The Oxford Camerata was founded by Jeremy Summerly in 1984 since when the choir has given concerts throughout Europe and has made almost 30 CD recordings.
The core group comprises 12 singers with or without keyboard accompaniment, but for certain projects the choir has been made up of as few as 4 singers and as many as 20.
After a performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion in the Snape Maltings on Good Friday of 1986, Sir Peter Pears, who was at the performance, agreed to become the Oxford Camerata's first patron. Sadly he died within days but his place was immediately taken by Philip Ledger. Not long afterwards Lord Bullock also agreed to become patron to the choir.
While the Camerata was initially recognised as a specifically Early Music group, since the early 1990s the choir has expanded its repertory to include music from Gregorian chant to the present day. Hand in hand with this went the formation of the Oxford Camerata Instrumental Ensemble in 1992.
Like the choir itself, the Instrumental Ensemble is of flexible size and can comprise from 4 to 20 players working with either modern or period instruments. The Oxford Camerata is regarded as one of the finest ensembles of its type in Europe, and in recognition of this, the Camerata was honoured by the Fцrdergemeinschaft der Europдischen Wirtschaft in 1995.