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Jack Gibbons' 30th annual Summer Piano Series

"High spirited and historically informed" New Yorker

Jack Gibbons plays a lot of big concerts on both sides of the Atlantic, but fortunately returns home to Oxford every summer for a series of piano concerts. He is known for the concerts focusing on one composer: An Evening of Beethoven, Gershwin at the Keyboard, A Chopin Journey.

Gibbons is a serious classical musician and composer in his own right, but he's also great fun. The Gershwin concerts are particularly lively, with Gibbons' painstaking recreations of some of Gershwin's wildest improvisations, recreated note for note from very early recordings. It is perhaps odd to combine such precision with such exuberant extemporising, but it's an amazing thing to hear live. Gibbons educates as well as dazzling, taking a piece apart bit by bit so you know what each hand is doing, and what to listen for, before throwing it all back together at such speed that you are still shocked and awed.

This is the 30th anniversary year and many in the audience will be returning devotees! The sober and beautiful surroundings of the Holywell Music Room, with the notes ringing and dancing about you, are a perfect balm for a sultry night.

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