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About OML

The Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra (OML) is the cornerstone of a project that extends beyond the usual format of a classical orchestra. When it performed for the first time in public, at the Jerónimos Monastery on June 10th 1992, it announced its intention to bring together the artistic, pedagogical and civic missions through optimized resource management and a broad, integrated vision of all aspects of the musical phenomenon. Always supported by the Lisbon City Council, state government institutions and some municipalities in its geographical surroundings, OML has been active for three decades, the value of its commitment is now widely recognized, not only for the results it has achieved, but above all for its relevance in the country’s current musical scene.

With 35 musicians of 10 different nationalities, a third of whom graduated at Metropolitana’s National Academy of Advanced Orchestral Studies (ANSO), OML is very versatile. It often multiplies into chamber music ensembles and regularly joins students to form a symphony-sized orchestra.

This plasticity has allowed the interpretation of a range of repertoire that extends from the Baroque to the Contemporary, including opera and the great romantic symphonies. It has premiered works by most of the active Portuguese composers and, in addition to the music that is recognizable in the European classical tradition, it also plays other styles and traditions, having already shared the stage with Xutos & Pontapés, Carlos do Carmo, Rui Veloso, Mário Laginha, Tito Paris, Sérgio Godinho and many others. Like so, it has been able to address the music-loving public, but also families and the entire school community, reaching people through the enthusiasm we all feel for music.

Rather than concentrating its performances in a single concert hall, OML has been consolidating a territorial presence that radiates out from the city of Lisbon to the neighboring municipalities, and countrywide including the islands. Throughout its history it has also played in France, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Poland, Cape Verde, India, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and China. It has performed more than two thousand concerts in its orchestral formation, recorded 23 CDs and 1 DVD, as well as many radio and television broadcasts.

OML has played with some of Portugal’s most outstanding soloists, including Maria João Pires, Sequeira Costa, António Rosado, Artur Pizarro, Pedro Burmester, Elisabete Matos, Gerardo Ribeiro, Vasco Barbosa, Paulo Gaio Lima and Ana Bela Chaves, as well as with prestigious international soloists such as Montserrat Caballé, Jose Carreras, Leon Fleisher and Natalia Gutman. Amongst many, it has been conducted by Enrique Dimecke, Arild Remmereit, Christopher Hogwood, Theodor Guschlbauer, Emilio Pomàrico and, more regularly, Nicholas Kraemer, Brian Schembri (Principal Conductor in 2003/2004), Olivier Cuendet, Enrico Onofri and Michael Zilm.

The artistic direction of OML was successively entrusted to Miguel Graça Moura – the project’s founder – Jean-Marc Burfin, Álvaro Cassuto, Augustin Dumay, Cesário Costa and Pedro Amaral.

Since January 2021, Pedro Neves has been designated Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.