WELCOME

THE ENGLISH MUSIC FESTIVAL celebrates Britain’s rich musical heritage by showcasing the brilliance, innovation and beauty of English music.

FOUNDER‑DIRECTOR EM MARSHALL‑LUCK

Photograph | Frances Marshall

It was established to give a platform to those many powerful and lovely works by British composers – primarily of the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries – that for so many years were all-too-rarely heard. Yet although the focus of the Festival is the Golden Renaissance of English Music, our programmes span from mediaeval music and the timeless delights of Tallis and Byrd through to contemporary music: indeed, the Festival has commissioned numerous thrilling and accessible new works from some of Britain’s most admired contemporary composers. We are proud to have staged the world première performances not just of these new pieces, but also of important works by Frederick Delius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Arnold Bax, Sir Arthur Bliss, Herbert Howells, Benjamin Britten, York Bowen, E.J. Moeran, Ivor Gurney, George Butterworth, Sir Henry Walford Davies, Joseph Holbrooke and Rutland Boughton (amongst many others).

FOUNDER‑DIRECTOR EM MARSHALL‑LUCK

Photograph | Frances Marshall

 

Each Festival is a dynamic and inspiring event, which not only acts as a platform for some truly exciting and moving music, but also offers talks to put the music in context, and a number of social events, such as our popular EMF lunches. We are indebted to members of our Friends’ Scheme, whose financial contributions at all levels help to ensure the continuation of our work; and Friends receive a number of benefits at the Festival, such as free tickets, advance booking and reserved seating.

 

Our main Festival in Oxfordshire is now complemented by a number of other events that we hold around the country and abroad: most notably concerts and recitals in our UK & European Concert Series, and our regular Autumn Festivals in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

 

Our record label, EM Records, and publishing arm, EM Publishing, take our work to a new level, further facilitating accessibility of these rare and wonderful pieces by enabling listeners worldwide to experience these works for themselves, giving performers previously-denied access to scores, and advancing scholarship and knowledge of composers and musicians through our books.

 

I do hope that you will join us at future EMF events, and, if possible, support the important work we do in resurrecting, discovering and commissioning the most glorious works by joining us as a Friend.

 

 

EM MARSHALL-LUCK  |  Founder-Director

LATEST NEWS

Thank you to all who made the 2021 May Festival such a success: to all those at St Mary’s Church and the Drill Hall in Horsham for hosting the concerts and events and for their invaluable help and advice before and during the Festival; to the artists, for their superbly emotive and engaging performances of some wonderful music; to all those volunteers who assisted with general administration, staffing the Box Office, stage-managing and stewarding, and without whose help running the Festival “on the ground” would simply not be possible; and, of course, to our audiences, whose financial and moral support means so much to us and to our musicians as we work together to re-start live music-making.

With the artists’ permission, some of the concerts at the Festival were filmed, as were the talks; and we expect to have these ready for viewing on this website in late June or early July. We will be making a modest charge for access — this is to cover the costs of production and also to enable us to pay a royalty to the performers. More details will be available soon.

Join us on Saturday 10 July for a day of concerts in the glorious surroundings of Truro Cathedral, with a violin-and-piano recital including sonatas by Elgar and Parry alongside Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending; a concert to celebrate the 80th birthday of Cornish composer Judith Bailey; and an evening choral concert with works by Elgar, Parry, Stanford and Tallis. The full programme is available here; and tickets can be purchased through our online Box Office.

If you would like more details about our Friends’ Scheme, please follow this link to our ‘Friends’ Scheme’ page for a description of the tiers and their benefits, together with information about how to join.