Wednesday 27 August 2014

Academy of St Martin in the Fields 2014/15 season

Academy of St Martin in the Fields
This year the Academy of St Martin in the Fields has been celebrating the 90th birthday of its founder, Sir Neville Marriner. The Academy's 2014/15 season under their current musical director, violinist Joshua Bell, is full of interest, with concerts which vary from chamber music to larger scale works. Neville Marriner conducts an all Howard Blake programme, Joshua Bell directs two concerts and guests include Martin Frost, Julia Denk and Julia Fisher.

Joshua Bell has been music director of the ensemble for three years, and Bell has recently renewed his contract for another three years, until summer 2017. The forthcoming season includes the London concerts plus tours to Germany and South America. (A video introduction to the season from Joshua Bell follows after the break.)
The Academy Chamber Ensemble kicks things off with a concert as part of Kings Place's Chamber Classics Unwrapped season, playing Brahms's String Sextet, Mendelssohn's Octet and Shostakovich (25/9, Kings Place). The chamber ensemble returns to Kings Place for Dvorak's String Sextet and Schubert's String Quintet (13/12, Kings Place)

Joshua Bell directs a pair of concerts. First, Mendelssohn and Schubert at Cadogan Hall, pairing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with Mahler's arrangement of Schubert's Death and the Maiden Quartet (7/10, Cadogan Hall). Then he returns with Piazolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, plus Vivaldi Concerto for 4 Violins and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings (23/7/2015).

Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy recorded a disc of music by Howard Blake which was issued last year (see my review), and Marriner will be conducting the Academy an all Blake programme including two concertos, Blake's Serenade for Wind Octet and a new arrangement of one of Blake's best known pieces, The Snowman (25/11, St Martin in the Fields).

Clarinettist Martin Frost (the Wigmore Hall's artist in residence) joins the Academy at the Wigmore Hall for a dance-inspired programme of music by Mozart (including the Clarinet Concerto), Grieg, Schumann and Brahms, plus Frost's own Klezmer Dances (15/2/2015, Wigmore Hall). Pianist Jeremy Denk is the soloist in two Bach keyboard concertos paired with string serenades by Dvorak and his son-in-law Joseph Suk (9/3/2015, Cadogan Hall). Another violinist, Julia Fisher, directs the Academy in concertos by Haydn and Mendelssohn (his Concerto for Violin and Piano), plus Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht (19/4/2015, Cadogan Hall).

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