Our Mission

Orion Orchestra was founded to provide young musicians the opportunities and mentorship needed to bridge the gap between music college and their professional careers, while inspiring the next generation through our accessible concerts.

Musical vitality

Orion doesn’t work with young musicians just to help launch their careers; we strongly believe in the vitality of the music that a young orchestra can produce. Our musicians are often playing repertoire for the first time ever - this excites us and our audiences.

Inspiring the next generation

Through our Noisy Notes series, we take a full symphony orchestra where it wouldn’t normally go, and give children with the least opportunity the chance to try out musical instruments for the first time. 

Widening access

We set aside 20% of all of our concert tickets to give away free to schools and other charitable causes, meaning that people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to come to classical concerts get the chance.

How we work

With Orion's players selected from the most talented music college students and recent graduates, we give young players experiences working at London's leading concert venues, giving them the chance to work under the highest professional standards.

Our concert programme aims to cover a broad and diverse repertoire, encompassing all of the skills necessary in a career: from symphonic and operatic, to contemporary and cross-over.

With valuable mentorship from leading international musicians and Orion alumni, we aim to give our players a holistic training in what it takes to start their professional careers.

Since Orion's formation in 2005 by artistic director Toby Purser, notable soloists have included Joanna MacGregor, Julian Lloyd Webber, Tasmin Little, Susan Gritton, Anne Murray and Dennis O'Neill. Exceptional young soloists have included violinists Nicola Benedetti, Valeriy Sokolov, Jack Liebeck and Charlie Siem, pianists Teo Georghiu, Tom Poster and Panos Karan, percussionist Martin Grubinger, cellist Guy Johnston, tenor Jesus Leon and soprano Laura Mitchell.

“Orion has provided me with a huge amount of real professional orchestral experience, which I hadn’t experienced before playing with the orchestra”
— Henry Hargreaves, cello

Player Profile: Siobhan Clough

Toby Purser - Artistic Director and Principal Conductor

  www.tobypurser.co.uk  Follow Toby on Twitter:  @tobypurser1

Follow Toby on Twitter: @tobypurser1

Toby Purser is presently ENO Mackerras Conducting Fellow, Artistic Director of the Orion Orchestra, and Artistic Director of the Peace and Prosperity Trust. 

In 2005 Toby Purser founded the Orion Orchestra, and has developed it into a leading organisation for young musicians. Other orchestras he has conducted include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Kotorart Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, the Orpheus Sinfonia, Sinfonia Viva, Kammerphilharmonie Graz, and the St Petersburg Camerata.

In November 2014, he made his company debut at ENO conducting two performances of The Marriage of Figaro, and most recently worked as assistant conductor to Mark Wigglesworth on their new production of Alban Berg’s Lulu, and on the world premiere of The Winter’s Tale last January. Next season he will be conducting performances of La Traviata and The Turn of the Screw. 


Who we are

Patron - HRH Princess Michael of Kent
President - Lady Solti
Vice President - Peter Sheppard

Artistic Director & Principal Conductor - Toby Purser
Associate Conductor - Sue Perkins
Assistant Conductors - Johann von Stuckenbruck, Ben Glassberg

Chief Executive - Jan Cassidy
Orchestra Manager - Denis Cassidy
Head of Communications and Development - Max Vickers

Development - Karen Phillips
The Great Bear (Benefactors) - Jenny Lo
Secretary - Lucy Harris
Bursar/Treasurer - Andrew Hollingsworth

Trustees - Sir Thomas Boyd-Carpenter (Chairman), John Derrick, Michael Berry, Denis Cassidy, Keith Day, Wasfi Kani (OBE), Karen Phillipps, Andrew Hollingsworth, Toby Purser

Advisory Board - David Campbell, Loredana Guetg-Wyatt, Guy Johnston, Nina Kaye, Jonathan Myles-Lea, Sue Perkins, Peter Sheppard

Contact Us

For all enquiries, please contact Max Vickers, Head of Communications and Development - max@orionorchestra.org.uk