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.

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  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Dorchester Abbey
  • My Music at SJE Arts
  • New House
  • Online
  • SJE Arts
  • Sheldonian Theatre
  • Tetbury Festival
  • Town Hall, Oxford
08 June 2024
Dorchester Abbey Oxfordshire
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Famously described as 'Beethoven's Tenth', Brahms' masterful first symphony took him at least 14 years to write. This powerful work sits alongside two pieces from the Russian composer Alexander Glazunov. Gifted young performer Elodie Chousmer-Howelles makes her debut with the orchestra, showcasing the technical brilliance required for Glazunov's dazzling Violin Concerto.

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£5.00 – £30.00 305 tickets left Buy Now
15 June 2024
SJE Arts Iffley Road
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Great friends Glazunov and Tchaikovsky both conjured the changing of the seasons in these two delightful works inspired by the Russian autumn. Gifted young performer Elodie Chousmer-Howelles performs Glazunov's awe-inspiring Violin Concerto, and the evening is rounded off with Tchaikovsky's much-loved Nutcracker Suite.

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£5.00 – £25.00 291 tickets left Buy Now
13 July 2024
Town Hall, Oxford St Aldates
Oxford, OX1 1DP United Kingdom
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We are very pleased to announce OSJ's inaugural Youth Music Twinning Project; a celebration of youth, music and friendship.
In this new collaboration, gifted musicians aged 12 to 23 from Oxford and from Oxford's twin cities past and present will come together for a week of music making, led throughout by John Lubbock.
The project will culminate in a performance of Carmina Burana with the OSJ Voices in Oxford Town Hall.

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£5.00 – £20.00 511 tickets left Buy Now
20 October 2024
New House Southmoor,
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New House in Hanney, Oxfordshire plays host to a charming afternoon of intimate music, delicious food and wonderful company. CPE Bach praised the Sonatas as being one of the pinnacles of his father’s work.
Bach's Musical Offering grew out of the famous meeting with Frederick The Great in 1747 and ’the royal theme’ - such an amazing variety of short canons work so well for violin, flute and cello with harpsichord.

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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.


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

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

A musical religious experience – review of St Matthew Passion March 2024

On Easter Saturday John Lubbock and his carefully assembled forces gave a powerful account of the St Matthew, more complex in its structure and composed on a much larger scale than the earlier work. This was successfully conceived not so much as…

We feel a very lucky school!

Dear Derek, Adam, John and Chris I’m writing to say a big thank you for your visit to TreeHouse the day before yesterday. I have had the most extraordinary feedback from colleagues regarding the actual concerts, the levels of participation…

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…

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