Welcome to our Press page. You can download images here for use in articles, interviews, previews and reviews; please also find below some quotations from the Press about previous Festivals.


We warmly welcome Press to write about the EMF and will gladly provide Press tickets, invitations to EMF events, further images or information, or anything else that might be required to facilitate this. The Festival Director, Em Marshall-Luck, is always available for interview, and we can also arrange interviews with EMF artists.


Please contact Em at for Press tickets or other requirements. Alternatively, further information can be obtained from our Publicity Officer, Karen Fletcher of Archery Promotions, by email at .






It is difficult to fault a concert programme (if you are an English music lover) that includes rarities such as part songs by Sterndale Bennett, Johnny Dankworth and Havergal Brian, light music by Alan Rawsthorne, plus contributions from Lennox Berkeley, Elgar and Howells. Throw in a superb culmination from a certain Arthur Bliss and surely this is a recipe for a perfect musical feast. This could only happen at the annual EMF – no other concert planners would have the bravado to dream such a thing, nor would many concert planners have a more delighted and enthusiastic audience at the conclusion of the evening.

Arthur Bliss Journal

Opening this year’s English Music Festival brochure is rather like opening up a menu and finding such a tempting array of deliciously tasty treats that you are spoilt for choice. Once again, Em Marshall-Luck – who founded the festival in 2006 – is serving up an assortment of familiar pieces mixed with the unfamiliar, spiced up with no less than four world premières and seasoned with some of this country’s finest musicians. The festival... has become a showcase for some of the most beautiful and inspiration works in the English music repertoire.

Oxford Times

The ever-adventurous Em Marshall-Luck, the Founder-Director of the English Music Festival, chose to open the Festival with two world premières by living composers, thereby allowing access to contemporary music alongside favourites and less well known works from yesteryear... The BBCCO is an agile, responsive orchestra which was guided immaculately throughout this varied concert by Martin Yates.

Musical Opinion

Turning towards the subcontinent half a century later, in Sāvitri,Gustav Holst wrote one of the most remarkable Indian-inspired pieces in the whole of western classical music. Taking his story from the Mahabharata and producing his own English libretto after studying the Sanskrit original, Holst absorbed Hindu philosophy without descending into musical tourism. There’s not a note that sounds pseudo-Indian, nor a note that could have been written by anyone other than Holst: semi-staged in the fading evening light at Oxfordshire’s Dorchester Abbey last Sunday, this short masterwork was a highlight of the fourth annual English Music Festival.

Sunday Telegraph

In the course of attending this festival, I have heard radiant choral works as well as lively ones. The organisers have now set up a publishing and recording arm, and, judging by the near-capacity audience at Dorchester Abbey, have found a following hungry for this repertoire. The long list of past premières mostly consists of works written up to a century ago and forgotten. But on Bank Holiday Monday, the festival closed with eight new works and commissions, all worth hearing.

The Observer

The idea and execution of this EMF is that of Em Marshall-Luck. The span of what she has brought to fruition is breathtaking – upwards of sixty British composers featured this year, some fifteen concerts, four talks across five days, and five locations. The EMF also mounts concerts in between festivals and there’s a very active and ambitious recording label as well as music publishing and book publishing initiatives of admirable quality. The logistics of the EMF are good with bus services and free parking laid on for the festival.

MusicWeb International

The first English Music Festival to be mounted in and around Dorchester, south Oxfordshire, is devoted to the “diversity, innovation and brilliance” of British composers often neglected in concert programming. It’s a bold venture. Where else would one bump into the Viola Sonata of Algernon Ashton, a rhapsody by Elgar’s supporter William Reed, and a suite by Benjamin Dale? Or venture into Lord Berners’ Luna Park, and spot Jeremy Irons narrating Vaughan Williams’s An Oxford Elegy?

The Independent






Click on the links below to download photographs for Press purposes. Please credit the images appropriately where credits are given.






This year was the first year we have held The English Music Festival entirely in Dorchester-on-Thames, and this was only possible because of the support and encouragement of all those at Dorchester Abbey and at Dorchester Village Hall, as well as of the local community: our heartfelt thanks to you all for your help before and during the Festival, and for welcoming us so warmly. Sincere thanks, too, to the artists, for the energy and commitment of their performances; to all the volunteers who assisted with general administration, staffing the Box Office, stage-managing and stewarding, and without whose help running the Festival would simply not be possible; and, of course, to our audiences, whose enthusiasm and financial and moral support all continue to mean so much to us.

We have recently introduced a new tier to our Friends’ Scheme for Corporate Friends — so, if you own, or help to run, a company or a similar organisation, and would like to enjoy the special benefits that this tier offers, please do consider joining at this level. For more details about our Friends’ Scheme, please follow this link for a description of the tiers and their benefits, together with information about how to join.