The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields was founded in 1959 by Sir Neville Marriner and a group of London’s leading orchestral players. Originally formed as a small conductorless string group, it spearheaded the 1960s Baroque revival, and recorded and performed a rapidly expanding range of repertoire with Sir Neville and his longtime associate, violinist Iona Brown. The orchestra now divides its time between international tours, education and outreach work, the recording studio, and concerts in the British Isles. After an absence of many years, it returned in 1997 to its “spiritual home,” the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. In London it also continues to appear on the South Bank (the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall), at the Wigmore Hall, and with Murray Perahia at the Barbican. The Academy remains the most recorded orchestra in the world, and it has received many prestigious international awards, including eight Edisons, the Canadian Grand Prix, and a multitude of gold discs—thirteen alone for the soundtrack of Milos Forman’s film Amadeus.
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