OUO is unique in the Oxford student music scene as, unlike the other student orchestras, we work with a professional guest conductor each term. This gives our excellent musicians the best environment to produce stunning concerts as well as progressing their own playing. You can find out who's conducted us by looking at past concerts, or our list of guest conductors.
In order to promote the long-term progression of the orchestra, the decision was taken in 2021 to appoint a Principal Guest Conductor who would work with the orchestra on an annual basis and have a focus on the orchestra's overall improvement, alongside producing an outstanding concert in that term. We were delighted to offer this position to Natalia Luis-Bassa and very grateful that she accepted this role.
As student musicians ourselves, we have now also committed to inviting a graduate or early-career conductor to take the helm once-per-year. This provides an exciting development opportunity for the conductor as well as giving them the opportunity to learn from Natalia’s talent and experience which OUO will facilitate and fund. We mainly define an early-career conductor as a person who is completing or has recently completed specific conducting studies (although this will not be a definitive requirement) and someone for whom taking charge of OUO will represent a developmental experience to help further their career. The committee welcomes contact from conductors wishing to take this opportunity as well as recommendations of suitable conductors. We are likely to look favourably upon conductors who have a prior relationship with the orchestra although this is by no means a requirement and the committee’s final decision will be dependent on which appointment would be best for OUO.
Therefore, our annual conductor and concert schedule looks something like this:
Michaelmas Term concert in November with a Guest Conductor, recent examples have been Peter Stark, Jan Latham-Koenig, and Toby Purser will join us in 2023.
Hilary Term concert in February with our Principal Guest Conductor: Natalia Luis-Bassa
Trinity Term concert in May with an early-career conductor, recent examples have been Joe Davies, Chloe Rooke, and John Warner
Other projects with various conductors are also likely to occur throughout the year
Our commitment to the long-term development of the orchestra comes with financial commitments. OUO relies completely on ticket sales and generous donations to continue giving exciting opportunities to the best musicians that Oxford University has to offer. We would love to invite you to one of our future concerts; please sign up to the OUO mailing list to be notified about upcoming performances. You can also stay up-to-date with our social media accounts which are linked at the bottom of the page. If you are able, we would love to invite you to support the orchestra by becoming a Friend of OUO, and receive benefits such as priority booking and the Friends’ Newsletter. You can find out more and become a Friend in the Support Us page, or get in touch with Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org).