Association of British Orchestras

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Contact details

29A Teignmouth Road London
Greater London
Praised as ‘excellent’ by Gramophone magazine and ‘thoroughly impressive’ by BBC Music Magazine, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s reputation is based on the uncompromising artistic standards of its Founder and Music Director, Marios Papadopoulos, and maintained by some of the finest musicians in the UK.

Established in 1998 and formerly known as Oxford Philomusica, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra occupies a unique position within the UK orchestral landscape. As an orchestra of the highest quality, the Oxford Philharmonic attracts some of the world’s greatest artists to appear in its series including Valery Gergiev, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Martha Argerich, András Schiff, Renée Fleming, Lang Lang, Janine Jansen, Yuri Temirkanov and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Following his remarkable debut with the Orchestra in 2013, Maxim Vengerov became its first Artist in Residence. Over an unprecedented four-season collaboration, Vengerov and the Oxford Philharmonic performed across the UK and recorded the violin concertos of Brahms and Sibelius. With a commercial release pending, both recordings have received exclusive plays on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and WQXR. Recent collaborations with Vengerov include a recording of Mendelssohn’s Octet and appearances at Cheltenham Music Festival and Saffron Hall with the Soloists of the Oxford Philharmonic - a tight-knit group of musicians described by The Times as the ensemble’s ‘glorious individual players’ and by Jessica Duchen as ‘a line-up to match any top-notch international chamber ensemble and probably beat them on their own turf’.

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s many achievements to date include an annual concert season in Oxford, touring performances across the UK and a growing list of international engagements; family concerts; the annual Oxford Piano Festival and the Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series. Recent releases include works by Nimrod Borenstein for Chandos, and cello concertos by Shostakovich and Mats Lidström (Solo Cello of the Oxford Philharmonic) on the BIS label, both conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Other acclaimed recordings include Haydn’s The Creation with the Choir of New College and the Handel/Mendelssohn Acis and Galatea with Christ Church Cathedral Choir.

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra has been firmly committed to outreach work from its earliest days. Its various projects focus on taking music to areas of social and economic disadvantage, including work in special schools and hospitals. In 2002, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra was appointed the first ever Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford. The Oxford Philharmonic collaborates with the Faculty of Music in educational programmes. Partnerships with Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council provide tuition and performance opportunities for hundreds of talented young musicians.

A recent partnership with J & A Beare provides our distinguished members with opportunities to play on Stradivari instruments, adding a new dimension to the sound of the Orchestra.

The Orchestra and its Music Director were awarded the City of Oxford’s Certificate of Honour in 2013, in recognition of their contribution to education and performance in Oxford.

The continual search for excellence underpins the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s reputation, and is reflected in an orchestra that strives to create bold musical statements with every concert it presents.

Annual Conference

The next ABO conference will take place in Glasgow from 9 – 11 February 2022.