Posted June 13th 2018

Dame Ethel Smyth: A Celebration

On Sunday 3 June, we were delighted to welcome alumni, friends, neighbours and students to our celebration of the life and work of composer, writer and leading suffragette, Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), as part of our series of events to mark the centenary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918.

Our celebration was held to coincide with the weekend of the 2018 Epsom Derby in recognition of the significance of the Derby of 1913 for the suffragette cause, and of the College’s associations with Emily Wilding Davison, who studied here in 1895.

Guests were welcomed by the Senior Tutor, Professor Roy Westbrook, before they enjoyed a lecture from Dr Sophie Fuller of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, entitled ‘Music, words and determination: why Ethel Smyth matters’, and a rare performance of Dame Ethel’s Quartet in E Minor from the Villiers Quartet, the University of Oxford’s Quartet in Residence.

At the close of our celebration, guests enjoyed picnics in the beautiful grounds of the College.

Our sincere thanks to our guest speaker, Dr Sophie Fuller, and to James Dickenson, Tamaki Higashi, Carmen Flores and Nick Stringfellow of the Villiers Quartet, for their wonderful contributions to our special event.

We are pleased to share a selection of photos from the event below. Photographer: Kinga Lubowiecka of Bright Lens.