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 £4 discount on the full ticket price.
Purchase an 8-concert season ticket to receive a more than 60% discount on the full ticket price.

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
July and August 2018

31st annual Summer Piano Series

"High spirited and historically informed"

New Yorker


Wednesday 11 July:

An evening of Beethoven

Sunday 15 July:

An evening of Gershwin

Wednesday 18 July:

Chopin: The Four Ballades

Sunday 22 July:

The majesty of Bach

Wednesday 25 July:

Summer Carnival

Wednesday 8 August:
A Gershwin Party

Sunday 12 August:
A Chopin Soirée

Wednesday 15 August:
Farewell Piano Party



Full price tickets (from the hall on concert nights, subject to availability): £22

Advance purchase discount tickets (available up to 24 hours before each concert): £18

8-concert season ticket: £68

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 11th July 2018 at 8.00PM

Pathétique Sonata
Moonlight Sonata
Funeral March Sonata
Appassionata Sonata

By tradition Jack Gibbons opens the 31st season of his Oxford Summer Piano Series with an all-Beethoven evening. The programme will feature four of the composer’s most beloved piano sonatas: the Pathétique, Moonlight and Appassionata Sonatas, and the deeply poetic Sonata in A flat Op.26, whose slow movement, marked "marcia funebre sulla morte di un eroe", was played at Beethoven's own funeral.

"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 15th July 2018 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

Jack Gibbons, described by Classic FM as “one of the world’s greatest Gershwin exponents”, recreates the legendary piano playing of George Gershwin through his note-for-note reconstructions of the composer’s recordings (featured on Gibbons’ award-winning “authentic Gershwin” CDs).

"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


CHOPIN: The Four Ballades

Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 18th July 2018 at 8.00PM

Ballade no.1 in G minor Op.23
Ballade no.2 in F major Op.38
Ballade no.3 in A flat Op.47
Ballade no.4 in F minor Op.52
Nocturnes Op.9 no.2 & Op.27 no.2
Mazurkas Op.17 no.4 & Op.30 no.1
Études from Opp.10 & 25
and a selection of Preludes, etc.

Chopin's four masterful ballades are interspersed with a selection of some of his most beautiful nocturnes, mazurkas, studies & preludes.

"As I listened, enthralled, to his glorious playing – now melting, now almost terrifying in its ferocity – there flashed across my mind that much quoted remark of Schumann's concerning Chopin: 'Hats off, gentlemen, genius.’ Surely there was more than a touch of genius in Jack Gibbons."

Jack Gibbons live at Fairfield Halls/Croydon Advertiser review



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 22nd July 2018 at 8.00PM

Toccata in D minor, BWV 565
Allemande from Partita no.4 in D
Gigue from French Suite no.5 in G
Prelude & Fugue in G sharp minor, BWV 887
Chorale Prelude: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
Chaconne (arranged Busoni)
Goldberg Variations

An exploration of the life and music of the incomparable Johann Sebastian Bach, through a collection of some of the composer’s most beautiful and inspiring keyboard works including the lively Goldberg Variations (with which Jack Gibbons made his acclaimed Queen Elizabeth Hall London debut in 1984).

"Freshness of manner: the pianist Jack Gibbons could be Britain’s answer to Ivo Pogorelich. His playing is absolutely convincing. Nothing was predictable in his account (without repeats) of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, yet each and every detail made some musically valid point."

The Times



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 25th July 2018 at 8.00PM

SCHUMANN: Carnaval
LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody no.2
GIBBONS: Appalachian Fancy (UK premiere)
GIBBONS: Solace (UK premiere)
RAVEL Alborada del gracioso
SCARLATTI: Sonatas K.380 & K.141
GIBBONS: Suite for piano (world premiere)

A festive programme featuring exuberant piano music inspired by the riotous characters of Italy’s Commedia dell’arte and by the folk music of Spain, Hungary and Appalachia. The concert will also include the world premiere of Jack Gibbons’ new Suite for piano.

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



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 8th August 2018 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



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Sunday 12th August 2018 at 8.00PM

Scherzo no.3 Op.39
Polonaise in A flat Op.53
Barcarolle Op.60
Tarantelle Op.43
Berceuse Op.57
Waltzes from Opp.34, 42 & 64
A selection of Mazurkas, Études, Preludes, etc.

A recreation of the rarefied and intimate atmosphere of the Parisian salons where Chopin enjoyed performing in the 1830s and 40s, with a collection of the composer’s most sublime music.

"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



Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Wednesday 15th August 2018 at 8.00PM

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

Jack Gibbons concludes his 31st annual Summer Piano Series with his traditional end of summer mix of reminiscences and audience requests, with music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, 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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