Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell

Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


The world’s finest chamber orchestra returns, led by Music Director and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields (ASMF) is one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras, renowned for fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s greatest orchestral music. Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the ASMF gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959.

Through unrivaled live performances and a vast recording output – highlights of which include the 1969 bestseller Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Amadeus – the orchestra has gained an enviable international reputation for its distinctive, polished, and refined sound. With over 500 releases in a much-vaunted discography and a comprehensive international touring program, the name and sound of the ASMF is known and loved by classical audiences throughout the world.

Today the orchestra is led by Music Director and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, retaining the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble which is an ASMF hallmark. Under Bell’s direction, and with the support of Leader/Director Tomo Keller, ASMF continues to push the boundaries of player-directed performance to new heights, presenting symphonic repertoire and chamber music on a grand scale at prestigious venues around the globe.

Director of Programming Marshall McGuire tells us more

Wednesday 4 October
‘Mozart and Beethoven, the greatest classical composers, share the billing here in a dazzling program of masterpieces. Mozart’s sparkling overture to The Marriage of Figaro is a joy from beginning to end, and his Symphony No.40 in G minor is truly one the great utterances of any composer of any time. This is music of drama, passion, relentless energy and exquisite beauty. As a centrepiece to this program, Joshua Bell is the star protagonist in Beethoven’s mighty violin concerto, an epic work full of unending delights. This will be one of the great highlights of Melbourne’s musical offering in 2023.’

Thursday 5 October
‘Mendelssohn, like Mozart, was a child prodigy and music flowed from his creative mind in a never-ending stream of delight. His violin concerto, here performed by Joshua Bell, is consistently regarded as one of the greatest works of all time – a virtuoso showcase for both soloist and orchestra. Mendelssohn’s third symphony – The Scottish – evokes a time and a place of rugged landscapes, romantic vistas, and of brooding and picturesque intensity.’

Plus a special matinee concert which you can discover more about here

Thanks to our supporters

This presentation of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, is generously supported by the Signature Event Circle: Robert Peck AM, Yvonne von Hartel AM, Rachel Peck and Marten Peck of peckvonhartel architects (Signature Event Benefactors), Jim Cousins AO and Libby Cousins AM, Andrew Wheeler AM and Jan Wheeler, Cathy Simpson and John Simpson AM, Igor Zambelli, Di Bresciani and Lino Bresciani, and Alex King.

Caring for Our Community

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. A range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures are currently in place. Click here to learn more.

Artists & Program


Joshua Bell violin
Academy of St Martin in the Fields


Wednesday 4th October

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Overture to The Marriage of Figaro K.492

Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Concerto in D, Op.61

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550

Thursday 5th October

Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No.1 in D, Op.25 ‘Classical Symphony’

Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64
Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 ‘Scottish’


‘Joshua Bell’s phenomenal technique and tone justify his superstar status.’ – The Guardian UK

‘Age, they say, is not a number, but a state of mind. If that be true, then the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and its artistic director, Joshua Bell have discovered the fountain of musical youth.’ – Limelight Magazine

‘After the enthusiastic reception of the Mendelssohn symphony, Tchaikovsky had the final word, as the Waltz from his Serenade for Strings was given as an encore. Having well and truly won over the capacity audience, Bell and the players were totally relaxed and the famous string tone bloomed all the more, leaving me to marvel at the endless potential of these fine players.’ – Limelight Magazine

‘They were able to display their world-famous versatility in all its glory, sounding both like a symphonic orchestra and like a chamber ensemble at different times, and laying an exhilarating performance before an audience that could have easily started singing along in their enthusiasm.’ – Bachtrack

‘The Academy of St Martin in the Fields has been a shining light in the music world for decades, and their brilliance continues to shine to this day. Under the dynamic and inspired leadership of Joshua Bell, any performance by this outstanding group is guaranteed to be exhilarating. Their last performances at Melbourne Recital Centre in 2017 are vividly remembered by the sellout audience – the opportunity to hear them live again this year is a gift to Melbourne audiences.’ – Marshall McGuire, Director of Programming