Events at Dorchester Abbey

For generations people have brought their gifts and skills to enhance the life of Dorchester Abbey and this tradition continues as a huge variety of groups and organisations hire and use the Abbey each year as the venue for a wide and vibrant programme of concerts, theatre, visual arts and other events.

If you would like to hire the Abbey for your event then take a look at our information for hirers.

English Music Festival
May 22 – May 25 all-day
English Music Festival @ Dorchester Abbey | Dorchester | England | United Kingdom

The fourteenth Festival of English Music will take place in Oxfordshire from Friday 22nd to Monday 25th May 2020. The annual English Music Festival celebrates the brilliance, innovation, beauty and rich musical heritage of Britain with a strong focus on unearthing overlooked or forgotten masterpieces of the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century.

Launching the Festival at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire will be the BBC Concert Orchestra, under conductor Gavin Sutherland, to perform a first modern performance of Frederic Cowen’s Symphony no.4, known as ‘The Welsh’, together with a World Première overture by Elgar, and a rare performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto, performed by soloist, Rupert Marshall-Luck.

A full programme is available on the website,

Cancelled – Rossini’s – Petite Messe Solennelle
Jun 6 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Cancelled - Rossini's - Petite Messe Solennelle @ Dorchester Abbey

The centrepiece of BCS’s Summer Concert will be Rossini’s lively classic Petite Messe Solennelle

Nape – Festival of Voices
Jun 15 @ 6:30 pm – Jun 19 @ 8:00 pm
Nape - Festival of Voices @ Dorchester Abbey | Dorchester | England | United Kingdom

A massed choir of 250 children from 10 different Oxfordshire Primary Schools each evening, accompanied by a youth band and with young guest players. Tickets ordered via participants’ schools or send an SAE to Sue Baker at 4 Silver Birches, Stanton St John, OX331HH.

Requiem in a day – Workshop and Performance
Aug 20 @ 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Requiem in a day - Workshop and Performance @ Dorchester Abbey

Join composer Matthew Coleridge for a day of singing as we learn his stunning REQUIEM, before giving an atmospheric evening performance.

We’ll be joined by cello soloist Sarah Gait, organist Laurence Caldecote and soprano soloist Emily Hicks, as we work through Matthew’s beautiful Requiem.

OSJ Music in the Abbey
Sep 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
OSJ Music in the Abbey @ Dorchester Abbey

Jazz Sebastian Bach

Bach Harpsichord concerto in d minor
Bach Oboe concerto in f minor
Bach Air from 3rd Suite
Bach Chorales with saxophone obbligato
Jazz improvisations on Bach themes

Gwylim Simcock Jazz Quartet – Yuri Goloubev on double bass, Asaf Sirkis on drums and Klaus Gesing on reeds.

John Lubbock conducts OSJ Strings

Sep 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


Heat to Heart orchestra from Korea, side by side with musicians from Orchestra of St John’s
HaeGee Lee soprano, David JungHoon Kim tenor
Korean conductor DooHyun AN
UK conductor John Lubbock

Tickets are available below. We ask you to add a voluntary donation equal to the value of your tickets  (this donation can be eligible for Gift Aid) to support our Music for Autism events for children in Special Educational Needs schools.

Heart to Heart Orchestra, established in 2006, is a South Korean symphony orchestra for musicians with developmental disabilities. Initially founded to provide music education opportunities and to increase access to music, the orchestra has also improved social understanding of people with disabilities.

Korean orchestra
Mozart Die Zauberflöte , K. 620
Ferdinand David’s Concertino Op.3 for Trombone
Harry Potter Medley
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Op. 67, 4th mvt.

Korean players side-by-side with players from OSJ
Strauss Radetzski March
Puccini o mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi
Lehar Dein ist mein ganzes herz from Das Land des Lachelns
Puccini La boheme: duet, che gelida manina, si mi chiamano mimi, o soave fanciulla
Elgar Pomp and Circumstance no 1 (Land of Hope and Glory)
encore La Traviata Brindisi ‘drinking song’

Berkshire Maestros – Gloria: BYC, Alumni and Camerata Concert
Sep 19 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Berkshire Maestros - Gloria: BYC, Alumni and Camerata Concert @ Dorchester Abbey

Berkshire Maestros senior choir Berkshire Youth Choir and their alumni members will be in concert with Berkshire Maestros chamber orchestra Camerata The concert will culminate in a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria.

Tickets will go on sale in mid-February.