The Oxford Lieder Festival will go ahead this October, with a bold programme and trailblazing approach to the challenges currently facing the classical music industry. Over eight days and 35 events, the Festival will be fully live, ticketed, and presented from special venues in and around Oxford, completely online. With a roster of internationally renowned artists and the pick of the new generation, Oxford Lieder continues as a pioneering and innovative champion of the art of song, and addresses the difficult issue of paid online classical music head-on with a new, sustainable model.
At the heart of the Festival will be a series of livestreamed concerts with artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge (who will be artist in residence), Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, James Gilchrist, Stephan Loges, Carolyn Sampson, Roderick Williams and many others. The festival will explore every possible advantage of being online: visiting unique Oxford venues that would not usually be accessible for concerts; enhancing the storytelling of song through carefully planned and imaginative filming; adding further creative content to every event, which people can begin to explore prior to the Festival; and bringing audiences even closer to artists through interviews and live Q&As, where people will have the chance to question the artists directly.
Festival Passes for all events are available now at £90. Individual concert tickets, available in July, will be priced between £3 and £12 and will give access to additional resources approximately two weeks before the Festival begins. All concerts will be streamed completely live on the Oxford Lieder website, in the digital concert hall for each event, and will be available to ticket holders for two weeks after the Festival ends.
Sholto Kynoch, Artistic Director of Oxford Lieder,says: “I’m thrilled to bring the positive news that we have come up with a sustainable online ticketing model and our muchanticipated 2020 Festival can still go ahead. With this bold undertaking, which I hope may provide a model for other song and chamber music promoters, we can continue to champion song and engage our audience, and we can ensure vital work for our wonderful artists at an otherwise uncertain time. I’m excited by the creative possibilities that are opened up, and especially by the possibility of reaching a new audience both nationally and internationally.
Should the current situation regarding Covid-19 improve significantly, we will be delighted to throw the doors wide open, as well as streaming the festival. Online music making can never replace in-person attendance at concerts and the unique buzz that brings, but in the meantime we are planning with confidence and focussed on the strengths of being online. We are also looking at every way in which we can retain the special and welcoming atmosphere for which the Festival is well known. And of course we are already looking to next year and our 20th anniversary, by which time I’m sure we will all be back together and the celebration will be all the greater.
Sue Spence, Director at Askonas Holt, says: I think that Oxford Lieder’s purely online, ticketed festival is an excellent, resourceful and, I believe, unprecedented idea. We can’t ignore the financing of the arts and this encourages audiences to accept the real value of first class performances and to contribute to their viability. It’s really exciting to see such a positive step forward and important for song to have a far-reaching voice at a time when artists and audiences have been deprived for so long.
Full details available at https://www.oxfordlieder.co.uk/