Oxford Chamber Orchestra


THE OXFORD CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (OCO) is a unique ensemble as it combines members of the performance faculty performing side-by-side with the most advanced students in the Miami University Music Department.

Founded in 1998 by José Luis Novo out of a collaboration between music faculty and select students, the stated goal of the ensemble is "to provide real-life performance situations for students with the sort of musical interaction with their teachers that cannot be duplicated in the studio setting." The ensemble thus gives the students the opportunity of working in a professional level orchestra, having to prepare challenging repertoire with very few concentrated rehearsals, and paying attention to details of style, accuracy and artistry.

Following Novo, Jaime Morales-Matos led the OCO in 2001. In the fall of 2002, Ricardo Averbach was appointed as conductor of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra and the OCO, a position that he holds to this day.

The number of musicians varies according to the needs of each particular program. This gives the ensemble the flexibility to perform a wide range of repertoire from different epochs by composers of all nationalities, ranging from Mozart to Mahler and Artie Shaw.

The Oxford Chamber Orchestra has benefited from collaborations with renowned guest artists. In October 2000, many of the university ensembles presented a millennium concert of award-winning composer Michael Colgrass's music. In this concert, the Oxford Chamber Orchestra premiered Colgrass's commissioned work, Ghosts of Pangea. Earlier that year, the Chamber Orchestra accompanied clarinet virtuoso Richard Stoltzman, who performed the Clarinet Concerto by Mozart. In 2002, Yoon Lee, conductor of the Salzburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted the ensemble in its spring semester concert. In the Fall of 2004 Ricardo Averbach conducted an acclaimed joint concert featuring the Oxford Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra.

Since 2009 the Oxford Chamber Orchestra was modified and started to perform the yearly opera production at Miami during the fall semester, with the exclusive participation of students. In the spring semester the Oxford Chamber Orchestra continues to function according to its original conception, combining faculty members playing side-by-side with the most advanced students.

The Oxford Chamber Orchestra is committed to innovative programming, especially works that are interdisciplinary, according to the mission of the School of Fine Arts.

In 2010 the Oxford Chamber Orchestra won the 2nd place (first runner-up) for the American Prize in the category of university orchestras. Both the Miami University Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Chamber Orchestra were among the eight finalists for the prize.

Ricardo Averbach
Conductor, MUSO
Department of Music
103 Presser Hall
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA
(513) 529-8351

Department of Music
109 Presser Hall
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA
(513) 529-3014