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Academy of St Martin in the Fields comes to Wharton Center

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras, will be playing classical music hits led by music director and violin icon Joshua Bell. The Academy has an international reputation for its distinctive, polished and refined sound. Celebrating their 60th anniversary, the Academy will bring fresh, brilliant interpretations of classical music at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at Wharton Center.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields was founded by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, with their first performance in its namesake church in 1959. Since then, over 500 recordings comprise a distinguished discography that includes the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film “Amadeus.” The name and sound of the Academy are known and loved by audiences around the world.

As one of the most celebrated violinists, Joshua Bell has proven, over his 30-year career, to be a multifaceted musician as an award-winning soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor. He has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and OPUS Klassik awards. At 18 years old, he first met the Academy by recording the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Beethoven Symphonies No. 4 and 7 — the Academy’s first release under Bell’s leadership — debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

His most recent recording with the Academy, “Scottish Fantasy” and G minor Violin Concerto, received a Grammy nomination. Performing on the 1713 Hubert Stradivarius violin with a François Tourte 18th century bow, The Boston Globe hails Bell as “the greatest American violinist active today.”

The evening performance features Mozart’s popular “The Marriage of Figaro Overture” plus Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. The evening also includes Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a fiery musical piece that must be heard live. As a special treat, there will be an original cadenza by Bell in this piece.

Tickets start at $45 and are available at, at the Auto-Owners Insurance Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-WHARTON.

By: Bob Hoffman