Academy of St Martin in the Fields
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields was formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians and gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959. Through live performances and a vast recording output—highlights of which include the 1969 best-seller Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Amadeus—the Academy gained an international reputation for its distinctive, polished, and refined sound. With more than 500 releases in its discography and a comprehensive international touring program, the Academy is known and loved by classical audiences throughout the world.
Today the Academy is led by Music Director Joshua Bell, retaining the spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble that has become an Academy hallmark. Under Mr. Bell's direction, and with the support of Leader/Director Tomo Keller and Principal Guest Conductor Murray Perahia, the Academy continues to present symphonic repertory and chamber music on a grand scale at prestigious venues from New York to Beijing. The Academy gave its first performance under San Francisco Symphony auspices in 1983 and returned most recently in 2016.(under the leadership of Joshua Bell) most recently in 2016.
Complementing a busy international schedule, the Academy continues to reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds through its learning and participation programs. The orchestra’s flagship project for young people provides performance workshops for primary and secondary school children, and partnerships. Partnerships with Southbank Sinfonia, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music, and masterclasses on tour further the development of the professional musicians of tomorrow. The Academy provides a creative outlet for some of London’s most vulnerable adults at a center for homeless people, and a regular program of pre-concert talks and podcasts creates opportunities for Academy audiences the world over to connect and learn with the orchestra.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields’s work in the US is supported by Maria Cardamone and Paul Matthews together with the American Friends of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
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