Season highlights include:

  • Murray Perahia to play-direct Beethoven’s complete Piano Concertos cycle at the Barbican
  • Sally Beamish to become ASMF’s first ever Composer in Residence
  • Academy Music Director Joshua Bell to play-direct Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
  • ASMF to continue as Classic FM’s Artists in Residence for the 2016/17 season with Murray Perahia

Murray Perahia to play-direct Beethoven’s complete Piano Concertos cycle at the Barbican
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Barbican celebrate renowned pianist Murray Perahia with a complete cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos. The concertos form the centrepiece of Perahia Plays Beethoven, a Barbican Presents series of four all-Beethoven programmes to be performed at the Barbican between November 2016 and June 2017. The cycle, which Perahia will direct from the keyboard, will be performed with the Academy on 21 November 2016, 20 February 2017 and 7 April 2017. Perahia has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy since 2000 and has developed a celebrated partnership with the orchestra, producing many successful recordings and performances in five decades of collaboration. The cycle follows a sold out, critically acclaimed Beethoven cycle in Munich in December 2015 and a European tour in the late spring of 2016.

Sally Beamish to become ASMF’s first ever Composer in Residence until 2019
The Academy is delighted to announce the appointment of Sally Beamish as its first ever Composer in Residence, a partnership set to run until the end of the Academy’s Diamond Jubilee Season in 2018/19. Beamish, who celebrates her 60th birthday in 2016, is one of Britain’s best-known contemporary composers, and was a viola player with the Academy for several years. Her mother, the violinist Ursula Snow, was also an Academy member before her. The Academy will be exploring Beamish’s work in its programming throughout the three years, in addition to Beamish undertaking commissions which will premiere during her residency. Amongst the commissions Beamish will compose during her tenure will be a celebration overture for Academy founder and Life President Sir Neville Marriner, who gave Beamish some of her first orchestral commissions during her time as a player with the Academy.

Music Director Joshua Bell to play-direct Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
Following his critically acclaimed performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and sell-out tour with Steven Isserlis, Academy Music Director Joshua Bell returns on 19 January 2017 at Cadogan Hall to play-direct the Academy in another iconic masterpiece, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. The programme is book-ended by two of Beethoven’s most popular works, the Egmont Overture and Symphony No.6 in F major (the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony).

Martin Fröst returns to play-direct Copland’s Clarinet Concerto
On 2 February 2017 at Cadogan Hall, Swedish clarinettist Martin Fröst, a regular collaborator and friend of the Academy, returns to play-direct Copland’s Jazz-influenced Clarinet Concerto. The programme also includes Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes and three arrangements of traditional Eastern European dances; the first, Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances arranged by Martin Fröst, and two arrangements by his brother Göran Fröst; Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and an arrangement of Traditional Klezmer Dances. Academy Leader Tomo Keller will direct Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, which was composed in dedication to Britten’s revered teacher, and Elgar’s romantic Sospiri.

Special events
As part of a highly successful year as Classic FM's inaugural Artists in Residence, the Academy will perform at the popular Classic FM Live concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 20 September 2016.

The Royal Albert Hall is also the setting for the world premiere performance of Amadeus Live on 14 October 2016; a special screening of the 1984 Oscar-winning film Amadeus with live soundtrack performed by the Academy. The film features prominently in the Academy's history since recording the soundtrack in 1984 with Sir Neville Marriner; a recording which sold over 6.5 million copies internationally and was awarded 13 gold discs.

The Academy returns to St Martin-in-the-Fields, the church in which it gave its first performance in 1959, for two concerts this season. The Academy will join forces with choir St Martin's Voices on 12 November 2016, for a programme featuring Fauré's Requiem in D minor, and on 15 July 2017 for a programme which will include Mozart's Mass in C minor.

ASMF to continue as Classic FM's Artists in Residence with Murray Perahia Following an astoundingly successful year with Joshua Bell as Classic FM's first ever Artists in Residence, which included the four-part radio series Joshua Bell's Guide to the Orchestra, three concerts broadcast on the Full Works Concert and exclusive online content from Joshua Bell, the Academy and Classic FM are delighted to announce that for the 2016/17 Season, the Academy will continue as Artists in Residence with Murray Perahia. Over the course of the season, there will be five more concerts broadcast exclusively on the Full Works Concert, including performances from the Barbican Presents Beethoven Piano Concertos cycle with Murray Perahia, and more exclusive online content. The Academy will launch the new year of its residency by performing at Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall on 20 September 2016.

International highlights
As an international touring orchestra, the Academy and its Chamber Ensemble will perform concerts over three continents throughout the 2016/17 season, including dates with Sir Neville Marriner, Music Director Joshua Bell and US organist Cameron Carpenter. In October 2016, violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Kit Armstrong join Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy for a tour of Austria, Belgium and Germany. Sir Neville also accompanies the Academy for dates in Baden-Baden and Munich in December 2016, with guest soloists Yulianna Avdeeva (piano) and violinist Renaud Capuçon. The Academy and Murray Perahia tour France, Switzerland and Italy with the Beethoven cycles in November and December 2016, and the US in June 2017. Pianist and long-time friend of the Academy Inon Barnaton returns for a US tour in March and April 2017. Joshua Bell and the Academy visit Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany in January 2017, followed by Australia in April 2017. Cameron Carpenter, renowned for breaking down stereotypes of organists and organ music, undertakes a European tour with the Academy in May 2017, taking in Germany, Lichtenstein, the Netherlands and Hungary. The tour features Carpenter's arrangement of Barber's Adagio for Strings along with ASMF Composer in Residence Sally Beamish's Variations on a Theme of Benjamin Britten.


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