Welcome to the Abingdon Music Festival!

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

The Festival committee met, by Zoom, recently, and started planning for next year’s Festival. Most of the adjudicators booked for this year expect to be able to join us next year.

The Concerto Competition will transfer to next year, with hopefully the same adjudicators, and participants if they find themselves available on the new date; there might be one or two spare places. The Concerto Competition will run again in 2022, to maintain its biennial routine.

The Committee is most grateful to all those who entered this year’s Festival who did not reclaim their entry fees; this generosity has greatly assisted the Festival’s financial stability.


Kentaro Machida, winner of the 2017 Maestro Conducting Competition (see information below), has just been appointed conductor of the Oxford University Sinfonietta, the university’s prestigious leading chamber orchestra. AMF wishes Kentaro every success for this exciting new opportunity.


A dvd of the 2019 Festival concert is available for purchase at £10; please email abmusfest@gmail.com.

2019 Maestro winner Israel Lai conducted Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture with St Giles Orchestra on Saturday 25 January. The performance was spirited, and 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.