COVID-19 has changed the way so many of us interact and go about our daily lives, and we sorely miss the days of packed concert halls and sold out events. With the news of available vaccines comes a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are eternally grateful to all who have worked tirelessly to achieve this - particularly those in the city we call our home, Oxford.
This concert has a simple message just for them:
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra are proud to announce a special concert in tribute to the Oxford Vaccine Group, the Jenner Institute, the RECOVERY team, and all volunteers involved in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine.
On 18 December, we streamed the World Premiere of Joseph's Carol, written by John Rutter and dedicated to the Oxford researchers, on our YouTube channel. The concert features a star-studded line-up and a host of crowd favourites. Joining the Orchestra in Joseph's Carol are bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and the Choir of Merton College, Oxford.
The programme sees Sir Bryn joined by 2020 BBC Young Chorister of the Year winner Alexander Olleson in a heartwarming performance of Abide with Me, and You'll Never Walk Alone, with soprano Alexandra Lowe. The concert also includes performances of the 'Hallelujah Chorus' from Handel's Messiah, John Rutter's Look to the Day, and Elgar's Chanson de Matin.
FM's John Suchet presents the concert, which also features interviews with performers and researchers, as well as footage from the labs.
Long-time collaborators with the Oxford Philharmonic, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Maxim Vengerov join the Orchestra in their tribute, with messages recorded from their homes.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Louise Richardson, and the Orchestra's Royal Patron, HRH Princess Alexandra, also offer messages of thanks and gratitude to the research teams.
The concert is now available to watch on our YouTube Channel.
Photo credits: Nick Rutter / Apple & Biscuit Recordings