A MUSIC festival celebrating Britain’s “rich musical heritage” returns to Dorchester Abbey next month.

The English Music Festival, which will take place from May 27 to 29, is celebrating its 15th year.

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Herald Series: Martin Yates receives his applause at EMF (Frances Marshall)Martin Yates receives his applause at EMF (Frances Marshall)

The BBC Concert Orchestra will be performing on Friday, May 27 with conductor Martin Yates. It will be performing works by Sir Edward Elgar, Frederick Delius, William Alwyn and R.O Morris.

Before that, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto will take centre stage with a first presentation of a new performing edition prepared and played by soloist Rupert Marshall-Luck.

Herald Series: The BBC Concert Orchestra (Keith Barnes)The BBC Concert Orchestra (Keith Barnes)

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Martin Yates will give a rare public outing of his “light-hearted, folk-infused ballet” for orchestra.

Live choral music is to feature in three major programmes this year; Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs, Gustav Holst’s The Cloud Messenger, performed by the English Chamber Orchestra,  and Choir of King’s College, London under their conductor Joseph Fort.

Herald Series: Roderick Williams (Keith Barnes)Roderick Williams (Keith Barnes)

Willow-Wood by Ralph Vaughan Williams is to be performed by baritone soloist Roderick Williams with the Godwine Choir and Holst Orchestra conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton.

The concert will also feature works by Edgar Bainton, George Dyson, Gerald Finzi, Herbert Howells and John Ireland.

Herald Series: The festival takes place at Dorchester AbbeyThe festival takes place at Dorchester Abbey

The Addison Singers under David Wordsworth programme will be performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G minor.

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Also included are pieces by Sir Arthur Bliss, Charles Wood, John Ireland, George Dyson, John Gardner, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, and Walter Cecil Macfarren.

Herald Series: The EMF audienceThe EMF audience

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a concert will take place at the All Saints’ Church in Sutton Courtenay featuring the Elysian Singers who will perform A Garland for the Queen.

The part-song collection was commissioned for the coronation from leading composers Sir Arthur Bliss, Sir Arnold Bax, Sir Michael Tippett, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Ireland, Herbert Howells, Gerald Finzi, Lennox Berkeley, Alan Rawsthorne and Edmund Rubbra.

Herald Series: Festival founder Em Marshall-Luck (Frances Marshall)Festival founder Em Marshall-Luck (Frances Marshall)

The concert will also include works by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett and Robin Milford.

In the young up-and-coming artists section, Kathleen Ferrier and baritone Gareth Brynmor John, with pianist Christopher Glynn, will be performing.

Herald Series: Previous performer, pianist Duncan Honeybourne Previous performer, pianist Duncan Honeybourne

At Silk Hall in Radley College, works by Robin Milford, Cecil Armstrong Gibbs and Sir Edward Elgar will feature alongside the World Premiere of Ivor Gurney’s D major Violin Sonata, performed by Rupert Marshall-Luck with pianist Nathan Williamson.

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The festival’s traditional late-night platform will feature performances from guitarist Michael Poll singer and pianist Michael Law.

Herald Series: Violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck (Em Marshall-Luck)Violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck (Em Marshall-Luck)

Talks will take place at Dorchester Village Hall and will include journalist Stephen Johnson, composer Philip Lancaster and composer John Pickard.

For more information, or to buy tickets, visit: englishmusicfestival.org.uk


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