The "Other" Virgin Queen - Music for for "King" Christina's Court in Rome

Instruments of Time and Truth
Event date
Event time
20:00 - 21:00
Christ Church Cathedral
St Aldates
Event type
Event cost
£15 | £7.50 Concessions
Disabled access?
Booking required

Instruments of Time and Truth Summer Concert Series
“A queen without a realm, a Christian without faith and a woman without shame”
— Pope Alexander VII

Educated as a girl and crowned queen at the age of six, Christina abdicated in 1654, aged 27, declaring herself unwilling to marry and provide an heir. She set out for Rome, met in Innsbruck by the Pope’s envoy. After her very public conversion to Catholicism, the church tried to turn her into a symbol of the Counter-Reformation, but Christina’s intellectual curiosity, patronage of the arts, support for women’s voices – and force of personality – could not be constrained. She founded an academy of the arts, whose members included Stradella, Corelli and the sculptor Bernini, which was still thriving in 1707 when the young Handel met Corelli in Rome en route to bringing the Italian style to London.

Instruments of Time and Truth's intimate group of four players traces Christina’s journey, from Antonio Cesti’s triumphal prologue written for her arrival in Innsbruck to dances by Lully that she heard at Louis XIV’s court. Sonatas by Stradella, Corelli and Handel are joined by Christina’s Italian contemporary Isabella Leonarda, the first female composer to publish a collection of instrumental sonatas.

This concert is part of the Instruments of Time and Truth Summer Concert Series 2022, and is generously supported by both John Osborn and Continuo Foundation.

Instruments of Time and Truth are Oxford’s own period instrument orchestra, presenting world-class performances of Baroque and Classical music in Oxford and around the UK.

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