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The English Festival Orchestra

‘It’s a pleasure to work with an orchestra that listens so well, plays so well and genuinely seems to enjoy what it’s doing’

‘There was so much fine playing from your excellent team of orchestral players’

‘The orchestra sound was unremitting delight’ 

The English Festival Orchestra was formed in 1984 with the intention of providing a high-quality professional orchestra for major choirs and choral societies both in the South East and further afield. Following its inaugural appearance at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, the orchestra has performed at many prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican (London), Canterbury Cathedral, Symphony Hall (Birmingham), the Royal Concert Hall (Nottingham) and the De Montfort Hall (Leicester).

For more than 20 years the Orchestra has been associated with The Really Big Chorus and its Royal Albert Hall ‘From Scratch’ concerts, thanks to a recommendation from TRBC’s former chief conductor Sir David Willcocks. This partnership with TRBC has created links with choral societies and individual singers throughout the UK and abroad. Sir David was also, for many years, President of the Leith Hill Musical Festival. The English Festival Orchestra played annually for this festival under a succession of conductors between 1993 and 2016, and greatly values the relationships built with that unique organisation.

In addition to providing first-rate, experienced players for every concert, the English Festival Orchestra offers on-the-day orchestra and stage management led always by one of its senior management team who are ready to offer help wherever required. With 30 years’ experience most problems can be anticipated and dealt with in advance; any unforeseen eventualities are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

To contact the Orchestra for a competitive quote, please email