2020 is the Centenary of the Festival
The closing dates for applications to all our competitions have now passed and the 2019 festival is drawing to a close, but we are starting to plan for our centenary in 2020.
We will launch the centenary with a concert in the Rosslyn Hill Chapel in the early evening on Friday 15th November. This concert is replacing the President’s Prize for the winners of all our senior competitions, so please put the date in your diaries.
Also as part of the centenary celebrations we would like to hear memories of the festival from any professional musicians who took part in the festival as children.
The North London Festival of Music, Speech and Drama takes place each year in the spring. The festival is highly regarded and was founded in 1920 by a group of eminent North London musicians, composers and educators including Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Charles Stanford and Dame Clara Butt. The Festival is dedicated to encouraging young musicians and actors by celebrating performance and helping them to nurture their creativity, develop excellent communication skills and build poise and confidence. Some go on to have a career in the arts; those taking a different path find these skills to be highly transferable.
With more than 200 competitions in over 15 different categories, the Festival champions the rich spectrum of the Arts, catering for children and adults at all ability levels. As well as a significant number of competitions for those of school age, the Festival encourages older learners or returners to discover the fun and benefits of active participation in music making. It also runs a series of highly respected Elite competitions for conservatoire students which are essential stepping stones to competing in international competitions.
Our Festival Competitions are open to amateurs and students whatever their age or ability. Entrants are given the opportunity to perform in front of an audience and may win a cash prize, trophy or certificate. Everyone receives oral and written feedback from adjudicators who are all professionals in their fields as well as taking away with them a copy of the adjudicator’s written comments and a certificate of participation. Come and further your performance skills, learn from the adjudicators and your peers, and enjoy the stimulus of competition.
We warmly welcome audience members at all our competitions. To hear news of the festival, sign up to our mailing list by emailing – firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2019, the festival ran from Tuesday 12th March to Saturday 25th May with a break over Easter from Saturday 6th to Monday 22nd April.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Michael Keyte.
A graduate of Trinity College, London and an Associate of the Royal College of Music, Michael has been involved with the North London Festival in a variety of roles since he joined the Festival Council in 1983. He served as Chair for a period and latterly ran two of our prestigious elite events, the Emanuel Trophy Piano Competition and the Appelbe Piano Prize. We shall remember Michael’s substantial contribution to the Festival over the past 35 years with gratitude and affection, and we shall greatly miss his presence on the Board.
Adrian Pilbeam has retired as Chair and Trustee of the Festival after many years of service to the charity. He originally joined the Board ten years ago as Section Secretary for wind and vocal classes and took on the role of chair in 2015. We wish him many years of good health and flute playing.
For more information about the festival and its history, please click on the History link in the footer of this page.
Download the 2019 syllabus North London Festival Syllabus 2019