|HOUSTON— Houston Friends of Chamber Music presents the Academy of St. Martins in the Field Chamber Ensemble on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 8 PM in Stude Hall at Rice University Shepherd School of Music. The Octet will feature music of Shostakovich, Svenden, and Mendelssohn. |
Sir Neville Marriner says that the small ensemble he founded in 1958 "had no intention of giving any concerts or continuing forever". Happily, whatever the initial intention, 50 years on the Academy is firmly established as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras; and, according to The Times journalist Richard Morrison, "As you travel round the globe, the Academy’s name has an aura possessed by no other British orchestra".
Formed from a group of leading London musicians and working without a conductor, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church on 13th November 1959. Its debut recording just two years later had "...precision, care, consummate musicianship and more sense of style than all other chamber orchestras in Europe put together" (Denis Stevens).
Demand for the Academy, particularly in the recording studio, soon began to grow as did the size of the orchestra and the repertoire it performed. Eventually Sir Neville was forced to put down his violin and take up the conductor’s baton, but the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, ensemble remains an Academy hallmark. Today the artists perform in combinations ranging from a chamber group to a symphony orchestra.
Known for its superlative performances and award-winning recordings, the Academy maintains a busy high-profile international concert schedule, and in addition to its performances with Sir Neville Marriner and Kenneth Sillito, collaborates with some of today’s most accomplished musicians, including Murray Perahia, Joshua Bell, Julia Fischer, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen and Anthony Marwood.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble will share an extraordinary evening of music on the Houston Friends of Chamber Music series. To purchase tickets for this performance, please call 713-348-5400 or visit www.HoustonFriendsofChamberMusic.org.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Houston Friends of Chamber Music began 49 years ago for the purpose of presenting great chamber music by great performers to audiences of all generations. Each year, the Houston Friends of Chamber Music Board selects nine performing groups of artists from over 100 internationally recognized performers.
Houston Friends of Chamber Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.
Photo of Academy of St. Martins in the Field –credit: www.asmf.org