The newly renamed festival (formerly Oxford Lieder) will run from 13 to 28 October focusing on the theme of ‘Art:Song’
The Oxford International Song Festival (formerly the Oxford Lieder Festival) opens on 13 October 2023 with over two weeks on song under the title, Art:Song – Images, Words, Music. With over 75 events in and around Oxford, the festival features the world premiere of The Glass Eye, a new song cycle by the festival’s associate composer Alex Ho setting words by writer Elayce Ismail, to be premiered by countertenor Hugh Cutting and pianist Dylan Perez.
A new song cycle, The Phoenix, by Iranian composer Mahdis Golzar Kashani brings together European and Iranian classical styles, setting poems by Rumi, Hafez and Saadi. It will be premiered by soprano Soraya Mafi, baritone James Atkinson, pianist Sholto Kyoch plus two performers on traditional instruments, Vahid Taremi, and Farshad Saremi.
Héloïse Werner’s new work, Knight’s Dream will be sung by mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston with Sholto Kynoch. Werner’s piece has been commissioned by the BBC. Werner’s new work is intended as a companion piece for Schumann’s Dichterliebe, with texts inspired by Heine. Baritone Jacques Imbrailo and pianist Alisdair Hogarth will premiere Geoffrey Gordon’s At the round earth’s imagin’d corners and Roxanna Panufnik’s Gallery of Memories, with text by Jessica Duchen, will be performed by soprano Mary Bevan with pianist Anna Tilbrook.
The middle weekend of the Festival is dedicated to Franz Schubert. The Schubert weekend is an annual feature of the festival, tracing the composer’s life year by year until the Schubert bicentenary in 2028. The weekend’s centrepiece will be a lecture-recital led by Graham Johnson, giving his seminal survey of Schubert’s life, 200 years on. He will be joined by singers including the German baritone Stephan Loges and American soprano Martha Guth.
Other events include a celebration of the life and work of artist, musician and writer Tom Phillips RA; a focus on the Pre-Raphaelite artists, poets and composers in conjunction with the Ashmolean Museum’s Colour Revolution exhibition; a day of fashion and song including a homage to Yves Saint Laurent and a recital created around the scents of master Perfumer Christian Provenzano, an introduction to Max Klinger’s Brahmsphantasie by Natasha Loges; and talks on Picasso and Käthe Kollwitz.
Full details from the festival’s website.