OPO Awarded Grant by Arts Council England

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra to receive £102,958 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund 

  • The Oxford Philharmonic are among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will allow the Orchestra to expand its work engaging with the local community in education and outreach projects, in addition to a short concert series with a strong focus on current societal issues 

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra has received a grant of £102,958 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. With this funding, the Orchestra’s future plans place a strong focus on current societal issues, especially the environment and addressing equality, diversity and inclusion within classical music.   

This vital injection will enable the Orchestra to put into motion its plans to perform a four-part concert series, which will include two programmes dedicated to investigating the relationship between Mozart and his contemporary Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. These two concerts, and the education project that runs concurrently, aim to investigate the differing treatment the composers have received throughout history as a white man and a mixed-race man respectively, and the effect that this still has on classical music today.  

The Oxford Philharmonic will also celebrate UN World Environment Day on Saturday 5 June with a ‘Pastoral for the Planet’ concert. 

The Orchestra also aims to increase engagement with the local Oxford community, offering education opportunities for hundreds of school-aged children and a particular focus on those from harder to reach communities. Plans include:  

  • A family-friendly FUNomusica concert aimed at primary-aged children  
  • A KS2 level project run in conjunction with two concerts focusing on Mozart and the Chevalier de Saint-Georges  
  • A Junior Concerto Competition in partnership with Oxford County Music Service 

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for all organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.  

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: 

Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced. 

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.

Marios Papadopoulos, Music Director of the Oxford Philharmonic, said:  

We are honoured that HM Government and the Arts Council have once again recognised our contribution to the arts and provided us with a vital grant to allow us to continue our work as the industry recovers from this third lockdown. This funding will allow us to film more concerts and realise some of our most ambitious community plans yet, with education provisions for all ages.”  

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: 

Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.   

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.” 


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