In Autumn 2022, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields will present a number of concerts in the UK and across the globe. The next few months will see them perform with acclaimed musicians, including the Academy’s Music Director Joshua Bell, the ever-dynamic St Martin’s Voices and celebrated pianist Jan Lisiecki.
This will also be the Academy’s first season under the leadership of Annie Lydford, who will take up the position of CEO on 12 September. Annie joins from Neville Holt Opera, where she was Managing Director for three seasons.
The dramatic sounds of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture will open the Academy’s Autumn Season in Sao Paulo, where the ensemble will perform to residents of Brazil’s bustling and vibrant city over two nights (30 & 31 August). In their first tour of South America since 2015, the Academy will perform works of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to audiences in Bogota (3 September) and Montevideo (5 September). They will then travel to Italy, performing in Verona (12 September), before finishing their bi-continental tour in the city of Merano (13 September).
At the end of September, the Academy will join celebrated pianist Jan Lisiecki at the Pianoespoo Festival, Finland (29 September). Following this, Jan and the Academy will take part in Cambridge Music Festival, with a programme of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb Major, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.9 in Eb Major ‘Jenamy’ and Mozart Symphony No.40 at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge (30 September).
After first working together in 2019, the Academy’s relationship with Lisiecki continues to grow and both are now working towards a full European tour in January 2025.
The Academy’s String Chamber Ensemble will also return to touring this year. Keen to demonstrate the power of the octet to audiences, the String Chamber Ensemble will be performing a programme of works for strings, including octets written by Mendelssohn and Enesecu.
A concert entitled The Architecture of the String Octet will commence the tour at St Martin-in-the-Fields (4 October), seeing the Academy performing a programme of Bach and Brahms, before finishing with Ensecu’s Octet for Strings. The notoriously complicated composition explores four segments of music, woven together with a number of intrinsic melodic themes, breaching the sound worlds of the harmonic and demonic. Whilst writing the work, Enescu likened the process to “an engineer launching his first suspension bridge over a river”; the Academy invites audiences to help discern the architecture of Enescu’s work and appreciate the power of the Octet.
The String Chamber Ensemble will then tour to Pawling, NY (7 October), Green Bay, WI (8 October), St Paul, MN (9 October), Portland, ME (11 October) La Jolla, CA (14 October), San Antonio, TX (16 October), Dallas, TX (17 October), Cleveland, OH (18 Oct), New Orleans, LA (19 October), Franklin, TN (21 October) and Clinton, CT (23 October).
Towards the end of the year, The Academy will join acclaimed choral ensemble St Martins Voices in celebration of Mozart’s legacy. Conducted by Andrew Earis, the performance of Mozart’s Requiem will be held at St Martin-in-the-Fields (19 November).
This year sees the welcome return of the Christmas Concerts held at St Martin-in-the-Fields (22 December, 4pm and 7:30pm). The Academy will be performing a selection of well-known seasonal tunes, alongside St Martins Voices. Families are invited to celebrate the holiday season at the earlier concert, where the programme will be adjusted specifically for a younger audience. Later that day, audiences will hear Ralph Vaughan Williams’ timeless Fantasia on Christmas Carols, in a programme with festive choral and orchestral arrangements. There will also be a selection of carols, including O Little Town of Bethlehem and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing where audiences will be invited to sing along for moments of festive merriment!
The Academy will welcome the new year with a tour of Europe, where they will be joined by Music Director Joshua Bell. The tour will feature a programme of works from composers such as Paganini, Schumann, Barber and Brahms. Originally planned for 2021, the tour will see performances in Hamburg (9 & 10 January), Hanover (11 January), Frankfurt (13 January), Erlangen (14 January), Mannheim (15 January), Luxembourg (16 January), Dusseldorf (17 January), Aarhus (19 January), Aalborg (20 January), Dortmund (22 January), Berlin (23 January), Stuttgart (24 January) and then finishing in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (26 January).
The final performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall features Joshua Bell in a glittering showcase of Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major, later followed by Brahms’ Symphony No.4.
Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell says:
“How wonderful it is to be returning to a season of tours with the Academy. I am delighted that we are able to return to so many cities across the UK and the globe after the uncertainty of touring amidst Covid-19 restrictions. I am particularly thrilled to be joining the Academy at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, for a performance of Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.1 for the first time in the UK in 38 years. Exciting programmes of musical beauty and drama will flood these concert halls in the coming months, and I warmly invite audience members to join us for an entertaining and delightful season”
The details of the Academy’s 2023 concerts will be announced in due course.