The Colour of Music: Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective to perform at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre

Friday 20th Oct 2023, 2.27pm

A new concert performed by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, features music by a composer who perceived musical keys as different colours and is taking place in the Sheldonian Theatre on 28 October, 2023.

The Colour of Music will be the first in three concerts produced by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective and Oxford’s Cultural Programme. Featuring an ensemble performance, founders Poster and Urioste will join the stage alongside musicians Savitri Grier on violin, Edgar Francis on viola and Tony Rymer on cello.

Inspired by the Ashmolean Museum’s Colour Revolution exhibition, the programme explores the theme of colour, beginning with Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst alongside Oxford University’s St Anne’s Camerata. The specially curated concert will also feature Jennifer Higdon’s Pale Yellow performed in a piano trio configuration and Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet.

Amy Beach, composer and pianist, experienced the neurological condition synaesthesia. The condition, in which a person may experience two or more senses simultaneously, caused Beach to perceive musical keys as visual colours. It has been argued that one of the earliest recorded references to synaesthesia was made by Oxford University alumnus and philosopher John Locke, reporting in 1690 of a man who experienced the colour scarlet upon hearing the sound of a trumpet.

Elena Urioste, co-director and founder of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, also experiences the neurological condition and will be sharing her personal account of what it is like to be a synaesthetic musician at the concert, she said,

“We want everyone to have a wonderful, transportive time, whether it’s their first concert or their thousandth. We hope that young people, people who love clapping between movements and tapping their feet to the beat, people who have never been to a classical concert before, people who have been to countless classical concerts before but want to hear something they maybe haven’t heard before and smile because our energy is contagious — we hope they all come to share music with us!”

The programme will end with the ensemble being joined by four musicians from Oxford University and Oxfordshire County Music Service for a recital of Mendelssohn’s Octet.

As part of the Cultural Programme’s OXFORD iS campaign – inviting local communities to be a part of a variety of shared experiences in and around Oxford – the tickets for this special, one-off event are all free.  

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective is a roster of leading instrumentalists which was founded in 2017 by pianist Tom Poster and violinist Elena Urioste. Achieving notable acclaim in recent years, Kaleidoscope were appointed as Associate Ensemble at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in 2020 and debuted at the BBC Proms earlier this summer.

FREE TICKETS available here. Further information on upcoming events can be found here.