An afternoon of music for theremin, ondes Martenot and piano

Charlie Draper
Charlie Draper at Ertegun House


Charlie Draper and Andrew Frampton present a recital of original and adapted music for theremin, ondes Martenot and piano, including works by Messiaen, Milhaud, and Rachmaninoff.

Charlie Draper (Ertegun alumnus, 2012) plays theremin and ondes Martenot. He has performed for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, British Library, Tate Britain, London ExCEL Centre, and New York Public Theatre. 

Andrew Frampton is reading for a DPhil in Music at Merton College Oxford and is active as a pianist and organist at the University. His current research specialisms include the music of Bach and his contemporaries, especially Jan Dismas Zelenka and Johann Friedrich Agricola; the latter provides a focus for his doctoral dissertation.


The theremin has earned a place in history as the oldest manufactured electronic musical instrument, and the only expressive musical instrument to be controlled without physical contact from the player. Devised in 1920 by the Russian physicist and musician Leon Theremin (1896-1993), it is controlled by free movement of the hands around two electrostatic fields generated by metal antennas: the right hand controls the pitch, while the left hand controls volume. Its sound can be heard in numerous film scores from the 40s and 50s, as well as works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Bohuslav Martinů, Edgard Varèse, and Led Zeppelin.

Ondes Martenot

The ondes Martenot was patented in 1928 by French cellist and radio engineer Maurice Martenot (1898-1980). Its most well-known iteration is distinguished by three unique features: a laterally shifting keyboard (which permits vibrato), a ribbon control (which permits portamento), and special resonant speakers which imbue the sound with an otherworldly resonance. The instrument used in this recital is an Ondomo, a portable version of the instrument designed and built in Japan by Naoyuki Omo. The evocative tones of the ondes Martenot can recall a violin, cello, flute, or even a human voice, and attracted the attention of composers including Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Ravel, Tristan Murail, and Jonny Greenwood. 


This event is open to Ertegun scholars and alumni and also to members of the University.  Please book your tickets for the performance here.