Highlights include:

Academy at 60 celebration concerts with Music Director Joshua Bell

UK premiere of Composer-in-Residence Sally Beamish’s Hover, dedicated to the Academy’s founder Sir Neville Marriner

‘60 Moments’ campaign sharing memories and stories from the past 60 years with call out for audiences to share their memories

International touring and working with Principal Guest Conductor, Murray Perahia, and guest artists including Jörg Widmann and Fazil Say.

The Academy at 60

The Academy’s season begins with a celebration in the Academy’s home city, London, almost to the day sixty years on from their first professional performance with founder Sir Neville Marriner. The programme at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday 12 November 2019, directed from the violin by Bell, looks to the orchestra’s past, present and future. Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 famously features on the Academy’s soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Amadeus and highlights the ensemble’s prestigious recording heritage whilst Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto in E minor performed by Bell demonstrates why he is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era.

The programme also includes the UK premiere of Composer-in-Residence Sally Beamish’s Hover which is dedicated to the memory of Sir Neville Marriner It is based on Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem Windhover and showcases the orchestra’s musicians as both soloists and ensemble players. The programme is completed by Beethoven’s exhilarating Symphony No. 5, offering the chance to hear the Academy’s fresh interpretation of one of the most recognisable orchestral openings of all time.

The celebrations continue at the Cambridge Music Festival on Thursday 14 November with the Beamish and Mozart alongside Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, directed from the violin by Bell. The Academy Chamber Ensemble return to Wigmore Hall with Joshua Bell on Friday 15 November to perform Dvořák’s well-loved String Sextet in A major and the two surviving movements of Borodin’s lesser known String Sextet. Two horns join the ensemble for Mozart’s charming and light-hearted Divertimento No. 10

Call out for Audience Memories

Throughout the season, the Academy is going to be sharing stories, memories and mementos from the last 60 years through its ’60 Moments’ campaign: find anything from anecdotes from players past and present, to video messages, podcast episodes and behind the scenes photos, on the Academy’s website or follow #ASMF60. Audiences can contribute by submitting their memories by email to marketing@asmf.org or by posting on social media, using hashtag #ASMF60.

Joshua Bell, Music Director says: “As Music Director of this wonderful ensemble, performing with the Academy is always a highlight of my schedule. Over the coming months I am thrilled that we’ll be presenting a very special 60th Anniversary Gala concert at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as travelling together to Europe and the USA and giving performances at London’s Cadogan and Wigmore Halls.”

Alan Watt, Chief Executive of Academy of St Martin in the Fields: “In our 60th year it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the many stories and memories our audience members have of the Academy both in the concert hall and from our recordings. We look forward to hearing from you.”

Concerts with Music Director Joshua Bell

Bell directs the Academy from the leader’s chair in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Sunday 19 January 2020. The programme explores iconic string orchestra repertoire from the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries: from Bach’s spirited Violin Concerto with Bell as soloist, to Schubert’s Death and the Maiden (arranged for string orchestra by Mahler) as well as Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major and Piazzolla’s virtuosic Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (arranged by Leonid Desyatnikov for violin and strings). The Orchestra takes the same programme to London’s Cadogan Hall on Monday 20 January 2020.

The Academy and Bell travel to the United States Saturday 15 February – Wednesday 4 March for a 16 date tour taking in Sarasota , Vero Beach & West Palm Beach, Florida; North Bethesda, Maryland; Newark, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; East Lansing, Michigan; Akron, Ohio; Stillwater, Oklahoma; and Davies, San Francisco, San Diego, Costa Mesa & Northridge, California. Bell directs a programme of Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven as well as being the soloist for Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.

Guest Artists and Overseas Touring

The Academy also celebrates its anniversary with audiences abroad with some of the best soloists on the international stage. This begins with a tour to the Netherlands and Austria with, conductor and clarinettist Jörg Widmann Tuesday 29 October – Thursday 31 October. Over three dates in Heerlen, Eindhoven and Bregenz, they perform Widmann’s own work Con Brio which is bookended by two Mozart works: his Clarinet Concerto in A major and Symphony No. 41 ‘Jupiter.’

The Academy Chamber Ensemble returns to North America Tuesday 2 October – Thursday 17 October with an eight-date tour taking in six states: Columbus, Georgia; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Markham, Ontario, Canada; Santa Monica, Rohnert Park & Orange County, California; and University Park, Pennsylvania. Three programmes are performed across the tour including works by Beamish, Korngold, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

2020 begins with a tour to Europe with pianist Fazil Say. From Saturday 25 January until Saturday 8 February, the Academy travels to Athens, eight cities in Germany and the Netherlands, performing works by Arnold, Bartok, Tippett and Shostakovich as well as music by Say and Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 12.

The Academy returns to Europe Friday 8 May – Thursday 21 May, with Principal Guest Conductor, Murray Perahia who directs Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 from the piano. The programme is completed by Schubert’s Symphony No. 7 ‘Unfinished’ and goes to 6 cities in Germany as well as Italy, Austria, Slovenia, France and the Czech Republic.

Classic FM’s Artists in Residence

As Classic FM’s first ever Artists in Residence, launched in 2015, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields is proud to continue its partnership with the UK’s most popular classical music station in the 2019/20 season. This includes the recording of selected Academy concerts for broadcast on Classic FM’s weeknight programme The Full Works Concert.


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