music of the spires

Choral masterpieces of oxford

This is a fantastic initiative, providing a rare opportunity to hear this marvellous music in live performance in some of the country’s finest buildings.
— Peter Phillips, Artistic Patron


Music of the Spires is our celebration of the English choral tradition with a focus on repertoire from the Tudor period and present day. Each concert features a selection of music from sources held in the unparalleled collections of Oxford’s famous libraries as well as new pieces by our Associate Composers and others, combining to create programmes of great spiritual depth and sonic beauty in atmospheric and historic settings.

Sonic glimpses of not so much samsara as nirvana: molten sound, flowing in luminous streams towards resonant silences, perfectly judged.
— Audience member, December 2018

2019 concerts


In January 2018, we launched Music of the Spires with the aim of exploring some of lesser known and under performed repertoire from the collections in Oxford’s libraries. We gave six concerts in some of the city’s most beautiful and historic buildings with a focus on the festal masses by Robert Fayrfax and John Taverner from the Forrest-Heyther partbooks, held in the Bodleian library. Each concert also featured new pieces by our Associate Composer Marco Galvani and other contemporary composers including Kerensa Briggs, Judith Weir, and James MacMillan.


Here we are performing John Taverner's stunning Mater Christi sanctissima.


27 January, Pusey House Chapel
5 May, St Mary Magdalen's Church
9 June, Merton College Chapel
15 September, Magdalen College Chapel
6 October, St Michael & All Angels
1 December, St John the Evangelist - SJE Arts

All artwork by Michael Tompsett (prints available here)


We are enormously grateful to the following Music of the Spires supporters:

Susie & Peter Furnivall
David Hodges
David Galvani