We are dedicated to the future of music.

About us

Bath Festival Orchestra was originally founded in 1959 by renowned violinist and music educator Yehudi Menuhin, who was at the time Artistic Director of the Bath Festival. The Orchestra was the Festival’s resident orchestra until Yehudi Menuhin left in 1968, as well as making numerous recordings. In 2020 the Orchestra was re-launched by its current Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Peter Manning.

Today, BFO is an ensemble of brilliant, young, early-career orchestral players united by the desire to create joyful, entertaining, enriching and relevant experiences for and with people; in concert halls, churches and community spaces, educational settings or any other location where there are people who want to engage with the orchestra. It aspires to be an orchestra for the 21st century – inclusive, collaborative, accessible and responsible for the impact that it has on the world.

Staying true to the values of its Founder, the Orchestra places education and creative learning at the heart of its work. Orchestrate is a tailor made programme that aims to support, teach and encourage the next generation of music makers and classical music lovers. This unique learning experience pairs schools with BFO musicians who mentor and inspire the students in a way that demonstrates classical music is for everyone.

"All told, these young players, under the tight direction of Manning, demonstrated arresting command of these string orchestra gems." Bachtrack