The orchestra gives opportunities to local soloists to perform concertos with us, and we are especially keen to enable young musicians to do this. Our conductor, Christopher Fletcher-Campbell, teaches music at Abingdon School, where he nurtures and encourages young musicians. Many of our soloists come from there, although we are happy to consider soloists from any school and we perform with adults too.

Virtually all the soloists who have played with us have performed to an astonishingly high standard – especially so, given that most of them are young.

On 17 and 24 November 2013, our soloist was Osman Tack, who played Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto with us in St Helen’s Church, Abingdon, and St Margaret’s Church, Oxford.

On 2 March 2014 our soloist was Alexander Foster, a gifted young horn player.

On 25 January 2015 our soloist was Jacqueline Johnson, a highly accomplished cellist.

On 3 May our soloists were Paul Harris and Jean Cockburn, two distinguished clarinettists.

On 28 June, our soloist was Leon Wu, a talented young pianist.

On 7 February 2016 our soloists were Olivier Bonnici and Jacqueline Johnson, two highly regarded local performers.

On 22 May 22 James Anderson-Besant, a talented young musician and budding conductor, played the organ part in Saint-Saëns’ “organ symphony”.

We welcomed Leon Wu back on 13 November 2016 to play the solo part in Saint-Saëns’ second piano concerto.

On 26 February 2017 our soloist will be the highly regarded young Japanese pianist Mami Shikimori.


Emma Gibbons, who played Richard Strauss’s oboe concerto with us in June 2013