Academy announces $1 million gift

Academy of St Martin in the Fields announces $1 million gift ahead of its 60th anniversary

Academy of St Martin in the Fields announces $1 million gift ahead of its 60th anniversary

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is delighted to announce it has received a donation of one million US dollars as the orchestra approaches its 60th anniversary celebrations in 2019.

The generous gift has been made by the President of the American Friends of the Academy, Maria Cardamone and her husband Paul. Their donation follows the Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ recent sell-out tour of the US with Music Director Joshua Bell.

The Academy does not receive core funding from Arts Council England and therefore relies on the generosity of individuals in order to continue bringing its world-class interpretations of the classical repertoire to audiences and enriching lives across the globe. As the UK’s busiest touring orchestra, this gift will help the Academy to continue to showcase the extraordinary talent of its musicians on the international stage.

The ‘early birthday present’ will help to enable the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to thrive as it heads towards its anniversary celebrations in November 2019 – marking sixty years since the orchestra’s first concert – under the leadership of Music Director Joshua Bell, building on the wonderful legacy created by the Academy’s founder Sir Neville Marriner and assisting the orchestra in realising its plans for the next sixty years.

Maria Cardamone comments: “I’m honoured to be the President of the American Friends of the Academy, which helps to enable this fantastic orchestra to bring its unique performances to audiences around the globe. As the Academy approaches its 60th anniversary, my husband and I are delighted to make this gift to help secure the Academy’s future. I very much hope that this donation will encourage others to support the Academy so that it can build on its amazing legacy and continue to flourish.”

Academy Chief Executive Alan Watt adds: “Maria and Paul’s extraordinary gift to the Academy of St Martin in the Fields comes at a critical time in our evolution and highlights just how much the Academy is cherished and admired around the world. It is thanks to the generosity of enlightened individuals like Maria and Paul that we are able to continue to inspire audiences with our world-class performances and education and community projects. With no core funding from the UK government this support is invaluable and we hope others will join our wonderful family of supporters as we plan for the future.”

Academy Music Director Joshua Bell says: “Maria and Paul have always been such valued members of the Academy family and we are all so moved by the incredible donation to the orchestra. I am so excited about the opportunities and collaborations that this extraordinarily generous gift will offer us.”

To find out how you can join Maria and Paul in supporting the Academy, visit or contact the Development team on +44 (0)20 7702 1377 or


Academy of St Martin in the Fields – Upcoming Performances

The Academy and Music Director Joshua Bell embark on a tour of the Far East from 26 May, with performances in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Seoul. Bell and the Academy then travel to Colorado to take up their third annual residency at the Bravo! Vail festival from 21-24 June, before heading to the BBC Proms for a performance on 12 August.

The 2018/19 season includes a tour of Germany under Academy Director/Leader Tomo Keller with pianist Kit Armstrong (Sept 2018), appearances at the Dvořák Prague Festival with clarinettist Sharon Kam and at Malmö Live with cellist Andreas Brantelid and harpist Xavier de Maistre. The Academy will perform Amadeus Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Nov 2018), welcome back Principal Guest Conductor Murray Perahia for performances across Europe (Nov/Dec 2018), and embark on a European tour  with Joshua Bell (Jan 2019), a US tour with pianist Jeremy Denk (Feb/Mar 2019) and a German tour with regular Academy collaborator Julia Fischer and fellow violinist Augustin Hadelich (May 2019).

The Academy Chamber Ensemble will perform at the La Palma International Festival of Music (July 2018), tour Canada and the US (Oct 2018) and perform at Wigmore Hall with Joshua Bell (Nov 2018).

 Visit our What’s On pages for further details and announcements of additional performance dates


For further information, review tickets and images please contact:

Rebecca Driver Media Relations
Tel: 020 7247 1894
Email: |

Image © Alan Kerr
Back row L-R: Academy musicians Fiona Bonds, Harvey de Souza, Tomo Keller
Front row L-R: Paul Matthews, Maria Cardamone, Academy musician Lynda Houghton