Welcome to the Abingdon Music Festival!

“A festival with a difference – not a competition but a workshop”

2020 Syllabus now published – please see ‘Syllabus’ tab.

A dvd of the 2019 Festival concert has now been edited; copies are now available for purchase at £10; please email abmusfest@gmail.com.


The 2020 Concerto Competition will be held on Sunday 20 April.

The 23rd Festival will run 01 – 03 May 2020. (These dates will stand despite the Government’s decision to shift the early May bank-holiday date.) Adjudicators will include Timothy Barrett and William Howard (Piano), Catherine Manson (Strings), Elizabeth Childs (Wind) and Andrew Padmore (Vocal).

Strict deadline for entries15 March


2019 Maestro winner Israel Lai conducted Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture with St Giles Orchestra on Saturday 25 January. The performance was spirited, abd drew warm applause from both the audience and the orchestra. AMF Chair was playing tymps, and Rosemary Joseph, Maestro Secretary, was in the audience.

2018 Concerto Competition joint winner Clare Edmiston performed Reinecke’s Flute Concerto with Abingdon & District Music Society on Saturday 16 November to great acclaim from a sizeable audience.

2017 Maestro winner Kentaro Machida has returned from a year as Organ Scholar at Sherborne Abbey to be Organ Scholar at Merton College, and has renewed his association with Oxford Studio Orchestra. He was due to conduct Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto, with regular Festival participant Ashwin Tennant on Sunday 24 November, but, having carried out several hours of meticulous rehearsal with soloist and orchestra, was unfortunately struck down by tonsilitis and a raging temperature which prevented him from conducting on the day. Ashwin produced an outstanding performance, as expected, which was warmly received by an over-capacity audience in St Michael’s Church, Summertown.

We regularly receive comments that this is a really friendly and informative festival; to those of you who may be new to it, its “difference” means that after every performance, in whatever category, an adjudicator of the highest calibre will give instant comments and helpful advice. Audiences appreciate hearing these assessments immediately instead of having to wait until the end of the class, and performers really enjoy the chance to work on their pieces with an experienced adjudicator. The only element of competition is that each adjudicator is invited to select items for the final Sunday evening concert.

We could not run the Festival without our Friends, who pay a small annual donation to support the administration and assist as stewards and receptionists during the Festival weekend. Would you join them as a  Friend of the Festival? All details here: AMF-Friends-1911

The Festival is a member of the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Drama and Speech, of which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron.