CONCERTS IN OXFORD

Oxford skyline at dawn


Jack Gibbons has been giving highly acclaimed recitals in the university city of Oxford for over 35 years, and his Oxford Summer Piano Series has been running in the city without a break for 28 years! All concerts take place in the historic Holywell Music Room, Europe's oldest purpose-built concert hall, opened in 1748, situated in the centre of the city in Holywell Street.

Generous discounts are available for advance purchases and season tickets:

Purchase your tickets in advance to receive a 20% discount on the full ticket price.
Purchase an 8-concert season ticket to receive a 60% discount on the full ticket price!
 


Holywell Music Room, Oxford
July and August 2015


JACK GIBBONS'
28th annual Summer Piano Series


"MUSICAL PORTRAITS"

An intimate look at the lives and music of great composers.
 


Sunday 5 July:

Gershwin: ‘a heady surf of vitality’

Wednesday 8 July:

Beethoven: ‘an utterly untamed personality’

Sunday 12 July:

Mozart: ‘the age of enlightenment’

Wednesday 15 July:

Chopin: ‘transcending the limits of propriety’

Wednesday 22 July:

Liszt: ‘Lisztomania - a veritable insanity’

Wednesday 5 August
A Gershwin Party

Sunday 9 August:
A Chopin Soirée

Wednesday 12 August:
Farewell Piano Party


 


TICKETS

Full price tickets (from the hall on concert nights, subject to availability): £20

Advance purchase discount tickets (available up to 24 hours before each concert): £16

8-concert season ticket: £64

Tickets can also be purchased in person (or by phone or internet) from Tickets Oxford, Oxford Playhouse, Oxford (tel 01865 305305).

Scroll down for more information on each concert and to purchase tickets...
 


CONCERT 1:

GERSHWIN
'...a heady surf of vitality'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 5th July 2015 at 8.00PM



Jack Gibbons has been described by Classic FM as “one of the world’s greatest Gershwin exponents”. Gibbons opens the 28th season of his acclaimed Summer Piano Series with his only all-Gershwin concert in England this year. His programme recreates the composer’s unique and original virtuoso piano style through his note-for-note reconstructions of the composer’s original recordings. Works include Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, and the composer's own spectacular show-tune improvisations (on The Man I Love, Fascinating Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me, and more).

 

""To listen to Gibbons' performances is to marvel afresh at his astonishing virtuosity, his rare control of the music's rhythmic vigour and his supreme relish for its melodic richness... Gershwin does not come more exhilarating than this"
Classic CD magazine


CONCERT 2:

BEETHOVEN
'...an utterly untamed personality'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 8th July 2015 at 8.00PM




Four of Beethoven's greatest piano works (Moonlight, Pathétique, Appassionata and Op.109 sonatas) frame a concert of music and words portraying the tragic life, tempestuous personality, and extraordinary inspiration of a man once described by the poet Goethe as “an utterly untamed personality”. Beethoven's life story is an amazing and moving account of triumph over adversity.
 



"Jack Gibbons opened his 18th summer season at the Holywell last week amid a mild outbreak of Gibbons-mania. The start of the concert was delayed by ten minutes as staff struggled to cope with the demand for seats. Gibbons' affinity with Beethoven's music is such that he transcends mere recital; rather, he becomes one with the composer, absorbing his moods and passions, and recreating his bravura technique."

Oxford Times
 


CONCERT 3:

MOZART
'...the age of enlightenment'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 12th July 2015 at 8.00PM


An intimate portrait of one of the greatest of all composers, revealed through his own words and divine music. Mozart's struggles for independence coincided with the era of enlightenment and America's own fight for independence; the American philosophy of free thought and the individual's right to determine their own future permeated Europe throughout Mozart's lifetime, and inspired Lorenzo da Ponte, the librettist of three of Mozart's greatest operas, to eventually emigrate to the United States and became an American citizen. Works in tonight's concert include Rondo Alla Turca, sonatas K.310 & 545; Adagio in B minor K.540 and extracts from The Marriage of Figaro and piano concertos nos. 23, K.488 & 27, K.595.


"Jack Gibbons is not simply a pianist, he is a magician whose playing brings back to life another era... His enthusiasm was evident from the start and made all the more clear in his interesting and at times humorous commentary. They gave the performances a stamp of authority that made the evening memorable."
Worcester MA Gazette, USA
 


CONCERT 4:

CHOPIN
'...transcending the limits of propriety'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 15th July 2015 at 8.00PM




Schumann described Chopin's music as a "cannon buried in flowers", while a Victorian biographer warned that the composer was "driven by his feelings onward, ever onward, [as the music] grows by-and-by more passionate... transcending the limits of propriety"! Tonight’s programme includes some of the composer’s most dramatic and ground breaking works: Polonaise in F sharp minor Op.44, Funeral March Sonata Op.35, Ballade no.3, six Etudes from Opp.10 & 25 and a selection of Preludes.

 



"Gibbons revealed a freshness of manner, everything he did making a musically valid point. The same freshness in his reaction was evident in Chopin’s Sonata Op.35, which was again spiced with colour. The Funeral March was monumentally mournful. The finale was even more fleeting than usual, with some careful pedalling heightening its ghostliness."
The Times
 


CONCERT 5:

LISZT
'...Lisztomania - a veritable insanity'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 8.00PM

 

The term 'Lisztomania' was coined to describe the euphoric atmosphere of Liszt's wild youthful concerts, while the humble religious attire Liszt wore in later life led to the nickname 'Abbé Liszt'. Tonight’s music, exploring all sides of Liszt’s complex personality, includes Hungarian Rhapsody no.2, Un Sospiro, La Campanella, Funérailles, Liebestraum, Sonata in B minor and other works.


 

"Jack Gibbons himself is a pianist of genius, with an endearing Jimmy Stewart-like awkwardness, a charming smile and about forty hands. His delight in and enthusiasm for the music is almost tangible in the haze of nervous energy that radiates from him."
Daily Information



CONCERT 6:

A GERSHWIN PARTY
'...the room became freshly oxygenated'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 5th August 2015 at 8.00PM


A recreation of the music heard at Gershwin’s legendary parties in New York and Paris in the 1920s and 30s, at which the composer was said to have "oxygenated” the room with his "vitality... everybody felt it, everybody breathed it". In addition to Gibbons’ acclaimed ‘authentic Gershwin’ recreations the concert will feature music by composers associated with Gershwin: Irving Berlin, Fats Waller, Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff and others. Titles will include Fascinating Rhythm, Carolina Shout, Let’s Face The Music and Dance, etc., culminating in the Rhapsody in Blue.
 


"Jack Gibbons is THE Gershwin pianist of our time. Gibbons has transcribed the composer's flamboyant and fiendishly difficult recreations of his own show-tunes... he dashes off the most insanely difficult passage-work with a broad grin. This is music that requires verve, nerve, and Gibbons' enviable capacity to generate party atmosphere."

BBC


CONCERT 7:

A CHOPIN SOIRÉE
'...listening to him, one yields with one's whole soul'

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 9th August 2015 at 8.00PM


As a performer Chopin was most at home in the intimate atmosphere of the Parisian salons, where "a small circle of select auditors, whose real desire to hear him was beyond doubt, could alone determine him to approach the piano. What emotions he would then call forth" (wrote Berlioz). In such an environment Chopin could transform "a public into a circle of friends" by his music. Tonight's program recreates the rarefied atmosphere of Chopin’s Parisian soirées in the 1830s and 40s, with a selection of music Chopin himself played on such occasions. Works will include the Polonaise in A flat Op.53, Berceuse, Barcarolle, Ballade no.4, Scherzo no.2 and a selection of Etudes, Waltzes, Impromptus and Mazurkas.
 


"Gibbons’ playing is constantly vibrant and alive, and communicates a physical joy in his instrument one rarely experiences today"
Classical Net

Sold out. Return tickets may be available on the door the night of the concert at the full price of £20 each (doors open 7.15pm).


CONCERT 8:

JACK GIBBONS' FAREWELL PIANO PARTY
including audience requests

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 12th August 2015 at 8.00PM

Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 1822 (J. Buckler)

Jack Gibbons concludes his 28th annual Summer Piano Series with his traditional end of summer mix of both serious and light hearted music, including requests chosen on the night by the audience. Music to include works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Alkan, Debussy, Ravel, Gershwin, Gibbons & others.
 

 

"Jack Gibbons is one of Oxford’s treasures... His affinity with [the composer] is such that he transcends mere recital; rather, he becomes one with the composer, absorbing his moods and passions, and recreating his bravura technique."
Oxford Times

Sold out. Return tickets may be available on the door the night of the concert at the full price of £20 each (doors open 7.15pm).


HOW TO FIND THE CONCERT HALLS IN OXFORD:

The map below shows the location of popular concert locations in the city including the historic Holywell Music Room, as well as the location of the Oxford Playhouse's Tickets Oxford box office.

The Holywell Music Room is well served by nearby pubs, being a few yards from both the Kings Arms and Turf Tavern pubs (see second image below).

 Map of central Oxford shoiwng concert hall locations (courtesy Google)

 Map of central Oxford showing location of the historic Holywell  Music Room

 



Click on the image below to read reviews of past Oxford concerts

 New York Times impeachment special

 

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