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Here is OUO giving a virtual performance of the Farandole from Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2.

OUO Virtual Performance – Farandole

Oxford University’s remote Trinity term has come to a close and we at OUO are thrilled to share our first-ever virtual performance which we have been working on this term! Here is the Farandole from Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2.

The original L’Arlésienne Suite by Georges Bizet was composed in 1872 as incidental music to Alphonse Daudet’s play of the same name (‘The Girl from Arles’). Despite the play being unsuccessful and the music garnering poor reviews, Bizet rescored the music into a suite of five pieces. After his death, Ernest Guiraud arranged four more pieces to form a successful second suite – utilising the orchestration and themes by Bizet – to which the Farandole we have performed is the finale.

While we are delighted to have been able to perform together in this online capacity, we are aware of the difficulties and immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians are currently facing. Visit https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/support-our-work/make-a-donation to find out more information and to donate to the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund for musicians.

Posted by Oxford University Orchestra on Friday, June 26, 2020

Due to Coronavirus the tour to Bonn has been postponed. 

OUO have been invited to be the UK representative at the 2020 Beethoven Festival in Bonn celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. We would be grateful for any support that helps us get to Bonn.



Alternatively you can support us using our donation form.

JAPAN PROJECT – In March 2019 OUO partnered with Japanese Orchestra MOTIF and El Sistema Japan for a cultural exchange and outreach tour to Tokyo and Fukushima. Thank you to all our supporters who helped us get to Japan.

If you would like to play with OUO then please contact OUMS to arrange an audition. Please see our auditions page for further information on how to get involved.

The Oxford University Orchestra (OUO) is the University’s premier student ensemble. It has provided decades of top-class opportunities to players at the University of Oxford, impressing audiences from the University community, Oxford area and beyond. The orchestra is the flagship ensemble of the Oxford University Music Society, and as such its instrumentalists are selected from the very best the University has to offer, including a large number of former members of the National Youth Orchestra and BBC Young Musician finalists. The orchestra runs intensive rehearsals each term culminating in a high-calibre concert in Oxford, usually in the Sheldonian Theatre. By popular demand the orchestra has performed in locations across the UK.

To complement its extraordinarily talented student members, OUO is always conducted by a professional and regularly uses professional soloists. Previous conductors include Daniel Harding, Peter Stark, Douglas Boyd, Jason Lai and Garry Walker (see a full list here). As soloists, OUO has showcased Steven Isserlis, Anthony Marwood, Simon Preston, Raphael Wallfisch, Guy Johnston and Thomas Trotter. OUO is fortunate enough to include Steven Isserlis, Midori, and Ian Bostridge among its patrons.

Funded by ticket sales, the University, the Oxford University Music Society, and generous private donors (see the Friends of OUO scheme), the orchestra aims to tackle ambitious and entertaining programmes. Previously, the OUO has featured Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphonie, and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, as well as many other grand works. Full details of past concerts can be accessed here.

OUO in the press:

…the OUO demonstrated an impressive solidarity and skill…the orchestra played with fiery potency…

…bold, satisfying music making…

…imperceptibly and inevitably the audience was reeled in…

…remarkable for blazing brass effects, wind solos… and thrilling string playing…


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