given free tickets to the Sheldonian concert and it was wonderful to see such a large audience of mixed ages and perhaps the birth of a future audience.

New associations for IT&T.

This 16/17 season is our third at IT&T and it is heartening to see the increase in our profile, here, in Oxford. We have three very exciting new associations: the first,  with the Faculty of Music, will see us performing in the Holywell Music Room on October 8th at 8pm with Natalie Clein, Kati Debretzeni and Maggie Cole as part of the conference entitled, ‘Bach Project:A Beginning’; the second is in the Keble Early Music Festival, next February, when we will perform Bach's B minor Mass conducted by Matthew Martin; and the third is our first concert for Music at Oxford, under Ben Nicholas, in Merton College Chapel on May 6th. 

London debut for IT&T.

Not only is our local profile increasing, but we are also making our London debut in King's Place on Friday, November 25th with ‘Le Coucher du Soleil’ under the inspired direction of Edward Higginbottom. This concert is first being performed on Friday 18th November in the Holywell Music Room, so come and steal a march on the London audience! Details of these and other concerts are/will be available on our website

What can you do with £5 these days?

IT&T's financial resilience, however, is rather lagging behind its artistic success and we would like to ask for your help. People often complain to me that the tickets are expensive, so I thought you might actually be surprised to hear a few figures relating to an IT&T concert: ‘Classical Masterpieces’ cost over £12,000 to put on, the vast majority of that money going to the 32 performers, only one of whom is likely to be in the 40% tax bracket! With a very respectable audience, after commission paid to the Playhouse, ticket and programme sales came to £5,800. We charged £5 a head to attend ‘Deconstructing Mozart 40', which raised a further £800, but nevertheless leaving us with a shortfall in excess of £5,500 which has to be covered by donations, our Arts Council bid having failed to yield any funding.

Last year I appealed to everyone reading this newsletter to consider becoming a Friend of IT&T. We are very grateful to those of you who responded, but unfortunately we need more of you! We all spend our money differently, but if you have enjoyed our concerts and would like Instruments of Time and Truth to become an enduring part of the Oxford music scene, I urge you to consider how much this is worth to you. £5 a month from every person who reads this, would secure our own concert series. That's 2 cups of coffee in Starbucks, less than half a cinema ticket or a book of stamps. Please think about it. £5 can buy you a world -class period-instrument orchestra for Oxford! A donation form is available to download on our website.

We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our concerts.

Judith Evans
Concerts Manager 

September 2016