St John's College Music Festival

The creative possibilities of 'the old made new' form a thematic thread through a new, free music festival at St John's. This theme is highly appropriate given the magnificent settings of the Divinity School and the College Chapel. The Divinity School was completed in 1879 and has recently been imaginatively restored, in an amalgamation of the past and the present, and the chapel is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture.

Correspondingly, some of the highlights of the festival include: a Bruckner symphony rescored by Anthony Payne for chamber ensemble; two world premieres of Robin Holloway's reworking of famous music by Schumann and Schubert; and an ambitious concert as part of the international Orgelbüchlein project, which aims to complete an unfinished manuscript collection by JS Bach.

Although all of the concerts are free and open to all, the evening concerts are ticketed. We strongly recommend booking for these in advance through the ADC website. We very much hope that you will enjoy this adventurous programme of events, which includes no fewer than eight world premieres. 

- Edward Picton-Turbervill, President of the St John's College Music Society

Wednesday 11 February

Violin Recital: Julia Hwang

The Divinity School/1.10pm-1.55pm/free.

Julia Hwang, accompanied by James Drinkwater, opens the festival with a wide-ranging programme of popular Romantic violin music, from Grieg to Debussy and Ravel.


St John's College Chapel/6.30pm/free.

The choir of St John's College premieres a new work for choir and marimba, by James Welland, at Evensong.

The Shrunken Symphony: Bruckner Redux

The Divinity School/8pm-9.30pm/ticketed.

The Ascham Ensemble, led by Benedict Kearns, performs Anthony Payne's chamber arrangement of Bruckner's 2nd Symphony, along with two Strauss waltzes orchestrated by Berg and Schoenberg.

Tickets available here.

Thursday 12 February

Borrowing from Bach

St John's College Chapel/1.10pm-1.55pm/free.

This concerts forms part of The Orgelbüchlein Project, a major international project which aims to complete JS Bach's unfinished Orgelbüchlein manuscript. The College Organ Students, three of the current choristers and one former chorister will perform a mixture of Bach chorale preludes and five newly-commissioned works inspired by Bach's chorale preludes.

The Edge of Antiquity: Plainsong to Monteverdi

St John's College Chapel/8pm-9.30pm/ticketed.

Alastair Carey leads the Beaufort Consort in a stunning programme tracing the development of music from plainsong through to the end of the Renaissance. Music by Ockeghem, Josquin, Gombert, Tallis, Vittoria, Gabrieli and Monterverdi.

Tickets available here.

Friday 13 February

Madrigal: Monteverdi/Ligeti

St John's College Chapel/1.10pm-1.55pm/free.

The Gesualdo Six, an exciting new vocal ensemble based in Cambridge, juxtapose a performance of Ligeti's Nonsense Madrigals with a selection of Monteverdi madrigals.

Classico Latino

The Divinity School/8pm-9.30pm/ticketed.

In a concert of broad-ranging appeal, the popular group Classico Latino will perform their trademark fusion, mixing South-American rhythms and melodies with the techniques and sounds of classical music.

Tickets available here.

Saturday 14 February

Cello Recital: Ghislaine McMullin

The Divinity School/1.10pm-1.55pm/free.

Ghislaine McMullin performs a programme centred on the Rachmaninov cello sonata. She will be accompanied by her father, Peter McMullin.

Silvered Schubert/Soldered Schumann: World Premieres of Works by Robin Holloway

The Divinity School/8pm-9pm/ticketed.

Pianists Patrick Hemmerlé and Marie-Noelle Kendall close the St John's College Music Festival with world premieres of two works by Robin Holloway for two pianos: Silvered Schubert and Soldered Schumann. Julia Hwang will also play the Schubert Fantasie in C, on which Silvered Schubert is based.

Tickets available here.

For more information, please email Sally Lewis (