Celebrating Sir Neville Marriner

15 April 2024, 18:30
Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

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15 April
Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields (ASMF), music director Joshua Bell and guest conductor Jaime Martin, return to the ensemble’s spiritual home to mark the 100th birthday of its founder Sir Neville Marriner with a celebratory concert that reflects the orchestra’s illustrious history.

The ASMF, under the directorship of violinist Neville Marriner, burst onto the scene in 1958. Praised for its ‘precision, care, and consummate musicianship’ the orchestra became renowned for its crispness of ensemble and sophisticated delivery. This renowned full-bodied string sound is the inspiration for Errollyn Wallen, whose brand-new work evokes and celebrates Neville’s stylish interpretations of the classics. Alongside this world premiere is a return to the ensemble’s Baroque roots with Handel’s Concerto Grosso in B flat, a work that featured in early ASMF recordings and concerts (including its BBC Proms first performance). Handel’s elegant marriage of strings and winds is the perfect concert opener, a reminder of how the orchestra’s buoyant tone and Marriner’s brisk tempo brought out the colour and quality of neglected 17th century works.

Moving to the classical era, ‘Marriner’ goes hand in hand with ‘Mozart’. Sir Neville Marriner was a champion of Mozart’s music, his recordings of the symphonies becoming the hallmark of his conducting career. The ASMF under Marriner curated and performed the bestselling soundtrack to the film Amadeus. The gripping allegro from Mozart’s lyrical Symphony No. 25 pinned audiences to their seats as the story of Mozart and Salieri unfolded, and this performance directed by virtuoso violinist and ASMF Music Director Joshua Bell, will bring out all the drama of this much-loved work.

Staying in the Classical era and with ASMF alumnus Jaime Martin taking the baton, former members of the Academy Chorus perform the suite from Haydn’s Creation, a Marriner favourite; indeed, the ASMF pioneered the 1960s revival of interest in Haydn’s rich catalogue of chamber music.

Another Marriner favourite was Vaughan WilliamsFantasia. Full of radiance and mystery, this ever-popular jewel of the English repertoire is simply irresistible and Marriner’s interpretations showcased the ASMF’s unrivalled string sound. While we enjoy the nostalgia that Marriner’s recordings of this piece evoke, there is nothing like hearing this beautiful work ‘live’, and this concert is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the orchestra’s 21st century interpretation under the direction of ASMF leader Tomo Keller.

Join the ASMF on what would have been Sir Neville’s 100th birthday to revel in the music that Neville loved and admired, and pay tribute to this extraordinary giant of classical music.



Handel: Concerto Grosso in B flat, Op.3, No.2 – directed by Tomo Keller
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis – directed by Tomo Keller
Mozart: Symphony 25 in G minor, K.183 – directed by Joshua Bell
Errollyn Wallen: PARADE World Premiere of a new commission – conducted by Jaime Martin
Haydn: Suite from The Creation – conducted by Jaime Martin


Music Director: Joshua Bell
Leader/Director: Tomo Keller
Conductor: Jaime Martin
Chorus Master: Lucy Hollins

Soprano: Sarah-Jane Brandon 
Ben Johnson
Matthew Rose

St Martin’s Voices:
Ciara Williams

Louisa Kataria
Lowri Bufton (soloist in final movement)

Hector Fiennes
Justin Soriano

Will Harmer

ASMF Chorus:
Liz Brinsdon
Helen Brown-Nicholson
Victoria Bull
Elaine Close
Sarah Counter
Barbara Cunningham
Alison Eden
Liz Forgan
Julie Hartley
Cathy Heller-Jones
Lucinda Houghton
Jessica Loeb
Alison Pickard
Elisabeth Rolfe Johnson
Hilary Todd
Katharine Verney
La Vigar
Charlotte Way
Mary Wiegold

Fran Birch
Gill Blenkinsop
Sharron Bowen-Davies
Janice Carpenter
Susannah Edwards
Carolyn Godlee
Mara Goldstein
Vivien Hayward
Philippa John
Isabel Nesbit
Jenny Youde

Andrew Batchelor
Philip Fryer
Richard Kennedy
Philip Lawford
Brian Newman
Keith Parker
John Pedlar
Nick Prag
Iain Sloan
Paul Wallis
Timothy Wilcox

Robert Asher
David Barnard
Aubrey Botsford
Giles Dawson
Julian Godlee
Jim Godwin
Ian Karet
Richard Lea
Simon Littlewood
David Pike
Neville Purssell
Douglas Somers-Lee
Chris Tickner