The Oxford and Cambridge Musical Club was founded in 1899 by members of the two universities who wished to continue in London the musical activities which they had enjoyed as undergraduates. The Gentlemens Club which they formed, with spacious premises in the West End, rapidly acquired a distinguished membership including many of the leading composers and musicians of the day as well as leading figures in public life.
That privileged era ended forever with the second World War. The loss of the Clubs premises in 1940 can in retrospect be seen as a liberation. When concerts began again in 1948 the Club was able to devote all its efforts to what had always been its first objective - the pleasure of making music. Since 1959 the Clubs main concert venue has been at University College, London.
The Clubs members comprise a wide range of musical talents. 15 or 16 concerts are given each year , ranging from orchestral and chamber music to song and piano recitals. Two regular annual events which have become established in recent years are a concert performance of an opera (often a rarely performed work) and a concert of music by present-day Club composers.
In contrast to the many music societies and associations which exist to hear paid professional performers, the Oxford and Cambridge Musical Club exists today as a forum for members (both amateur and professional) to perform to an audience of other members and their guests. The standard of playing is often very high and the Club is believed to be the largest of its kind in the U.K.
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Page last updated: 09 July 2003