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


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).


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


The Twelfth Festival of English Music will take place in Oxfordshire from Friday 25 to Monday 28 May 2018. A full programme is available on this website.

Booking has now opened for the Twelfth Festival of English Music. Join us for top-quality music-making in convivial surroundings. Highlights include Owain Arwel Hughes and Hilary Davan Wetton conducting beautiful British orchestral and choral works; the UK première of Richard Blackford’s Violin Concerto; the celebrated Armonico Consort in a semi-staged performance of Dido and Aeneas; and a dramatic programme about Dame Ethel Smyth.

On 14th April we are running a Vaughan Williams Odyssey in the Dorking area. Actor Lance Pierson and Vaughan Williams expert Graham Muncy will spend a day taking participants around the homes and stamping grounds of this composer, including a visit to Leith Hill Place. Lunches, wine / soft drinks and tea included. Tickets cost £35 for National Trust members; £40 for non-NT members.

We are delighted to announce the launch of Dr Cuillin Bantock’s latest book on his grandfather, the composer Granville Bantock. A launch event is being held on Saturday 21st April at Schott’s Music, Great Marlborough Street, London, at 6.45p.m., which will include a recital of Bantock’s Third Violin Sonata, as well as a talk by Cuillin and refreshments. Entry to this event is free.

Music and Sweet Poetry Agree is a reading of poetry and prose by Em Marshall-Luck and actor Lance Pierson at St Peter’s Church, Vere Street, London on Friday 15th June at 6.45p.m.. Tickets £15.

Please put in your diaries the dates for our Yorkshire Autumn Festival: 5–7 October 2018. Plans for this look extremely exciting, with concerts at Bolton Castle (including new works written especially for the occasion by Richard Blackford and Paul Lewis), and a screening of the archive films that the EMF has commissioned from the Yorkshire Film Archive, alongside performances of the winning scores from our competition for composers under the age of 30.