Orchestra VOX pioneers the frontiers of classical music, both in repertoire and performance practice. Its two goals render it distinct among the city’s orchestras: first, it aims to break classical music out of the concert hall and forge a vibrant dialogue with the city of Oxford, and second, it guides intriguing, under-represented classical forms back into the concert hall. Since its formation in 2016, VOX has performed in refugee detention centres, homeless shelters, hospitals, and has also performed free concerts in traditional venues to encourage accessibility. Profits from concerts are donated to charity.

In addition to standard repertoire, Orchestra VOX focuses on bringing to life contemporary repertoire of edgy composers such as Einojuani Rautavaara, Steve Reich, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Rodion Shchedrin.

Orchestra VOX frequently partners with The People’s Opera to make fully staged operas more accessible to the general public by keeping ticket costs low and creating engaging production concepts.

The orchestra was founded in 2016 as Oxford Alternative Orchestra, and is generously supported by St John’s College, Oxford, in addition to private donations. It is directed by conductor Hannah von Wiehler (nee Schneider).




Hannah von Wiehler is a conductor and musical pioneer. She is the founder and music director of Orchestra VOX, and creative director of the multi-national ‘CHRYSALIS project’. In addition to the projects she spearheads, she is a regular guest conductor with the London Chamber Orchestra – with whom she has two recordings with Three Worlds Records – the International Symphony Orchestra Lviv, Yakutsk State Philharmonic Orchestra, and others; in 2022, she was associate conductor at Opera Holland Park. She was awarded the prestigious Carlos Miguel Prieto Conducting Fellowship (2022), and has been invited to the Verbier Conducting Academy as a Visiting Conductor, the Tanglewood Conducting Seminar, and has attended the Järvi Academy in 2019; she also holds the 2022-2024 WoCo Fellowship with the Royal Philharmonic Society, working regularly with the Royal Northern Sinfonia (UK). She also regularly has assisted conductors like Simone Young and Barbara Hannigan at the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), and the London Symphony Orchestra. Von Wiehler trained at Moscow Conservatory as a violinist before becoming a conductor, and holds her bachelor’s degree in Russian Literature from Georgetown University, and her doctorate in music from the University of Oxford, specialising in Soviet opera (2021).



Before moving to Oxford, Ralph studied clarinet performance at Musikhochschule Luebeck with Reiner Wehle and a Master’s in Chamber Music performance at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Joy Farrall, where his trio won the Ivan Sutton Chamber Music Prize playing Brahms. Ralph has benefited from performing and collaborating with many inspiring musicians in unique venues. Some musical highlights have included performing Britten’s ‘Our Hunting Fathers’ with the Britten Sinfonia and Ian Bostridge and Osvaldo Golijov’s ‘The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind’ for clarinet and string quartet at the City of London Festival, as well as Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ with the Oxford Alternative Orchestra.

Ralph performs as a clarinettist with a number of ensembles in Oxford, enjoying chamber music collaborations, contemporary compositions, and any opportunity to create and share music.



Originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, Sasha completed a BA/BMus at the University of Auckland, with majors in performance bassoon and history. She spent eight years with the Auckland Youth Orchestra as principal bassoonist, serving two years on the executive committee and travelling to Berlin with the group to perform at the Young Euro Classic music festival in 2011. In 2016, she completed an MA on the Parisian reception of Tamara Karsavina, the prima ballerina of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, before moving to Russia to spend three months at the European University at St Petersburg as a graduate associate. She is currently in her third year at Oxford, working towards her DPhil in History, supported by a Clarendon Fund scholarship and a Women in the Humanities award. Her thesis explores the sensory worlds inhabited by women in Paris and St Petersburg in the early twentieth century.

Anna Vlasenkova

Resident Musicologist and Concert Manager

Anna, who goes by Anya, is a Saint Petersburg native who, after studying piano and violin at school, and music theory in college, graduated Saint Petersburg State Conservatoire with highest honours in musicology. While studying in Saint Petersburg, Anya taught piano and music theory, was an intern at the Russian Ministry of Culture, and worked at cultural and music events including the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the International Conservatoire Week festivals, and the International Tchaikovsky Competition. She is now in the second year of her MPhil course in musicology at Worcester College, Oxford, where she also took up a choral scholarship in the chapel choir. Her current research interests include Russian, Ukrainian, and British music of the twentieth and twenty-first century, the Russo-British cultural relationship, Soviet and post-Soviet music culture, and music for children. In her free time she volunteers to help Ukrainian families affected by the war.