Best of 2023: Classical music concerts

Andrea Bocelli Foundation - Community Jameel scholar Clara Barbier Serrano is 'another imaginative artist who deserves to go far,' according to The Arts Desk's David Nice, in his roundup of the best classical music performances of 2023, following the soprano's performance in the Oxford International Song Festival.


On the song recital front, programmes don’t get any more revelatory than the one I travelled to the Oxford International Song Festival to hear – Christine Rice, a mezzo of infinite resources, perfectly partnered by Julius Drake in a stunning Haydn mini-opera plus songs by the also underrated Rebecca Clarke interwoven with viola pieces played by the superb Timothy Ridout. What a lovely way to end, too, with the Brahms' "Geistliches Wiegenlied". Unexpected bonus was an earlier tribute to artist Tom Phillips, true Oxford spirit who died this year; as well as learning about his range with some amazement, I also heard perfect songs from young soprano Clara Barbier Serrano and pianist Joanna Kacperek. A chance conversation on the tube home led me to Barbier Serrano’s beguiling tribute to Irish writers in Dublin with saxophonist Robert Finegan and pianist Tianqi Ling. Here’s another imaginative artist who deserves to go far.

The Arts Desk