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Academy of St Martin in the Fields at Coventry Cathedral

21 June 2024 7-9 pm
Doors: 6:15 pm
Category Music, Classical
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Schubert, Beethoven, Vaughan Wiliams and Wallen in the stunning setting of Coventry Cathedral

One of the world’s greatest chamber orchestras, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields will visit Coventry Cathedral for a programme featuring some of the world’s most sublime music. From Schubert and Beethoven to Vaughan Williams and a new piece from Errollyn Wallen CBE this evening of music-making promises to delight audiences and celebrate this internationally-renowned orchestra at its best.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) is known for bridging the gap between the classical and romantic era in classical music, with his wonderful melodies and prolific output (completed his ninth symphony when he was just 29) putting him among the great composers. The Third Symphony in D Major, written just months after the composer’s 18th birthday, owes much to the sparkling tradition of the comic opera overture, with music of pure fun culminating in the dancing tarantella of the final movement.

Vaughan Williams’s timeless and ethereal Tallis Fantasia received its premiere in Gloucester Cathedral in 1910, and this wonderful piece retains its popularity today, regularly placing in the Top 5 of the listener-voted Classic FM Hall of Fame. A critic at the time described how “throughout its course one is never quite sure whether one is listening to something very old or very new… but that is just what makes this Fantasia so delightful to listen to; it cannot be assigned to a time or a school, but it is full of the visions which have haunted the seers of all times.”

Given Beethoven’s prolific output, it is perhaps surprising that he only wrote one concerto for the most popular instrument of his time – the violin. Despite a challenging premiere in 1806, the work was revived in the mid-19th century and has since remained one of the most important and best-loved works in the repertoire. The concerto is one of Beethoven’s most magnificent pieces, with deeply-felt melodies and a sensationally beautiful second movement resolving ultimately with a rousing and dramatic conclusion.

Errollyn Wallen CBE is one of the UK’s most respected composers and one of the top 20 most-performed living composers in the world. In this new work, written to mark the centenary of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ founder, Sir Neville Marriner, the virtuosity and individual musicianship of the players in the orchestra is celebrated to glorious effect.

Programme:

New commission to mark the centenary of Sir Neville Marriner – Errollyn Wallen

Violin Concerto in D – Ludwig van Beethoven (soloist, Tomo Keller)

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Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis – Ralph Vaughan Williams

Symphony No.3 in D Major – Franz Schubert

About Academy of St Martin in the Fields:

Founded in 1958 by Sir Neville Marriner, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields has evolved into a musical powerhouse, renowned across the world for as an orchestra committed to the musical freedom of its players and the sharing of ambitious, energetic performances.

Our player-led approach empowers every member of the orchestra, creating a direct line and electrifying connection between the orchestra and our audiences, resulting in bold and collaborative performances that transcend a more traditional conductor-led model.

Beyond the concert hall, our commitment to a social purpose is evident in impactful projects that harness the power of music to empower people. We have a longstanding history of work which connects with people experiencing homelessness, and our education projects foster autonomy and creativity among young musicians worldwide.

Our enduring collaborations with world-renowned soloists is exemplified by our 15-year partnership with Music Director and renowned violinist Joshua Bell.

With a rich global legacy, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields remains one of the world’s most-recorded orchestras, igniting a love for classical music in many around the world. Today, we continue a busy international touring programme alongside a significant footprint in the UK – making us one of the country’s most celebrated cultural exports.

"As you travel around the globe, the Academy's name has an aura possessed by no other British orchestra" - The Times

"Just one more exemplary performance from an orchestra which has been exemplary from the start" - Boston Globe

" Impeccably presented with a wonderful camaraderie amongst the members, the responsibility of following a seated Musical Director is spread amongst all. This creates a mutual understanding and collective conscious choice to draw together. The unity feels different to an orchestra that can sit back and rely on a standing conductor. ASMF are a shining example of how to lead and be lead, all at the same time." Sydney Arts Guide


About Tomo Keller:

One of the most admired violinists of his generation, Tomo Keller performs as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, leading ground-breaking performances and recording projects. Tomo Keller is a much sought-after orchestral leader and director, and in 2016 was appointed Director and Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Tomo Keller has performed at major concert halls all around the world, and as a soloist, Tomo has performed with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Beethovenhalle Orchestra Bonn, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Camerata, London Symphony Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Concert tours have led him all across Europe, as well as Russia, Asia, America and the Middle East.

Tomo was born in Stuttgart in 1974, to German-Japanese musicians, and started playing the violin at the age of six. He studied at Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts and New York’s Juilliard School of Music.

Tomo plays the ‘ex-Braga’ Stradivari of 1726, kindly loaned through the Beare’s International Violin Society.

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