About SJE Arts

About SJE Arts

SJE hosts a wide range of events – choral, orchestral, opera, piano, chamber, jazz, world, folk and pop. Most of these are promoted by outside organisations and groups, a small proportion by ourselves. SJE Arts promotions include the occasional choral concert, most notably The Sixteen at Christmas, and our two Series.

SJE Arts International Piano Series – showcasing SJE’s Steinway Model D piano (purchased with the generous help of the Wolfson Foundation) – is well established. The Series has seen stellar performances from artists such as Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Javier Perianes and Yevgeny Sudbin and has introduced some interesting rising stars.

SJE Arts Next Generation Series gives a platform to talented younger players on their way to the profession. The Series is not currently running but we hope to resume it in the future.

SJE church and St Stephen’s House

The Grade I listed church of St John the Evangelist was designed by Victorian architect George Frederick Bodley as a place of worship for an Anglican religious order, the Society of St John the Evangelist. Known affectionately as the ‘Cowley Fathers’ the monks of the order carried out their ministry in the poorest parts of this district.

In the 1980’s, the few remaining fathers relocated to their London base. The mission house on Marston Street, adjoining cloister and church were taken over by St Stephen’s House, an Anglo-Catholic theological college and Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford. St Stephen’s House ordinands, graduate and PGCE students make regular use of SJE for worship.

Acoustic

Plain chant was an important part of the Cowley Fathers’ worship and the design and simplicity of decoration of the church reflects this need with a superb acoustic. Especially good for choral, the space works well for almost every kind of performance with the exception of heavy drumming.