Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields



The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is an English chamber orchestra.


The group was founded in London by Sir Neville Marriner, attracting some of the most accomplished players in London, many of whom considered themselves to be refugees from conductors.[citation needed] Its name comes from Trafalgar Square's St Martin-in-the-Fields church, in which its first concert was performed, on November 13, 1959. The initial performances at St. Martin's church were as a small, conductorless string group, and played a key role in the revival of baroque performances in England. It has since expanded to include winds, but is of flexible size, changing its make-up to suit its repertoire, which ranges from the Baroque to contemporary works.

The orchestra’s first recording was for the L’Oiseau-Lyre label at Conway Hall on March 25, 1961. Other labels the orchestra has recorded for include Argo, Capriccio Records, Chandos Records, Decca Records, EMI, Hänssler Classic, and Philips Records. The orchestra has a vast discography, and it is the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world with over 500 sessions. Many recordings have been directed by Iona Brown and Kenneth Sillito when Marriner was absent.

As well as live performances and many recordings, the group has played on the film soundtracks, of Amadeus (1984), The English Patient, and Titanic (1997). The best-selling recording of the group is the Amadeus soundtrack.

The orchestra incorporated in February 1971 as “A.S.M. (Orchestra) Limited,” with Neville Marriner as chairman until 1992 when he was succeeded by Malcolm Latchem and from 1994, John Heley. Neville Marriner holds the title of Life President.

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Composers' compositions