Oxford skyline at dawn

Jack Gibbons has been giving highly acclaimed recitals in the university city of Oxford for 40 years, and his Oxford Summer Piano Series has been running in the city without a break for 30 years. All concerts take place in the historic Holywell Music Room, Europe's oldest purpose-built concert hall, opened in 1748, situated in the centre of the city in Holywell Street.

Generous discounts are available for advance purchases and season tickets:

Purchase your tickets in advance to receive a 20% discount on the full ticket price.
Purchase an 8-concert season ticket to receive a 60% discount on the full ticket price.

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
July and August 2017

30th annual Summer Piano Series

"High spirited and historically informed"

New Yorker


Wednesday 12 July:

An evening of Beethoven

Sunday 16 July:

The life of Gershwin

Wednesday 19 July:

A Chopin journey: Warsaw to Paris

Sunday 23 July:

Summer Classics: celebrating 40 years

Wednesday 26 July:

Liszt & Alkan: piano legends

Wednesday 9 August:
Gershwin at the keyboard

Sunday 13 August:
A Chopin journey: swan songs

Wednesday 16 August:
Farewell Piano Party



Full price tickets (from the hall on concert nights, subject to availability): £20

Advance purchase discount tickets (available up to 24 hours before each concert): £16

8-concert season ticket: £64

Tickets can also be purchased in person (or by phone or internet) from Tickets Oxford, Oxford Playhouse, Oxford (tel 01865 305305).

Scroll down for more information on each concert and to purchase tickets...



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 12th July 2017 at 8.00PM

Pathétique Sonata
Moonlight Sonata
Eroica Variations
Appassionata Sonata

Jack Gibbons begins the 30th season of his acclaimed annual Oxford Summer Piano Series with the traditional all-Beethoven opening concert, featuring the composer’s three most beloved piano sonatas, along with the glorious Eroica Variations, precursor of the composer’s famous Eroica Symphony.

"Jack Gibbons opened his 18th summer season at the Holywell last week amid a mild outbreak of Gibbons-mania. The start of the concert was delayed by ten minutes as staff struggled to cope with the demand for seats. Gibbons' affinity with Beethoven's music is such that he transcends mere recital; rather, he becomes one with the composer, absorbing his moods and passions, and recreating his bravura technique."

Oxford Times



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 16th July 2017 at 8.00PM

Rhapsody in Blue
An American in Paris
Porgy and Bess Suite (Catfish Row)
Concerto in F (2nd movement)
recreations of the composer's original improvisations on
Fascinating Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me,
I Got Rhythm, etc

Described by Classic FM as “one of the world’s greatest Gershwin exponents” Gibbons traces the extraordinary life of George Gershwin through note-for-note reconstructions of the composer’s spectacular improvisations and concert works (as featured on Gibbons’ award-winning “authentic Gershwin” recordings).

"To listen to Gibbons' performances is to marvel afresh at his astonishing virtuosity, his rare control of the music's rhythmic vigour and his supreme relish for its melodic richness... Gershwin does not come more exhilarating than this"
Classic CD magazine


A CHOPIN JOURNEY: Warsaw to Paris

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 19th July 2017 at 8.00PM

Sonata in B flat minor Op.35 ("Marche funèbre")
Prelude in D flat Op.28 no.15
Mazurka in A minor Op. 68 no.2
Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise Op.22
Romance from Concerto in E minor, Op.11
Études from Opp.10 & 25
and a selection of Écossaises, Polonaises, etc.

The first of 2 recitals following the remarkable life of Chopin in words and music.

"The same freshness in his reaction was evident in Chopin's Second Sonata, which was again spiced with colour. The Funeral March's outer sections were monumentally mournful while the reposeful D flat major middle section was taken daringly slowly. The finale was likewise even more fleeting than usual with some careful pedalling heightening its ghostliness... vivid and hypnotic."

London Times


SUMMER CLASSICS: celebrating 40 years of concerts

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 23rd July 2017 at 8.00PM

BACH Partita no.1 in B flat
SCHUBERT Sonata in A, D.664
CHOPIN Two Etudes Op.25 nos.1 & 2
ALKAN Le Festin d’Ésope, Comme le vent
ALKAN Barcarolle Op.67 no.6
DEBUSSY Hommage a Rameau
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue
SAINSBURY Andalusian Fantasy Op.16
GIBBONS Nocturne Op.93

A selection of music chosen from four decades of concerts given by Jack Gibbons at Oxford's historic Holywell Music Room, from 1977 to 2017.

"Jack Gibbons is a unique phenomenon in the musical world of today. Thanks to his virtuosic skills Gibbons can hold an audience in thrall. His concert-giving style is equally attractive: before his performances he talks unassumingly but with great authority from the platform, drawing the listeners into a special relationship."

Humphrey Burton, former Head of Music and Arts, BBC


LISZT & ALKAN: piano legends

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 26th July 2017 at 8.00PM

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody no.2
Liszt: Un sospiro
Liszt, Chopin et al: Hexaméron
Alkan: Concerto for solo piano

An unusual programme featuring the music of two of the greatest piano virtuosos of the 19th century, romantic icon Franz Liszt and reclusive genius Charles-Valentin Alkan, including the spectacular six composer Hexaméron (composed jointly by Liszt, Chopin, Thalberg, Pixis, Herz and Czerny) and Alkan’s legendary Concerto for solo piano, hailed as one of the most exciting and haunting piano works of its century.

"Staggering... Gibbons's account becomes the top recommendation here, an Alkan interpreter of exceptional authority… I can safely say that this ranks among the most exhilarating feats of pianism I've heard on disc."




Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 9th August 2017 at 8.00PM

Rhapsody in Blue
Variations on I Got Rhythm
Three Preludes
and recreations of the composer's original improvisations on:
Swanee, Fascinating Rhythm,
'S Wonderful, etc.

Hailed by the BBC as “THE Gershwin pianist of our time”, Jack Gibbons plays more of his acclaimed transcriptions of the spectacular show-tune improvisations and concert works that made Gershwin’s piano playing legendary at New York high society parties in the 1920s and 30s.

"Jack Gibbons is THE Gershwin pianist of our time. Gibbons has transcribed the composer's flamboyant and fiendishly difficult recreations of his own show-tunes... he dashes off the most insanely difficult passage-work with a broad grin. This is music that requires verve, nerve, and Gibbons' enviable capacity to generate party atmosphere."
BBC Proms


A CHOPIN JOURNEY: swan songs

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 13th August 2017 at 8.00PM

Scherzo no.2 Op.31
Etudes from Op.25
Waltzes from Opp.18 & 64
Mazurkas, Prelude, Berceuse,
Two Nocturnes Op.62
Sonata in B minor Op.58

The second of 2 recitals following the remarkable life of Frédéric Chopin through some of his greatest music. Tonight’s programme features music the composer played in his very last concerts given during his poignant visit to Britain a year before his death, along with the elegiac final two nocturnes and Sonata in B minor Op.58.

"Gibbons’ playing is constantly vibrant and alive, and communicates a physical joy in his instrument one rarely experiences today"
Classical Net



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 16th August 2017 at 8.00PM

Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 1822 (J. Buckler)

Jack Gibbons concludes his 30th annual Summer Piano Series with his traditional end of summer mix of reminiscences and audience requests, with music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Alkan, Debussy, Gershwin, Gibbons and much more.


"Jack Gibbons is one of Oxford’s treasures."
Oxford Times


The map below shows the location of popular concert locations in the city including the historic Holywell Music Room, as well as the location of the Oxford Playhouse's Tickets Oxford box office.

The Holywell Music Room is well served by nearby pubs, being a few yards from both the Kings Arms and Turf Tavern pubs (see second image below).

 Map of central Oxford shoiwng concert hall locations (courtesy Google)

 Map of central Oxford showing location of the historic Holywell  Music Room


Click on the image below to read reviews of past Oxford concerts

 New York Times impeachment special


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