The Academy of St Martin in the Fields (ASMF) is an English chamber orchestra, based in London.
John Churchill, then Master of Music at the London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Neville Marriner (later Sir Neville) founded the orchestra as "The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields", a small, conductorless string group. The ASMF gave its first concert on 13 November 1959, in the church after which it was named. In 1988, the orchestra dropped the hyphens from its full name.
The initial performances as a string orchestra at St Martin-in-the-Fields played a key role in the revival of baroque performances in England. The orchestra has since expanded to include winds. It remains flexible in size, changing its make-up to suit its repertoire, which ranges from the Baroque to contemporary works.
Neville Marriner continued to perform obbligatos and concertino solos with the orchestra until 1969, and led the orchestra on recordings until the autumn of 1970, when he switched to conducting from the podium from directing the orchestra from the leader's desk. Marriner held the title of Life President until his death in 2016. On recordings, besides Marriner, Iona Brown and Kenneth Sillito have led the orchestra, among others.
Past BBC Events
Proms 2018: Prom 40: Joshua Bell & the Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Proms 2016: PCM 4
Proms 2014: Prom 32: Beethoven, Bruch & Walton
Proms 2003: Prom 32
Proms 1994: Prom 37
Performances & Interviews from Similar Artists
Corelli brings a sense of clarity
Perfect three part harmony?
Sean Shibe: immaculate imperfection
Paul Lewis: how can life shape the way we hear music?
Claire Booth: is the scherzo from Bruckner's 8th Symphony in 3/4 or 6/8?
Beethoven: Symphony No 7 in A major – excerpt (Prom 74)
Brahms: Variations on the St Anthony Chorale, Op 56a – excerpt (Prom 74)
Mahler: Symphony No 4 in G major – excerpt (2017)