It is our firm belief that music should be available for all young people regardless of background. We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors and patrons in enabling us to bring the exciting atmosphere of the Festival to so many every year.

Free tickets for 8-25 year olds

In addition to events, we make a limited number of concert tickets available for 8-25 year olds, thanks to the support of the CAVATINA chamber music trust. Do get in touch early to avoid disappointment!

To request a free ticket:

  1. choose the performance you would like to attend and the number of tickets you’d like
  2. please use our Box Office and e-mail
    Due to restricted venue capacities for the 2021 Festival we are having to reduce the number usually available under this ticket scheme, but do get in touch requesting tickets for individual events to see if there is space.

Young Composer Competition 2021

OCMF is delighted to be working with d’Overbroeck’s as Partner School this year.

To help celebrate the Festival’s 20th Anniversary last year, we launched an international composition competition for school students. Applicants were invited to compose a short piece for solo violin, or violin and piano, in response to one (or more) of the themes that permeate the compositions of Beethoven and Pärt.

We are delighted to be presenting the Competition once again this year and full details will be following in the coming weeks.

Visit d’Overbroeck’s competition page.

Click here to download the competition details

Please contact Richard Poyser, Director of Music at d’Overbroeck’s, for more information.



All of the compositions that we heard had a huge amount to commend them, and we would like to thank all those who entered the competition for sharing them with us and for giving us many hours of happy listening!

Congratulations go to Thomas Simpson (Magdalen College School) and to Tingshuo Yang (Eton College) on gaining first prize, and to our runners-up, Thomas Jansson (d’Overbroeck’s), Christopher Brain (Winchester College) and Daniel Sandell (Harrow School). In the end, it was too difficult to choose between Thomas Simpson’s Do Not Go Gently and Tingshuo Yang’s Violin Sonata.

Tingshuo Yang’s sonata showed impressive technical accomplishment with a remarkable consistency of style throughout. It was powerful, dramatic and complex, and was an imaginative response to the brief, incorporating and communicating themes of brotherhood, isolation and nature.

Thomas Simpson’s composition was emotionally direct and convincing and communicated the composer’s intentions with great clarity- an emotional lightning rod for the themes set out in the brief.

SCHOOLS’ CONCERT 2021 – October 4th

With d’Overbroeck’s, our Partner School, we will be inviting a few Year 5 or 6 classes from local schools to attend this year’s Schools Concert on Monday 4th October. The concert offers students unfamiliar music and instruments whilst offering a unique opportunity to hear leading, international-class musicians perform live. The pieces will be introduced briefly before they are performed, and there will be some audience participation.

Please contact Jackie Holderness, OCMF Education Director, for more information:

Schools Choral Project

The OCMF has developed an ambitious music education programme to connect schools and education institutions around the county, founded on the Kodaly method. We piloted a week-long pilot project in 2019 to link a leading Kodaly practitioner, four local primary schools, and Oxford’s two universities. This involved a week of coaching for each school, followed by a large-scale concert for all of the participating children, concluding with a debrief and seminar for prospective music education practitioners.

The Kodaly Method is an approach to musical learning, developed by Hungarian composer and educator Zoltán Kodály, which involves the children learning through singing and playing musical games. By singing simple songs, children gradually learn the elements of music, including pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics and tempo. Games reinforce the learning and make the lessons fun. Key skills being built include listening and singing in tune.

The project was led by Lucinda Geoghegan, a theory and musicianship lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and is Creative Learning Director for the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Her work involves Staff Development training across Britain presenting workshops on Kodály musicianship and methodology.

The project culminated in a concert given by the participating pupils at the Oxford Centre for Music. All four groups joined together to perform music learned over the course of the project, as well as each school group having an opportunity to perform individually.



Partner School

Previous Festivals

Well, the festival finally arrived. And it was good. Really, really good.

On Wednesday afternoon we took all of Year 7, plus students from d’Overbroeck’s International School, to the Schools’ Concert in the dimly lit but atmospheric Town Hall. On the menu was modern music from Sally Beamish (still alive, still composing), and less modern music from Ralph Vaughan Williams, Tchaikovsky and, Mark Olejnik’s favourite [Mark is Headmaster of d’Overbroeck’s 7-11], Vivaldi (none of whom are still alive, sadly not one of them still composing). We heard Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the amazing young cellist who played at the Royal Wedding (Harry and Meghan, not Charles and Diana!), and presenting the show was Alexander Armstrong, Pointless presenter and TV and Radio superstar, who added a touch of celeb sparkle and brilliance to it all. From a teacher’s point of view it was perfect: at an hour long, and with plenty of variety and fun it was non-stop entertainment, and to see 35 Year 7 faces light up at the sound of an orchestra was a delight- one of those moments that make teaching such a joy. As ever it was a delight to be with our well-mannered and engaged d’Overbroeck’s pupils. We were very proud to be with them.

In the evening we did it all again, this time with the GCSE and A level students. The programme was a slightly extended version of the afternoon’s offering, and the students were particularly taken with the Vaughan Williams and Vivaldi/Beamish (weird but brilliant), and they were all dazzled by Sheku’s brilliant, emotional and intense playing.”
Richard Poyser, d’Overbroeck’s Director of Music

Read more about the Festival experience from Richard Poyser, Director of Music and students at d’Overbroeck’s.

 We are most grateful to the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust for their support in enabling OCMF to offer FREE tickets to young people aged 8 to 25 (inclusive) www.cavatina.netand to d’Overbroeck’s School, Oxford for their continued support, publicity and sponsorship of OCMF.