A GERMAN man living in Oxford has arranged for a Hamburg youth orchestra to perform in the city as a response to Brexit.

Felix Tennie has helped organise the Youth Chamber Orchestra of Hamburg visit to the UK, including two performances in Oxford this weekend.

The physicist, who has lived and worked in Oxford since 2012, said he had helped chose a programme of music to celebrate British-European relations.

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He explained: “Our intention is to foster cultural relations between two nations and societies, especially in times of Brexit.

"The choice of the program, consisting of English and German composers, reflects on this idea and Haydn’s Farewell symphony represents a humorous tribute to the topics of departure and establishing new relationships."

The group will perform twice in Oxford this weekend: on Saturday at 7.30pm at Wolfson College and on Sunday at 6pm at the Holywell Music Room.

The concert’s program consists of three classical pieces.


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The evenings will start with a theme of youth and future, represented by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 – composed when he was just 21.

Mr Tennie, who will play the piano in the piece, said: "It is an extraordinary piece of music, as all the ingredients of his later, famous piano concertos are present there."

The Mozart will be followed by the classical English music of Edward Elgar, whose Serenade for Strings, in the organisers’ view, ‘is not only a sign of British contribution to the musical universe’, but will also add a different tone to the evening.

Choosing a work of Joseph Haydn for the final piece was no accident: not only was the Austrian composer awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1791, he also performed three times at the Sheldonian.

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The organisers hope that his Farewell symphony will sound a reconciliatory note amid the tensions of Brexit.

Mr Tennie said: “In our view it is a humorous tribute to the times we live in – a reminder that leaving is a part of being together.

"Leaving does not mean we won’t meet again, somewhere else, to play music together."

The concerts are a non-profit initiative. Thanks to support from the Anglo-German Club in Hamburg, tickets are priced at £10 (normal) and £8 (concession), available from the venues.