Life and Music of Franz Schubert

Course details

From £1365.00

Sun 14 Jul 2019 - Sat 20 Jul 2019

Life and Music of Franz Schubert


The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme providing one-week courses in a variety of subjects aimed at non-specialists. It offers a choice of seminars each week over a period of six weeks.

Schubert was a composer to whom melody came naturally and this quality is evident in all his music, perhaps most obviously in his prolific output of songs – over 600 – where he transformed the genre, raising it to new heights of expression, from the most tragic to the most joyful and life-affirming. In this course we shall look at Schubert’s life, starting as a cathedral choir boy under Salieri, and follow his artistic development and haphazard lifestyle, studying the great works that he composed in almost every genre. We will also look at the culture, society and politics that surrounded Schubert for his thirty-one years as a citizen of Vienna.

Programme details

Seminars meet each weekday morning, 09.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city.


Vienna in the early 19th century

Schubert’s early life

Salieri’s teaching and support

Gretchen am Spinnrade



Symphony no. 5

Der Wanderer

Meeting with Johann Michael Vogl


Die Forelle

Music master to the Esterházy family

Trout Quintet

Piano sonata in A, D. 644

Alfonso und Estrella

Meetings with Weber and Beethoven

An die Leier

Du bist die Ruh


Wanderer Fantasy

Symphony no. 8


Music for Rosamunde

Die Schöne Müllerin


Piano sonata in A minor, D. 784

Walking tour to Salzburg and Gastein

Piano sonata in D, D. 850



Torch bearer at Beethoven’s funeral

Impromptus for piano

The “Great C Major” Symphony

String Quintet in C


Recommended reading

Brown, Maurice. & Sams, Eric. The New Grove Schubert. London: Norton, 1983.


During your course, you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century. Bedrooms are modestly-furnished, do not have air-conditioning and are arranged on a staircase of four or five floors.

The fee £1545 includes a bedroom with private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Most are single but a few twins are available for couples or those who wish to share with a friend. Those couples wishing to book a twin room should contact us direct, as these rooms cannot be booked online.

There are also a few standard rooms available which all have their own washbasin and shaver point but the bath and toilet facilities on each staircase are shared. To apply for one of these rooms please select the ‘Programme Fee (with single standard accommodation and meals)’ option on the application form.  Early application for these rooms is essential.

Most standard rooms are single but there are a few ‘twin sets’ (two single rooms opening off a sitting room). If you wish to book a twin set, please contact us direct, as these rooms cannot be booked online.

Please indicate your accommodation preferences (either online or on your application form) together with a note of any mobility problems.

We regret that we are unable to offer you accommodation at Christ Church prior to or following your course. Additionally, family or friends who are not enrolled in the programme cannot be accommodated in college.


Programme fee (with single en-suite accommodation and meals): £1545.00
Programme fee (with single standard accommodation and meals): £1365.00


Jonathan Darnborough


Jonathan Darnborough is Director of Studies in Music and Departmental Lecturer in Music at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.  He is a composer and pianist and has worked in continuing education throughout his career.

Jonathan studied piano and composition at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and the Royal Northern College of Music.  He was a prizewinner in the 1992 Franco-Italian Music Competition in Paris and has performed in the USA, France, Holland, Italy and Indonesia.  The Boston Globe has described him as having “a compositional voice that was unmistakably his own”.  He is currently working on an opera based on Euripides’s Hecuba and writing an online course on musical analysis for Oxford.

He is the author of an online course, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Mrs Claire-Louise Lucas


Claire-Louise Lucas is a professional mezzo-soprano and a part-time music tutor. She lectures on opera and song for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.  She has lectured on singing in conservatoires and other universities in the UK and the USA.

Claire-Louise has performed extensively throughout Britain, Europe and the USA, including an appearance as a soloist in the Salzburg Easter Festival with Maurizio Pollini and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.  Other recent performances include concerts at Gloucester Cathedral; Christ Church Cathedral; Salisbury Cathedral; Southampton University; the Leominster Festival and the Brighton Festival. 

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.


Online registration closes on Wednesday 1 May 2019 but please note that this course may be fully booked very quickly so early registration is recommended.