A concert in memory of Martin Peters

Many friends and current and former members of the Oxford Bach Choir will fondly remember Martin Peters, who was our Artistic Administrator and Concert Manager for many years until his death in 2014.

Martin also worked closely with the Oxford Lieder Festival, and on Wednesday 1 May the organisers of the Festival arranged a special concert in Christ Church Cathedral in his memory. The performers included Jess Dandy (contralto), Daniel Norman (tenor), Wilfred Norman (treble), Jonathan Stone (violin), and on the piano Sholto Kynoch and Libby Burgess, who has conducted the OBC several times in recent years. (Daniel Norman also has OBC connections: he has sung in several OBC concerts over the years, most recently in the Messiah in 2008 and in a fine Bach concert in 2011.)

The performers offered a wide range of music, from Mahler songs by way of a Brahms violin sonata movement to a Schubert piano duet, but for many in the audience the most memorable item was a performance of Britten’s cantata “Abraham and Isaac” sung by Daniel Norman and his son Wilfred. Having a father and son assume the parts of Abraham and the son whom God has ordered him to sacrifice gave the performance an especial intensity.

Many OBC members past and present were in the audience, and afterwards we stayed behind to share a drink and memories of Martin, and to reflect on a memorable evening.