The York Early Music Festival was established in 1977 and is designed to celebrate York’s myriad medieval churches, guildhalls and historic houses through historically informed music making of the highest international standard. The Festival is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the NCEM’s annual programme and enjoyed by visitors from across the world.

In 2021, we are delighted to be able to welcome audiences back to York – in person!  Running over just 5 days, we are offering a series of concerts of the highest possible quality within a secure, comfortable environment.  All tickets are unreserved, although we will seat you on arrival within your social bubble, and each concert will last about an hour – without an interval.  As we receive the appropriate government advice, we will update our covid advice appropriately.

Our festival theme is one of encounters – most vitally between audience and artists.  In part we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Franco-Flemish genius that was Josquin des Prez – and we are delighted to be working in partnership with the Flanders based Alamire Foundation to present Stile Antico in York Minster on 13th July. Overall we are choosing to celebrate the joy of music making and being back together again.  

Guest artists include the internationally acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger, lutenist Jacob Heringman, bass Matthew Brook working with Peter Seymour, the Monteverdi String Band led by Oliver Webber, the Society of Strange & Ancient Instruments with their weird and wonderful Trumpet Marine project and the ever entertaining Ensemble Clement Janequin. 

Booking opens to NCEM Patrons and YEMF Friends this week, and to the public from Tuesday 18th May. We can’t wait to see you!

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    Keep the music alive in these difficult times

    The NCEM is available to hire for anniversaries, birthday parties, wedding receptions, conferences, dinners and musical events.