BA (Hons) Music: 4 students per year.
Robert Saxton, MA (Cantab), BMus (Oxon), DMus (Oxon), FGSM
The course is of three years duration, and there is an Honour Moderations examination at the end of the first year. Besides the core subjects of History of Music, basic Techniques of Composition and Analysis which all must take, the music course offers a wide range of options to suit the interests of individuals. These include performance and composition (available at both first and third year examinations) and in the Final Honour School only, Dissertation, Editorial exercise, Analysis, Electro-acoustic Music, Orchestration, Ethnomusicology, as well as a choice of historical and other special subjects. Typically undergraduates receive two tutorials a week, although this may be augmented by a third in certain terms depending on the choice of special subjects, for which arrangements are usually made with tutors from other colleges. Tutorials take place individually or in pairs as well as in small seminar groups.
Although the University does not provide instrumental tuition, for those offering Performance as an examination option, the Faculty of Music offers termly financial support for students to take instrumental and vocal lessons either with teachers based in Oxford or outside. The Faculty of Music offers master-classes from visiting ensembles. Practical music-making is encouraged as part of an undergraduate’s general musical education and there are many opportunities for performers to take part in orchestral, choral and chamber music concerts as well as to give recitals, and for composers to have works performed. Although much of such activity takes place throughout the University, Worcester College has its own music society (detailed in Music at Worcester) which also provides a platform for such activities.
Robert Saxton is a composer whose work ranges from chamber and choral music to opera. He has written works for the LSO, ECO, Opera North, BBC (proms, TV and radio), London Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Leeds and City of London festivals, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, Teresa Cahill, Steven Isserlis, Mstisloav Rostropovich, Raphael Waalfisch and the Chilingirian String Quartet. In the past two years his opera The Wandering Jew, commissioned by BBC Radio 3, has been released as a two-CD set on the NMC label and his String Quartet No 3 was premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London by the Arditti Quartet. Christ Church Cathedral choir, Oxford and Dr Stephen Darlington also commissioned and performed his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. 2013, his 60th year, sees the premieres of Shakespeare Scenes for trumpet and string orchestra played by the Orchestra of the Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, with Simon Desbruslais (Christ Church) as soloist and Hortus Musicae, a piano cycle, with Clare Hammond at the City of London Festival. On October 16th a new song cycle Time and Seasons, commissioned by Sholto Kynoch, will be premiered at the Oxford Lieder Festival by Roderick Williams and Andrew West. He has recently been appointed Composer-in-Association to the Purcell School for Young Musicians.
Publishers: Chester/Music Sales, University of York Music Press and Ricordi [Munich]
Recordings on: EMI, Sony Classical, Signum, NMC, Hyperion
Websites: Chester/Music Sales; UYMP; www.robertsaxton.net
A prospectus is available from the Academic Administrator, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DB, (01865) 286264, or on the web at www.music.ox.ac.uk
Further advice on A-levels, AS levels and equivalent qualifications for students interested in applying to Oxford is available at www.ox.ac.uk/courses
For information about international qualifications please go to www.ox.ac.uk/intquals