FESTIVAL VENUES

The Festival is held in and around Dorchester-on-Thames, a picturesque village in the Oxfordshire countryside, where the River Thame flows into the River Thames. The main festival venue, DORCHESTER ABBEY, has been a place of worship for over 1300 years, and stands on the site of a Saxon cathedral built by St Birinus in the seventh century.

 

EMF Vice-President Simon Jenkins, in his authoritative book England’s 1000 Best Churches, awarded the Abbey a 4-star rating. The Abbey is a popular concert venue and is often used for recordings by Oxford choirs as well as other groups. The recent restoration and development of the Abbey means increased comfort and better facilities, including disabled access through the South entrance, and enhanced acoustics.

 

Some morning and afternoon events take place in ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH at Sutton Courtenay (in the churchyard of which both Eric Blair, better known as the author George Orwell, and Herbert Henry Asquith, Prime Minister from 1908 until 1916, are buried), and in the SILK HALL at Radley College.

 

Dorchester is an ideal venue for commuters, being only 7 miles from Didcot, which is in turn a mere 45-minute train journey from London; Oxford is 8 miles north of Dorchester. The EMF runs coaches from Didcot station regularly to Dorchester throughout the duration of the Festival. Both the town of Dorchester itself and the surrounding area are very well-provided in terms of accommodation and dining establishments: please visit the Staying and Eating page of this website for more information.

THE GLORIOUS SETTING OF THE ABBEY AT DORCHESTER‑ON‑THAMES

THE GLORIOUS SETTING OF THE ABBEY AT DORCHESTER‑ON‑THAMES

LATEST NEWS

We are delighted to announce the publication of the 2019 EMF Programme, which includes many gems, including the world première performances of Robin Milford’s Symphony, Vaughan Williams’s The Blue Bird, Lord Berners’ Portsmouth Point, Stanford’s Violin Concerto in D of 1875, and a new work by David Matthews. The full programme is published on this page.

Booking for the 2019 Oxfordshire English Music Festival is now open to all. Tickets may be purchased through our online Box Office; alternatively, please email the Festival Director, Em Marshall-Luck, if you would like a postal booking form.

Each day of the Oxfordshire Festival, the EMF operates a bus service between Didcot Parkway railway station and Dorchester-on-Thames; and a shuttle bus service from Dorchester to those concerts that take place at Radley College or at All Saints’ Church, Sutton Courtenay. The full timetable for the 2019 Festival is now available and can be viewed on this page. Tickets may be purchased through our online Box Office.

Please note that, because of postal times, it is no longer possible for purchased tickets for the 2019 Oxfordshire EMF to be posted; they will, instead, be held for collection at the Festival Box Office, from where they can be collected at any time during the Festival.

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

The third Yorkshire Dales EMF was a tremendous success, with events – including a number of new works written specially for the occasion – taking place in mediaeval Bolton Castle, the beautiful church at Aysgarth, and boutique hotel Simonstone Hall. We are currently planning the fourth Autumn Festival and dates and further details will be announced shortly.

Our recording arm, EM Records, has released a number of exciting new recordings, including a triple-disc set of Parry’s complete works for violin and piano and a disc of searingly beautiful choral works by Paul Carr and others. Please visit the EM Records website for full details of these and others!