Academy of St Martin in the Fields

with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2015/16 Concert Package,
SoundBite and Birmingham International Concert Season 2015/16

Saturday 9th January

Symphony Hall

Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Joshua Bell violin/direction
Steven Isserlis cello

Dvořák Silent Woods from From the Bohemian Forest Op 68 7’
Beethoven Symphony No 5 31’
Schuman Violin Concerto, mv. II (codetta by Britten)
Brahms Double Concerto 34’


The original virtuoso chamber orchestra, with two of the world’s most respected soloists – when Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis join the Academy of St Martin and the Fields, you’d expect some seriously stylish playing. But from the grandeur of Brahms to Beethoven’s most famous symphony, there’ll be drama too. A stirring programme from some truly exceptional performers.


Review by Robert Gainer, BachTrack:

Click here for full review

…     “Thankfully the piano stool was absent as the audience returned to their seats for a second half featuring the second movement Langsam of Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D minor (WoO, codetta by Benjamin Britten), and Johannes Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor. The first of these two pieces, written immediately before Schumann’s suicide attempt, is rarely performed. Bell did not waste the opportunity to demonstrate the tender romantic lyricism of his playing and he wrought out of his strings a bitter-sweet melancholy befitting of both the piece and his reputation.

The best was yet to come though, as the Brahms concerto featured partnership playing at the very highest level. The orchestra provided a faultless canvas upon which Isserlis drew light and shade beneath Bell’s wonderful detail. Sat centre-stage with his distinctive mop of hair doing its own thing, one could clearly see that Isserlis was joyously living this music with every fibre of his being and his enthusiasm was contagious. The musical understanding the two soloists share was audibly manifest, their phrasing was seamlessly matched, and their cohesive interplay and interpretation will be the lasting memory of the performance.”


Bell and Isserlis Play Brahms

Birmingham International Concert Season 2010/11

Sat 5 Mar 7:30pm at Symphony Hall

Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Joshua Bell  violin
Steven Isserlis  cello

Haydn Symphony No 13 20’
Mendelssohn Symphony No 4, Italian 28’
Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello 32’

Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis join forces in the radiant lyricism of Brahms’s Double Concerto. In addition Joshua Bell directs Mendelssohn’s exuberant Italian Symphony, and Steven Isserlis conducts Haydn’s Symphony No 13 – a delightful exercise in youthful high spirits.

Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall, says of tonight’s recommended concert:
“A musical tour de force with two celebrated soloists who are also accomplished at conducting and directing. The Brahms Double Concerto should be a treat to behold.”

Review by David Hart, Birmingham Post:

…   “It was a pity he faced the orchestra for three movements, as it made his own playing redundant; but his full-frontal rendition of the Adagio’s meltingly lovely cello solo more than compensated.

In some ways this was the high spot of the evening. The Andante of Brahms’s Concerto for Violin and Cello (with conductor Ian Brown in charge) came a close second and was beautifully shaped. Both soloists brought passionate energy to the other movements, even in those passages where Brahms’s inspiration seems to have deserted him.”    …