About us

Founded in 1896, Oxford Bach Choir is considered to be one of the best large amateur choirs in the UK today.

Oxford Bach Choir is part of a great choral tradition which goes back two centuries, having been founded in 1896 by Basil Harwood, then organist of Christ Church Cathedral, to further the music of J S Bach in Oxford.

The choir aims to provide singers and audiences alike with a wide and exciting repertoire of choral works.

Our concerts provide an inspirational platform for promising professional young soloists who are often at the start of their international careers.

This season, we celebrate our 125th Anniversary, and in December 2021 will give a rare complete performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the first work the choir performed back in December 1896.

The Choir

Oxford Bach Choir gives at least three major concerts each year, performing in the magnificent Sheldonian Theatre, in Oxford Town Hall, and in St John the Evangelist Church, Iffley Road, Oxford. Our music director and conductor is Benjamin Nicholas, Director of Music at Merton College, who follows in an illustrious line of conductors of the choir.  The choir regularly performs with professional soloists and leading orchestras, including the London Mozart Players, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Membership currently numbers around 150 auditioned singers who come from all walks of life and are drawn from the city, its surrounds and its universities.

Illustrious alumni include: Dorothy L Sayers, Margaret Thatcher, Sir Adrian Boult and Sir Edward Heath.