Distinguished pianist and conductor Marios Papadopoulos founded the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998. Oxford offered an ideal platform for his work as an artist with its discerning audience and strong musical tradition. In 2002, the Oxford Philharmonic was named the Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford.
Over the years, the Orchestra has expanded its annual concert season to include touring performances across the UK and overseas, family concerts, an annual Oxford Piano Festival, and a chamber music series. The Orchestra’s home is in Sir Christopher Wren’s 17th century marvel, the Sheldonian Theatre, where Haydn himself conducted his ‘Oxford’ Symphony, (Symphony No. 92 in G major) in 1791.
Under the direction of Maestro Marios Papadopoulos the Orchestra plays a key role in the musical life of the city of Oxford and the University. He has recruited the best international musicians in the UK and beyond who perform to the highest standards.
Their rich sound attracts some of the finest solo musicians and conductors in the world, including Maxim Vengerov, Valery Gergiev, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Martha Argerich, András Schiff, Renée Fleming, Lang Lang, Nicola Benedetti, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Together they are reenergizing Britain’s classical music repertoire, developing new British and American talent and bringing exciting and fresh musical performances to a wider range of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
Acclaimed recordings include works by Nimrod Borenstein for Chandos, cello concertos by Shostakovich and Mats Lidström performed by Lidström(Solo Cello of the Oxford Philharmonic), both conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, on the BIS label, ‘A Merton Christmas’ with Merton College Choir, Haydn’s The Creation with the Choir of New College, and the Handel/Mendelssohn Acis and Galatea with Christ Church Cathedral Choir. The Orchestra’s most recent disc The Enlightened Trumpet with soloist Paul Merkelo was released on Sony Classical in September 2019.
In 2016, members of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra gave their first US Concert with Maxim Vengerov, at the Metropolitan Club in New York. Maestro Vengerov will join the full orchestra for their debut performance at Carnegie Hall in New York on the 7th June, 2022.