Academy of St Martin in the Fields Music Director Joshua Bell renews contract for a further three years
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is delighted to announce that Music Director Joshua Bell’s contract has been renewed for a further three years.
Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most celebrated violinists and a renowned figure on the international concert stage, has been the London-based chamber orchestra’s Music Director since 2011. Joshua Bell is only the second person to hold the title, succeeding Academy founder Sir Neville Marriner who was in the role from the orchestra’s formation in 1958 until 2011. His appointment cemented a long and acclaimed partnership with the Academy which began in 1998 when he was 21 years old. Their first collaboration was an album of Bruch and Mendelssohn violin concertos – Joshua Bell’s first concerto disc – conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.
Since his appointment as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell has directed the orchestra in critically acclaimed programmes in the UK and internationally. Milestones have included Joshua Bell play-directing an electrifying performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto for the first time in 2015, and a sell-out tour to Australia in 2017, his first visit to the continent with the Academy. The tour won in two categories at the recent 2017 Helpmann Awards, which recognise distinguished artistic achievement and excellence across the live performance sector in Australia. Joshua Bell won Best Individual Classical Music Performance, and the Academy won Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert.
Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields have recorded extensively for Sony Classical. Recordings include Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Fourth and Seventh symphonies (his first recording as Music Director), and an album of Bach concertos. In 2016, Joshua Bell and world-renowned cellist Steven Isserlis performed Brahms’ Double Concerto on a critically lauded tour with the Academy. The concerto was recorded at Cadogan Hall and included on the For the Love of Brahms album which was released worldwide on Sony Classical in the autumn of 2016.
Joshua Bell comments: “The Academy is an incredible group of musicians, and they are like family to me – our tours together are always highlights of my year. Having served as the Academy’s Music Director since 2011, I’m thrilled that we’ll be continuing our relationship for another three seasons, and I’m very excited about the plans for 2017/18 that we’re presenting today. Here’s to the next chapter in our adventure together!”
Academy Principal First Violin Harvey de Souza says: “I am so thrilled that we will be working under Joshua’s leadership for even longer! Playing and making music with Joshua is THE highlight for me and we are looking forward to discovering new repertoire with him.”
Academy of St Martin in the Fields 2017/18 Season
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields continues to be one of the world’s most prolific touring orchestras throughout the 2017/18 season, presenting ‘Chamber Music on a Grand Scale’ on three continents. Highlights include concerts with Music Director Joshua Bell, the UK premiere of Edgar Meyer’s Overture for Violin and Orchestra (also with Joshua Bell), dates with Principal Guest Conductor Murray Perahia, a US tour for the Academy’s renowned Chamber Ensemble and several visits to Hamburg’s prestigious new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie.
Visit our What’s On pages for further details of the Academy’s 2017/18 concerts and tours.