Orchestra of St John's | Taking classical music out into the community

‘The Music in my Life’ – New Series

In Spring 2024 we launch a new concert series ‘The Music in my Life’.

Dame Prue Leith (March), Ben Okri (April) and Paul Gambaccini (May) are interviewed by the BBC’s Sue Cook; OSJ play their choice of pieces.  Live at SJE Arts.

Famous people talk about their lives, share their opinions, and discuss the music that has meant the most to them in their lives. Each one has had a prominent career and is happy to express some strong opinions! Hear what they feel passionate about.

Concerts
  • All
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Dorchester Abbey
  • My Music at SJE Arts
  • New House
  • Online
  • SJE Arts
  • Sheldonian Theatre
  • Tetbury Festival
  • Town Hall, Oxford
06 March 2024
My Music at SJE Arts

Sponsored by CRITCHLEYS.  The Music in my Life: Dame Prue Leith is interviewed by Sue Cook of the BBC. OSJ plays her chosen pieces LIVE in the concert hall - often brand-new arrangements of an eclectic programme. From Faure to...

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£15.00 – £20.00 300 tickets left Buy Now
23 March 2024
SJE Arts

A highlight of our musical year, we celebrate Easter with our annual performances of JS Bach's sacred oratorio. Featuring some of Bach's most delicate chorales and rousing choruses, this depiction of the last few days of Jesus's life is as powerful today as it was when it was written nearly 300 years ago.

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£5.00 – £30.00 230 tickets left Buy Now
30 March 2024
Dorchester Abbey

A highlight of our musical year, we celebrate Easter with our annual performances of JS Bach's sacred oratorio. Featuring some of Bach's most delicate chorales and rousing choruses, this depiction of the last few days of Jesus's life is as powerful today as it was when it was written nearly 300 years ago.

Find out more »
£5.00 – £30.00 251 tickets left Buy Now
04 April 2024
My Music at SJE Arts

Sponsored by CRITCHLEYS The Music in my Life: Ben Okri is interviewed by Sue Cook of the BBC OSJ plays his chosen pieces live in the concert hall - often brand-new arrangements of an eclectic programme. From Pachelbel to Florence...

Find out more »
£15.00 – £20.00 343 tickets left Buy Now
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An orchestra with a noble cause
A professional orchestra bringing the best music to all

Spring and Summer 2024

60 years on we are still enjoying the wonders of making music together, and our Spring 2024 season will be no exception.

From a concert by autistic performers in January, Ravel’s Mother Goose in February and the St Matthew Passion in March, Mahler in April, Schumann in May and Tchaikovsky and Brahms in June, there is a concert for everyone.  We end with Carmina Burana in July – our first-ever Youth Twinning project, a celebration of music and friendship.

There is a wonderful sense of community between the Orchestra, OSJ Voices, our soloists and of course you, the audience. We hope you agree that our Spring 2024 season will inspire and delight, so do book now to secure the best seats.

Free tickets available for NHS workers and for the disabled. Please email admin@osj.org.uk.

Orchestra of St John’s

Did you know that John Lubbock founded the Orchestra of St John’s almost 60 years ago, whilst a student at the Royal Academy of Music?

OSJ has always been engaged at the heart of the community, sharing its music with diverse audiences and exploring new ways of involving minority groups. Our musicians play for children in SEN schools on more than 70 days each year. Christine Cairns, John’s wife, founded the charity Music For Autism in 2000 when their youngest son was diagnosed with autism. Since then the charity has enabled interactive concerts for 130,000 children and their parents, teachers or carers at special schools all over the UK. The two charities ‘OSJ’ and ‘Music for Autism’ formally merged in 2020. Our musicians also visit local hospitals weekly as part of our Serenading programme.

Our Young Performers scheme helps the development of many aspiring professionals and supports performance by talented young musicians from a range of ethnic and social backgrounds.  OSJ also has a rich history of commissioning and performing new works from young composers.

Concerts

A richly varied programme of concerts, both orchestral and choral, at SJE Arts in Oxford, and at Dorchester Abbey.

Mucisians and Participants during the Session:" Closing Performance" at the Annual Meeting 2017 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 20, 2017.

Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell
Connections

Our Connections programme brings together the wide range of social and community engagement work that we do. For over fifty years, this has been a key part of the OSJ’s ethos and work.

music for autism banner 2
Music for Autism

A cornerstone of Connections, our Music for Autism programme has been running continuously for over 20 years. OSJ’s musicians spend around 70 days a year in special schools, both locally and nationally, playing to and engaging with children and young people with autism.

rising opera stars S
Young Artists Scheme

 Fostering talented young singers and instrumentalists in the early stages of their professional careers and inviting them to perform alongside OSJ’s established musicians.

Our Latest News

Fresh, Formidable and Triumphant – Review of Messiah December 2023

If Handel’s Messiah is among the most frequently performed choral works of the Western musical tradition, the challenge of rendering it fresh and alive today is monumental. The task, perhaps unwittingly, was proclaimed from high up in the splendid church of St…

Mozart’s Requiem: A Singer’s-Eye View

Mozart’s Requiem (7 and 8 April 2023) From time to time, one reads gloomy reports about the audience for classical music shrinking since the pandemic. There seems to be no evidence of this when it comes to concerts in Oxfordshire…

Simply Majestic – Grieg and Rachmaninov at Dorchester Abbey

As a long-term resident of Dorchester, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to enjoy so many wonderful OSJ performances, here and elsewhere.  Tonight was simply majestic, full of goose-bumpy, breath-holding transports of ecstasy.  At the end I commented…

From our YouTube channel


QI: John Lubbock on ‘The Home Key’


Jan Schmolck plays Bach in Dorchester Abbey

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Why an orchestra must work in the community

John Lubbock recorded at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Workshop videos

Available online for SEN schools