The iconic theme tune to Midsomer Murders, composed by Jim Parker, is a moderate and mid tempo waltz. It features the unusual electronic instrument known as the theremin (a favourite of Lenin as it happens) to create the eerie atmosphere for the show’s plots. It’s become an all time classic TV theme and one that sticks closely to an orchestral and classical motif.

If you like your music of the classical variety, then 2016 is going to be a great year for you in South Oxfordshire, where you can expect to see the following performances in the coming months.

Choral music

Henley Choral Society performs Elgar’s The Dream of Geronitus at Reading’s Concert Hall on 5 March. Following this on 14 May, you can catch Allquando, directed by Anne Evans, performing a stroll through time with a celebration of British composers.

Dorchester Abbey hosts the Benson Choral Society spring concert on 19 March performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and the Orchestra of St John performing Bach’s St John Passion on 25 March, conducted by John Lubbock. On May 14 the Abbey welcomes The London Chorus performing Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum among other popular pieces.


The Henley Symphony Orchestra under director Ian Brown perform Verdi’s The Force of Destiny overture as well as selected other pieces. The HSO will be hosting a number of other shows throughout the season, playing music by Elgar, Mussorgsky, Nyman and Arnold.

English Music Festival at Dorchester Abbey (c) Keith Barnes

The English Music Festival takes place over five days from 27 - 30 May 2016. Centred on the village of Dorchester and the Abbey Church the festival combines orchestral and choral works, and specialises in, you guessed it, English music. Presenting composers from the mediaeval to the present day, will include world premieres of works by Gillingwater and Sherwood.


Chamber music is also proving to be very popular in the area. The Pavel Haas String Quartet with Denis Kozhukhin will be performing Beethoven’s String Quartet No 11. This is followed by the Nash Ensemble, one of Britain’s finest ensemble groups, performing on 30 March at the Reading Concert Hall.


The Kenton Theatre in Henley is also hosting a number of operatic events this season. These include The Merry Opera company’s performance of Puccini’s La Boheme on 27 February. Of course, you can also get tickets for the famed Garsington Opera 2016 season, which runs throughout June and July.

As you can see, musical culture is alive and kicking in the area. And if you like your music a little more modern, the Henley Festival and Rewind’s 80’s vibe might be more up your musical street.