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05 October 2019

Concert: Clara Schumann with James Gilchrist (tenor) and Anna Tilbrook (piano)

Clara Schumann

A celebration of her life and music featuring acclaimed British duo James Gilchrist (tenor) and Anna Tilbrook (piano)


You are most warmly invited to join us at St Hugh’s for an evening of words and music to celebrate 200 years since the birth of pianist and composer Clara Schumann (1819-1896).

We are delighted to announce that acclaimed British duo James Gilchrist (tenor) and Anna Tilbrook (piano) will perform. They will be joined on the evening by Elise Båtnes and Louisa Tuck, concertmaster and principal cello of the Oslo Philharmonic respectively, and by actress Esmé Patey-Ford.

Guests will be treated to an evening of readings from Clara’s letters and fabulous music making, to include performances of her Piano Trio, Three Romances and Sechs Lieder Op.13, as well as a selection of other songs.

To book your tickets for this special celebration, please fill out our online booking form below. Tickets are £15 for adults and free for current University of Oxford students and children aged 16 years or younger. This event is expected to be extremely popular, so please book early to avoid disappointment. All tickets include a glass of wine or soft drink in the interval.

Dress Code: Smart

If you find that the event is sold out below, please email to be added to the waiting list.

More about the performers

James Gilchrist (tenor)

 James Gilchrist began his working life as a doctor, turning to a full-time career in music in 1996. His musical interest was fired at a young age, singing first as a chorister in the choir of New College, Oxford, and later as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge.

James’ extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform in major concert halls throughout the world with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington, Bernard Labadie, Harry Christophers, Masaaki Suzuki and the late Richard Hickox. A master of English music, he has performed Britten’s Church Parables in St Petersburg, London and at the Aldeburgh Festival, Nocturne with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and War Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. Equally at home in Baroque repertoire, the St John and St Matthew Passions feature prominently in his schedule, and he is celebrated as perhaps the finest Evangelist of his generation.

James’ impressive discography includes recordings of Albert Herring (title role) for Chandos, St John Passion with the AAM, the Finzi song cycle Oh Fair To See, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge, Finzi songs and Britten’s Winter Words for Linn Records, the critically-acclaimed recordings of Schubert’s song cycles for Orchid Classics and a disc of Schumann song cycles for Linn Records.

Recent highlights include St Matthew Passion with both Tafelmusik Baroque in Toronto, and Kings College Cambridge as part of Stephen Cleobury’s final Easter week as Director of Music, Haydn’s Creation with Dallas Symphony Orchestra and for a staged production with Garsington Opera and Ballet Rambert, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Singapore Symphony Orchestra, performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and a series of concerts in Langeland with the pianist Julius Drake.

In the 2019-20 season appearances include the role of Rev. Horace Adams Peter Grimes with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner, at Den Norske Opera, Oslo, and Grieghallen in Bergen. Elsewhere on the concert platform, James joins Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki for a tour of Europe, and St Matthew Passion with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Egarr.


Anna Tilbrook (piano)

Anna Tilbrook has collaborated with many leading singers and instrumentalists including James Gilchrist, Ian Bostridge, Lucy Crowe, Sarah Tynan, Barbara Hannigan, Emma Bell, Ashley Riches, Nicholas Daniel, Louisa Tuck, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston, Philip Dukes and the Fitzwilliam, Sacconi, Elias, Carducci, Navarra and Barbirolli string quartets. Since her debut at Wigmore Hall in 1999 she has become a regular artist at all the major concert halls and festivals. She has also accompanied José Carreras, Angela Gheorghiu and Bryn Terfel in televised concerts.

Recent performances include Carnegie Hall, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Wigmore Hall with Lucy Crowe, Saffron Hall, St John’s Smith Square, deSingel Antwerp, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Anima Mundi Pisa, Wrocław Cantans, and appearances at the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Oxford Lieder and West Cork Chamber Music festivals. Last season Anna curated a series of concerts for Radio 3 marking Hull as City of Culture 2017, did a series of recitals at the Wigmore Hall with James Gilchrist performing each of the Schumann song cycles alongside a new commission and in April 2018 she curated a Big Chamber Day for Radio 3 at Saffron Hall entitled ‘Tchaikovsky and his world’.

2017 saw Anna and James Gilchrist celebrate twenty years of their duo partnership. They have made a series of acclaimed recordings of English song for Linn and Chandos, the Schubert song cycles for Orchid, Schumann’s cycles and recently released is the Songs and Chamber music of Vaughan Williams.


Elise Båtnes (violin)

Norwegian born violinist, Elise Båtnes is the first concertmaster of the Oslo philharmonic, a post which she has held since 2008. She first played with the Oslo Philharmonic as a soloist when she was 10 years old under the baton of Maestro Mariss Jansons. Prior to Oslo she was first concert master of both WDR Köln and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Elise is in great demand as a guest concertmaster all over Europe. Recently including; Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Symphony Orchestra, Teatro Real Madrid and Philharmonia and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Away from orchestra playing, she has won a Norwegian Grammy, a Spellemannprisen for chamber music recordings with the Vertavo String Quartet. She is also 1st prize winner of the Melbourne International Chamber Music competition. Other solo recordings on the LAWO label include Bartók and Prokofiev violin sonates with the pianist Håvard Gimse.

Elise is a professor of violin at the Norwegian Academy of Music. She plays on a Stradivarius violin ‘The Arditti’, dated 1689, generously on lifetime loan from Dextra Musica Norway.


Louisa Tuck (cello)

Cellist Louisa Tuck is the Solo Cello of the Oslo Philharmonic, a position she took up late 2015. Prior to this she spent 8 years as Section Leader cello of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, where she also played numerous concertos and recorded the Haydn D major concerto for radio broadcast. At the time of her appointment in the Royal Northern Sinfonia, she was the youngest principal cellist of any UK orchestra, being only 23 years old.

Louisa has collaborated for many years with Anna Tilbrook, enjoying a varied programme of duo to larger ensemble repertoire. Other recent UK based chamber music has been with The Nash Ensemble and folk artist Kathryn Tickell OBE and her group ‘The side’.

A seasoned recording artist, Louisa first recorded at the age of 17 as a soloist with The Academy of St. Martins in the Fields under the late Sir Neville Marriner, this disc was later nominated for a Grammy Award. More recently, Louisa recorded Strauss, Don Quixote with the Oslo Philharmonic and Principal conductor Vasily Petrenko, this will be released in 2019 on the LAWO label.

Louisa is a visiting professor at the Norwegian Music Academy and a tutor of cello at Barratt Due Institute in Oslo.

She is very fortunate to play on a Nicolo Gagliano cello, dated 1745, kindly on loan from Dextra Musica in Norway.


Esmé Patey-Ford (actor)
Esmé read English at Worcester College, Oxford, and trained as an actor at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She is currently working with Kerchief Theatre and folk-duo Violette, developing an original multimedia show The Holland Handkerchief for a tour of festivals and other venues in the South-West.
Recent concert and opera work includes: Rituals to Mould Her With (tour), a multi-disciplinary piece devised with composers Litha and Effy Efthymiou, harpsichordist Jane Chapman and dancer Harriet Parker-Beldeau; Myisi (composer Litha Efthymiou, at the New Diorama for Tête à Tête Opera Festival).
Recent theatre in London includes: Section Two (Bunker); Hand to God (West-End Understudy at the Vaudeville Theatre); Checkout (Arcola); Next Lesson (Pleasance); Asking Rembrandt (Old Red Lion); Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions (Tabard); An Enemy of the People (New Diorama).
TV work includes: Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
Esmé is co-founder of Hyphen Theatre Company, whose recent productions include The Soft Subject (A Love Story) (Edinburgh Fringe and a London tour), and Next Lesson (Pleasance London), which was recently longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2019.
Esmé also works as a voiceover, and is represented by Yakety Yak.

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