In March, Oxford University Orchestra are partnering with Japanese Orchestra MOTIF, founded by OUO alumnus Shun Hioki, to engage in outreach work with El Sistema Japan and help improve the lives of children affected by the Fukushima disaster.

OUO invited to JAPAN March 2019

We are delighted to have been invited to partner with El Sistema Japan for their festival weekend in Soma City, Fukushima, around the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. This opportunity will allow us to engage in music outreach alongside El Sistema Japan, and members of Orchestra MOTIF, a Japanese orchestra founded by OUO alumnus Shun Hioki, sharing and performing with students in Fukushima as part of the regeneration project.

Click here for more information about our Japan 2019 project and the organisations we are going to partner with.

We would be grateful for any donations to enable us to achieve our funding target and take part in this exciting project.


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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