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Joseph’s Carol: A Tribute to the Oxford Vaccine Group

Friday, 18 December 2020
18:30 - 19:00

In recognition of the formidable work accomplished by the team of scientists at the University of Oxford on their Covid-19 vaccine, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra will stream a celebratory concert on Friday 18 December, recorded in the city’s historic Sheldonian Theatre.

John Rutter was delighted to be invited to write a new piece – Joseph’s Carol – for this special concert dedicated to the Oxford COVID vaccine team for their hard work. The words by John Rutter recount the long and weary journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem before the birth of the baby Jesus, echoing the programme’s journey from struggle through to hope. The musical tribute will be streamed at 18.30 GMT on Friday 18th December on Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s YouTube Channel and on Classic FM’s Facebook page. It is free to watch – just tune in from the comfort of your living room.

The concert, introduced by Classic FM presenter John Suchet, will be interspersed with footage from the lab and trials of the treatment and vaccine process, as well as interviews with performers, researchers, and messages of thanks from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Louise Richardson and the Orchestra’s Royal Patron, HRH Princess Alexandra.


Elgar Chanson de Matin
William Henry Monk Abide with Me
Rodgers & Hammerstein You’ll Never Walk Alone
John Rutter Joseph’s Carol (WORLD PREMIERE)
John Rutter
Look to the Day
Handel Hallelujah Chorus


John Rutter conductor
Bryn Terfel
Maxim Vengerov violin
John Suchet presenter
Marios Papadopoulos conductor
Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
Choir of Merton College
Alexandra Lowe soprano
Alexander Olleson treble


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