J S Bach – St John Passion
(performed in German)
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
St Martin’s Voices
Andrew Earis Conductor
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s premier chamber orchestras, renowned for its fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s most-loved classical music.
Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959. Through its live performances and vast recording output – highlights of which include the 1969 best-seller Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to 1985’s Oscar-winning film Amadeus – the Academy quickly gained an enviable international reputation for its distinctive, polished and refined sound.
The Academy is currently led artistically by Music Director and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, retaining the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble which has become an Academy hallmark. Each year the Academy works with some of the most talented soloists and directors in the classical music scene, performing symphonic repertoire and ‘chamber music on a grand scale’ at prestigious venues throughout the world.
In addition to a busy concert and touring schedule, the Academy continues to reach out to young people and adult learners through its learning and participation programmes. This year’s projects include the Academy’s flagshipCreate, Cultivate, Orchestrate! workshops for primary and secondary school children; professional development partnerships with Southbank Sinfonia, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Northern College of Music; and working with some of London’s most vulnerable and homeless adults, creating opportunities for everyone to connect and create music with the orchestra. With over 500 recordings to date, the Academy is one of the most recorded chamber orchestras in the world.
St Martin’s Voices is a professional vocal ensemble, primarily made up of talented past and present choral scholars who come together to sing world-class concerts and special services at St Martin-in-the-Fields and beyond.
Recent concerts at St Martin’s have included Bach Motets, St John Passion and Magnificat, Haydn Nelson Mass, Handel Messiah and Utrecht Te Deum and Mozart Requiem. In their opening season, St Martin’s Voices performed the World Première of The Lantern Carols by Sasha Johnson Manning and Sharon Grenham-Toze. In January 2014, they performed Annelies: A Choral Setting of the Diary of Anne Frank by James Whitbourn for Holocaust Memorial Day. Other recent concerts have included A Celebration of William Lloyd Webber, with renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.
In May 2015, they were privileged to perform at the Cenotaph for the 70th anniversary of VE day, and this was followed by singing for the VJ day commemorations in August 2015, in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, and broadcast live on BBC 1.
St Martin’s Voices regularly broadcast on the BBC, including Radio 3 Choral Evensong, Radio 4 Daily Service, and most recently they recorded a Sunday Worship programme for BBC Radio 4 from the Chapel of Lambeth Palace in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.