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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 instrumentalist 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, 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. 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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