The fifteenth Oxford Lieder Festival, running from 14 to 29 October 2016 and entitled ‘The Schumann Project’, marks the 160th anniversary of Robert Schumann’s death with a unique survey of his complete songs and an exploration of many aspects of the composer’s life.
The festival will also feature works by the composer’s contemporaries, including Mendelssohn and Brahms, and songs by his wife Clara Schumann.
Highlights include Graham Johnson’s lecture-series exploring Schumann’s life, for which he is joined by leading lieder singers including Mark Stone, Jonathan Lemalu and Robin Tritschler, as well as performances from Askonas Holt singers and accompanists.
Selected performances will be recorded for deferred broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Lunchtime Concert. Broadcast dates are as follows, and programmes will be available for 30 days after broadcast:
#TheSchumannProject | www.oxfordlieder.co.uk
Performances from Askonas Holt artists are as follows:
14 October 2016 – Schools Project Concert
Joined by baritone Mark Stone, local school children perform their own song cycle which they have been working on over the past weeks and months.
15 October 2016 – The Life & Times of Robert Schumann Session 1
Session one of Graham Johnson’s in-depth exploration of Schumann’s life, for which he is joined by singers Mark Stone, Anna Huntley, Geraldine McGreevy and Ben Johnson.
15 October 2016 – Robert & Clara, Songs & Duets
Sarah Connolly, Sophie Karthäuser and Eugene Asti present songs and duets by Robert and Clara Schumann, including settings of poets Friedrich Rückert and Nikolaus Lenau.
16 October 2016 – Romances & Ballads
Christopher Maltman & Graham Johnson perform Schumann’s dramatic Heine setting ‘Belsatzar’ and two sets of songs published by Schumann as ‘Romanzen und Balladen’.
18 October 2016 – Kathleen Ferrier Award Winners
Soraya Mafi joins the two other 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Award winners to perform songs and duets by Schumann and Mendelssohn.
19 October 2016 – Clara’s Piano
John Mark Ainsley joins Bryony Williams and pianist David Owen Norris for a recital featuring one of Clara Schumann’s own pianos.
20 October 2016 – Poetry Declaimed
Gary Matthewman and Benjamin Appl perform Schumann’s handful of settings of Schiller alongside two of his ‘Declamation Ballads’.
20 October 2016 – Spanisches Liederspiel
Sir Thomas Allen, Ann Murray and Malcolm Martineau are joined by Rowan Pierce and Timothy Langston for a performance of Schumann’s ‘Spanische Liederspiel’ and a selection of Brahms’ folk-song arrangements.
22 October 2016 – The Life & Times of Robert Schumann Session 2
The second day of Graham Johnson‘s exploration of Robert Schumann, with Robin Tritschler, Jonathan Lemalu, Mary Bevan and Anna Huntley.
26 October 2016 – Eichendorff Liederkreis
Dame Felicity Lott and Eugene Asti perform one of Schumann’s great cycles, the ‘Liederkreis’, Op. 39, to poems by Eichendorff, as well as the six songs of Op. 107 and several Clara Schumann songs.
26 October 2016 – The Pilgrimage of the Rose
Christina Gansch, Mark Stone, Bethan Langford, Ben Johnson, Robert Holl join festival director Sholto Kynoch for a performance of Schumann’s original ‘Der Rose Pilgerfahrt’.
27 October 2016 – Songs of the Young
World premiere of a specially-commissioned cycle of children’s songs by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, setting new poetry by Kate Wakeling, with Mark Stone, Sophie Daneman and Sholto Kynoch.
27 October 2016 – Andante & Variations
Mark Stone performs Schumann’s songs for voice and cello, in a concert also featuring the composer’s ‘Andante and Variations’ for horn, two cellos and two pianos.