Barbirolli Oboe Festival and Competition 2017

George Caird writes with news of the UK’s premier international oboe competition.

The 4th Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition will take place from 1st to 8th April 2017 at the Port Erin Arts Centre, Isle of Man. The jury of the competition will be George Caird (UK), Elaine Douvas (USA), Diethelm Jonas (Germany) and Celia Nicklin (UK). In addition, Rossana Calvi (Italy) and Diethelm Jonas will give recitals and the festival will include masterclasses by Rossana Calvi and jury members as well as lectures, seminars and ensemble playing.

The Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition is one the most prestigious oboe events in the world and is named after the English oboist Evelyn Rothwell (Lady Barbirolli), wife of the distinguished conductor Sir John Barbirolli.


The competition has been held in the Isle of Man since 2005 when it transferred from the Isle of Wight. Over the years, the Festival and Competition have done much to promote young oboists and to encourage new music for the instrument through its commissioned works. Like its counterpart, the Tertis International Viola Competition, the oboe competition is promoted within a festival that offers recitals by distinguished oboists, masterclasses and seminars.

The Festival and Competition are open to players of all nationalities. Oboists come from all over the world to participate in the competition or as an attendee of the festival and many have given very favourable feedback on the quality of the event as a whole. The competition has three main prizes and numerous subsidiary awards with the winner of the competition being engaged to appear at a major London venue in the UK.

The Isle of Man is a unique place to visit for the Festival and Competition. It is not part of the United Kingdom but a Crown Dependency situated 40 miles off the North West coast of England. The island is only 227 square miles in area and boasts some outstanding scenery with miles of unspoiled cliffs, bays, mountains and fields. Port Erin in the south-west of the island is a picturesque village with a remarkable Arts Centre that has for four decades promoted some of the best stars in music, theatre and the arts as well as being home to the renowned double bass, viola and oboe competitions.

We know that our programme for Barbirolli 2017 will provide a stimulus for an exceptional Festival and Competition and we hope to see you in Port Erin between 1st and 8th April 2017.

Full details are available on: http://www.erinartscentre.com/oboe.html

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