Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell
Master violinist Joshua Bell commands and directs this brilliant chamber orchestra, known worldwide for its polished and refined sound. Formed in 1958, they have come to represent the pinnacle of musicianship. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is purity put to music, perfection played out loud, and every performance is a true treat for fellow performers and lovers of music everywhere.
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
“They play with a sharp attack, a rhythmic punch and a new joy in living…a golden age might be here.”
THE TIMES, 10th APRIL 2012
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields – one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world – is renowned for its polished and refined sound, rooted in outstanding musicianship. Formed in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, and working without a conductor, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church on 13th November 1959. In 1993, the Academy became the first and only orchestra to be awarded the Queen’s Award of Export. Today, the Academy performs some 100 concerts around the world each year, with as many as 15 tours each season. The Academy’s Music Director is acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell.
The Academy’s partnership with its founder Sir Neville Marriner remains the most recorded pairing of orchestra and conductor and, with over 500 recordings under its belt, the Academy is one of the most recorded chamber orchestras in the world. Originally directed by Sir Neville from the leader’s chair, the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductorless ensemble remains an Academy hallmark.
Alongside its performances with Life President Sir Neville, Principal Guest Conductor Murray Perahia, and Music Director Joshua Bell, the orchestra continues to collaborate with some of today’s most thrilling musicians including Julia Fischer, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen and Anthony Marwood. The 2012-13 season includes a ten-concert London series features Joshua Bell, Sir Neville Marriner, Janine Jansen, Carolyn Sampson, Laurence Power and Melvyn Tan. The Academy will include European tours with Murray Perahia, Sir Neville Marriner, Joshua Bell and Janin Jansen and a fifteen -concert American tour with Inon Barnatan and Alisa Weilerstein.
The Academy cherishes this close relationship with the United States and its American Friends, who support our vibrant concert programme across the country, as well as our innovative Outward Sound outreach projects and our partnerships with some of the world’s most talented soloists and directors.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields gratefully acknowledges the support of its Principal Sponsor, Siemens.
You can follow the Academy on Facebook and on Twitter at @ASMForchestra
“The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, which was formed by Neville Marriner in 1959 to make recordings, has a long history of playing without a conductor, and its ensemble work Wednesday was stunning.” –LA Times
“The 22 strings of the academy are used to performing without a conductor, and this was the 10th concert in their current tour with Fischer (celebrating the academy’s 50th year and the issuing of their latest smash hit CD of Bach Violin Concerti) so it is not surprising that the ensemble, even in Walton’s intricate games of rhythmic tag, was exemplary. What was surprising was that, even this far along in the tour, the musicians still seemed excited by their own musicmaking and by Fischer’s musical ideas.” –The Washington Post
“If you closed your eyes it was easy to imagine yourself listening to an Academy recording of these works made in the ’60s, which isn’t a bad thing at all. There was no fuss over the phrasing or textures, and warmth of tone was a given. The well chosen tempos, stayed steady, in the pocket, and rhythms were smartly inflected.” -OC Register
“Mr. Marriner and his players provided stylish support in both concertos, and they sounded lithe and elegant in Mozart’s Symphony No. 31 (K. 297), “Paris,” a spirited curtain raiser. The ensemble truly came into its own with the final work on the program, Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, “London,” one of the dozen miraculous works written during his final symphonic efflorescence in the 1790s.” -The New York Times
J.S. BACH: Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042 [19'] (Joshua Bell Soloist)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 in C major Op.21 [26'] (Led by Joshua Bell)
SAINT-SAËNS: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op.28 (1863) [10'] (Joshua Bell Soloist)
SCHUBERT: String Quartet No.14, D.810 “Death and the Maiden” arranged for string orchestra [36'] (Led by Joshua Bell)