The 2022 Festival finished with a thoroughly enjoyable concert on Sunday 13 November, featuring some stunning performances from all ages of entrant.
The Festival attracted a bumper number of entries, particularly pianists, and our adjudicators, as always, did a superb job.
The 22nd Festival ran very successfully on Saturday 18 September 2021, with all classes ‘face-to-face’. As had been expected, the Covid-enforced postponement to a date shortly after the end of the school holiday period meant a significant reduction in entries, but certainly not in the standard of the participants. All the adjudicators commented on what a pleasure it had been to work with so many talented performers, and the closing concert, in the beautiful ambience of St Michael’s Church, was outstanding and warmly appreciated by the substantial audience.
Grateful thanks are due, as always to the members of the Committee who worked so hard to stage the Festival ‘live’ this year, and to the adjudicators and accompanists.
Kentaro Machida, 2017 Maestro winner, has 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.
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 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 2018, 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.
On the day before, 2018 Concerto Competition winner Leo Appel played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Abingdon and District Music Society orchestra to huge acclaim from the sizeable audience. He also played the Bruch Concerto with Didcot Concert Orchestra on Sunday 09 June at Cornerstone, Didcot.
The 22nd Abingdon Music Festival closed on Sunday 05 May 2019 with a highly enjoyable concert featuring 50 (out of 270) participants deemed to have been outstanding by the adjudicators, with ages ranging from 8 to 22. ‘The Return of the Jedi Jazz’, a community jazz group, provided 15 minutes of ‘warm-up’, and the all-female adult choir Harmony Inspires provided a splendid opening number. The Festival’s two-and-a-half days of classes were pervaded as usual by encouraging, formative advice from the team of expert adjudicators who gave each participant at least one useful point to take home to practise.