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Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3AZ
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£45, £30, £25, £12, £9 Full price | £22.50, £15, £12.50, £4.50 Concession
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Archery Promotions

Robert Saxton – World Premiere performed by English Symphony Orchestra

Robert Saxton’s new work is the second to have been commissioned by the English Symphony Orchestra. Devised in five episodes, Scenes from the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, is inspired by the oldest written literary text in Near Eastern/Western cultural history, first notated between 2100 and 2000 BC, written in cuneiform script on clay tablets from the ancient cities of Mesopotamia, the Levant and Anatolia.

‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ relates the story of the partly divine, partly human King Gilgamesh, who may have existed historically circa 2800 BC. From immature youth, and following several colourful adventures, Gilgamesh experiences a ‘noble transformation’ and comes to accept the power and reality of death, reaching a state of reflective maturity conveyed in the works enigmatic ending.

Performed by many notable violinists over the years, Max Bruch’s lively and lyrical four-movement ‘Scottish Fantasy’ for violin and orchestra pays homage to Scottish tradition, giving prominence to the harp in the instrumental accompaniment to the virtuosic skills of rising star and Sony Classical Artist, violinist Esther Abrami.

Aged just 20, composer Felix Mendelssohn visited Scotland for three weeks in the summer of 1829, inspiring him to write one of his best-loved works: the Symphony No 3 in A minor, known as ‘The Scottish’. In this Symphony, the composer draws inspiration from a visit to the ruins of Holyrood Chapel in Edinburgh, and it is possible to hear elements from Scottish Folk Dance and the characteristic Scotch snap rhythm amongst the works majestic themes.

The English Symphony Orchestra

Firmly established as ‘The International Orchestra of Elgar country’, the English Symphony Orchestra, under their Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Kenneth Woods, has become synonymous with artistic excellence, innovative and visionary programming, distinctive commissioning, ground-breaking recording, a welcoming and immersive concert experience, transformative youth programmes and service to the community.

Each year, the ESO headlines an ambitious series of concerts across the Midlands’ region and beyond. Full details of the orchestra’s current schedule can be found at

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