What a feast of music The Orchestra of St John’s has for you this autumn season. A huge variety of concerts, venues and musicians are waiting to entertain Oxfordshire audiences over the coming weeks, kicking off this Saturday.

But while you can enjoy the likes of Strauss, Bach, Mozart, Hahn, Poulenc and Mendelssohn, it’s the Russian composers who dominate the season’s line-up.

Here are our top picks of OSJ’s concerts:

  1. Bach at SJE Arts in Oxford, 6pm on Saturday September 30  – An evening of sublime music from J.S. Bach featuring brilliant young violinist Poppy McGhee who, alongside Michel Tirabosco, will join the OSJ orchestra in conjuring all the musical richness and joy of one the world’s most seminal composers. BOOK HERE
Poppy Mcghee . Pics courtesy of OSJ

2) Poulenc and Les Six – concert with lunch at New House in Hanney, October 1. Something a bit different for those of you who want to make a day out of it. Enjoy a charming afternoon of intimate music, delicious food and wonderful company from 12 noon – 4.30pm. Piano, clarinet and four voices come together to perform the exquisite music of the early 20th-century French group Les Six. Not to be missed! BOOK HERE

Les Six met Jean Cocteau in 1931 © Lipnitzki-Viollet

3) Mozart and Tchaikovsky6pm at SJE Arts, October 7 – Uniting Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major with three other works inspired by the great master: Tchaikovsky’s affectionate orchestral tribute Mozartiana, Reger’s 1914 delightful theme and variations, and Venezuelan-born Hahn’s playful overture from his 1925 Mozart opera. BOOK HERE

John Lubbock, OSJ founder & conductor

4) Russian Masters – 7pm at Dorchester Abbey, October 14. From magical forests and rustic fairs to triumphal revolution and sweeping romance, this concert will transport you to lands far away thanks to Rupert Egerton-Smith and the OSJ orchestra who will bring to life music from four Russian greats, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, each one a master of musical storytelling. BOOK HERE

Rupert Egerton-Smith. Pics supplied by OSJ

5) Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, November 18, 7pm at Dorchester Abbey. The wild beauty of mountains provides the inspiration for tonight’s concert. Stollery’s 2014 overture, in its first English performance. evoking the majesty of the Grampians, sits alongside the rolling romance of Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony. Jan Schmolck performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, composed in 1878 during a stay amidst the breath-taking Swiss Alps. BOOK HERE

Tchaikovsky. Pics supplied by OSJ

6) Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Strauss – 6pm at SJE Arts, November 25 – From the polka to the waltz, this concert is a celebration of the joy of dance, including the wonderful Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto performed by Jan Schmolck. Operatic orchestral highlights from The Bartered Bride and Die Fledermaus, as well as ever-popular Strauss classics, will transport you to the glamour of the ballroom and beyond. BOOK HERE

Jan Scmolck. Pics supplied by OSJ

OSJ’s founder and conductor John Lubbock said: “The Orchestra of St John’s is now in its 56th year, and we can’t wait to embark on our latest season which features our wonderfully talented orchestral members, singers and superb guest soloists. From Mozart to Mendelssohn, I hope that you’ll discover something new, something surprising and a lot of something you love.

“We look forward to warmly welcoming one-and-all to our uplifting autumn season, where both performers and audience members come together to enjoy music-making of the highest quality.”

For more information on OSJ and 2023’s concert line-up go to https://www.osj.org.uk/forthcoming-concerts/