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Sheldonian Theatre

Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
01865 277299 www.sheldonian.ox.ac.uk/
Built between 1664 and 1669, the Sheldonian was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the greatest architect of his time, to house the University’s ceremonies and the Oxford University Press.

The theatre has played an important role in Oxfords history, and visitors are invited to step inside and explore this unique building.

  • Take a walk around the Sheldonian at your own pace with a self-guided tour.
  • Gaze up at the Sheldonian’s magnificent ceiling painted by Robert Streater during the reign of King Charles II.
  • Learn about the Sheldonian’s journey from past to present day through our colourful and informative display boards.
  • Enjoy one of the best indoor 360 degree panoramic views of Oxford from the Cupola.

 Simply pick up a leaflet at reception and take yourself around. Our friendly team will be on hand to answer any questions that you might have! Alternatively, book tickets for a concert or talk for a memorable experience

The Sheldonian Theatre is open throughout the year, except when it is being used for an event or University ceremony.

Please note our opening times can be subject to change, so do check ahead of your visit to avoid disappointment.

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October 2019

October 17 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Music & Maths

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £50

University of Oxford Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science Marcus du Sautoy returns for our second exploration of Music and Maths, this time exploring 20th century works in which numbers can enlighten the notes. Balance and geometry were vital tools for Igor Stravinsky, whose Symphony in C is a work of utter mathematical sense – lucidly scored, enchantingly varied, and gloriously symmetrical. But the mathematics doesn’t stop there, as du Sautoy, Papadopoulos and the Orchestra turn their analytical gaze…

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November 2019

November 14 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: The Enlightened Trumpet

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

Paul Merkelo has been described by Gramophonemagazine as ‘a player of unusual gifts’. In anticipation of his new Sony Classical album recorded with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul joins us for the most glittering work in the trumpet concerto repertory, Haydn’s beloved E flat concerto, and a rare gem: the D major concerto by Mozart’s father Leopold, performed here on the composer's 300th birthday. Haydn’s own spirited tribute to the University of Oxford opens this concert while we end with the first…

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November 24 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Vladimir Ashkenazy

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £50

When Edward Elgar started to improvise a little tune at his piano one day, considering how a group of his closest friends might play that tune, he gave birth to one of the greatest masterpieces of English music – a score both uplifting and resigned, humorous and profound. We welcome back our good friend and Patron Vladimir Ashkenazy to conduct Elgar’s 'Enigma' Variations and the evergreens that precede it here, including Strauss’s dashing and dreamy first horn concerto from our…

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December 2019

December 12 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: A Christmas Celebration

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

Ralph Vaughan Williams was enchanted by the beauty of traditional melodies and folk tunes. The composer’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols sees him transform those tunes into something new, something festive and something uniquely atmospheric. If the Fantasia celebrates beauty in restraint, then there’s plenty of jubilant fare in our Christmas Celebration to raise the spirits. The Orchestra and Concertmaster Natalia Lomeiko are joined by Roderick Williams, two of Oxford’s finest chapel choirs and a guest from Cambridge – the King of carols himself, John…

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December 20 @ 7:30 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Sir Antonio Pappano

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £50

Sir Antonio Pappano is as persuasive in Tchaikovsky as he is in Puccini. Covent Garden’s Music Director makes his Oxford Philharmonic debut in this concert featuring Tchaikovsky's gripping symphonic tussle with fate, his Symphony No. 4. Our own Concertmaster Carmine Lauri is the soloist in Glazunov’s gorgeous Violin Concerto, a sweet stream of seamless joie de vivre that will have you asking why you’ve never heard it before. It forms the centrepiece of this Russian feast at the Sheldonian Theatre, for which…

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January 2020

January 17, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Lisa Batiashvili

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £50

Prompted by the death of a child, Alban Berg wrote his tender Violin Concerto ‘to the memory of an angel’. The piece is poised magically between two worlds – rich and worldly, ethereal and mysterious. To play it, we welcome a debut artist of rare integrity and imagination, Lisa Batiashvili. After Berg’s tender concerto and the tantalising torso of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ symphony, we hear a Brahms symphony in which private feelings are given public expression. The composer’s fourth may be…

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January 25, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Beethoven Festival: Symphony & Concerto Cycle I

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

BEETHOVEN   Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15 Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55, ‘Eroica’ Marios Papadopoulos piano/conductor Concert introduced by John Suchet 250 years on from the birth of the man who changed the course of music forever, Marios Papadopoulos salutes Ludwig van Beethoven in the most absorbing and comprehensive way: presenting a complete cycle of the composer’s symphonies and piano concertos as both conductor and soloist throughout 2020. The Oxford Beethoven Festival launches…

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February 2020

February 6, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Beethoven Festival: Symphony & Concerto Cycle II

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

BEETHOVEN   Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21 Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 Marios Papadopoulos piano/conductor Should there be any doubts as to why the world is celebrating Beethoven in 2020, this concert will dispel them. From the fearsome opening thunderclap of the fifth symphony, Beethoven developed a new kind of symphonic discourse through relentless focus on one musical motto invested with unstoppable momentum. After the bursting…

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February 13, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Beethoven Festival: Symphony & Concerto Cycle III

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

BEETHOVEN   Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 Marios Papadopoulos piano/conductor The seventh is Beethoven’s most fascinating symphony – a work whose new vision of rhythm’s relationship with harmony produced the most physical, compelling music that had ever been created. Beethoven wasn’t just exploring new techniques, he was giving voice to a wave of joy that had swept into his life and filled him with determination and optimism. Before it,…

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February 27, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 RACHMANINOV     Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 Yuri Zhislin violin Marios Papadopoulos conductor ‘How fresh, how beautiful it is’ remarked one critic after the first performance of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 in 1908. There is a reason this symphony is deemed the composer’s most perfect orchestral creation, as rich textures and sombre harmonies wrap themselves around Rachmaninov’s finely contoured melodies. The music smoulders, flares up and propels itself towards…

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March 2020

March 12, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Sibelius

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

SIBELIUS   Finlandia, Op. 26 Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82 Anna-Liisa Bezrodny violin Douglas Boyd conductor Depressed, broke and ill, Jean Sibelius walked onto his veranda one day and saw a flock of 16 swans taking flight over the lake. ‘One of the greatest moments of my life,’ Sibelius wrote in his diary, ‘legato in the trumpets.’ The swans gave Sibelius the main theme for his fifth symphony. In its…

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April 2020

April 9, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Maundy Thursday

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

BACH      St John Passion, BWV 245 Daniel Norman Evangelist David Stout Christ Mary Bevan soprano Katie Bray mezzo-soprano Joshua Ellicott tenor Tristan Hambleton bass The Choir of The Queen’s College  Owen Rees conductor Drama and suffering lie at the heart of Bach’s concentrated depiction of Christ’s arrest, rendition and execution, the St John Passion. But this probing, unsettling yet beautiful work is also one of Bach’s most optimistic, ending with a confident look to the future that invites us all, irrespective of faith, to partake in…

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April 9, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Maundy Thursday

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £45

BACH      St John Passion, BWV 245 Daniel Norman Evangelist David Stout Christ Mary Bevan soprano Katie Bray mezzo-soprano Joshua Ellicott tenor Tristan Hambleton bass The Choir of The Queen’s College  Owen Rees conductor Drama and suffering lie at the heart of Bach’s concentrated depiction of Christ’s arrest, rendition and execution, the St John Passion. But this probing, unsettling yet beautiful work is also one of Bach’s most optimistic, ending with a confident look to the future that invites us all, irrespective of faith, to partake in…

Find out more »
April 30, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Maxim Vengerov

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £50

GRACE-EVANGELINE MASON    To Breathe Now* BRUCH  Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 Maxim Vengerov violin Marios Papadopoulos conductor Hannah Schneider conductor* It took Brahms 14 years to write his first symphony, but it was worth the wait. The piece launches with a compelling edifice of climbing strings, plunging winds and pounding drums. What follows is a work of gripping turbulence, deep conviction and exuberant joy. Before the Brahms, we welcome…

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May 2020

May 12, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Beethoven Festival: Symphony & Concerto Cycle IV

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £60

BEETHOVEN     Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major, Op. 56, ‘Triple’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36 Maxim Vengerov violin Mischa Maisky cello Sergei Babayan piano Marios Papadopoulos conductor In the midst of despair, Beethoven produced one of his most extrovert and optimistic works. In the Symphony No. 2, Beethoven is truly becoming Beethoven – the music crackling into life with spirit, incision and drive yet underpinned by a very 19th century sense of order. The same can be…

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May 12, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Beethoven Symphony & Concerto Cycle IV

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £60

BEETHOVEN     Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major, Op. 56, ‘Triple’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36 Maxim Vengerov violin Mischa Maisky cello Sergei Babayan piano Marios Papadopoulos conductor In the midst of despair, Beethoven produced one of his most extrovert and optimistic works. In the Symphony No. 2, Beethoven is truly becoming Beethoven – the music crackling into life with spirit, incision and drive yet underpinned by a very 19th century sense of order. The same can be…

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May 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Beethoven Festival: Fidelio

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £60

BEETHOVEN     Fidelio, Op. 72 Complete concert performance Emma Bell Leonore Andrew Staples Florestan Full cast to be announced Marios Papadopoulos conductor Courage, persistence and liberty are the central themes of Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera, but he called on all three qualities to write the score in the first place. As in every other form he touched, Beethoven opened new doors in opera too – striving to fuse melodrama, operatic set-piece and symphonic thinking and adumbrating a thrilling, fertile new path in the…

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June 2020

June 19, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra: Sir Bryn Terfel

Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3AZ United Kingdom
£5 – £60

CAROL J JONES     The Light Thief* RICHARD STRAUSS   Oboe Concerto in D major, TrV 292 WAGNER  Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin 'Was duftet doch der Flieder' from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music from Die Walküre Sir Bryn Terfel bass-baritone Clara Dent oboe Marios Papadopoulos conductor Hannah Schneider conductor* There is no voice on earth quite like Sir Byrn Terfel’s. Here, the bass-baritone joins the Orchestra for some of the most monumental moments in Wagner,…

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