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Interview with Anna Rowe, the Executive Director of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields
The famous violinist Joshua Bell, whom you had the possibility to listen in a live broadcasting from London on Radio Romania Music, during the European Music Today programme, on 5th April, 2012, just days after the event, is set to go on a tour in the United States of America alongside the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields. Joshua Bell is also the music director of the ensemble and is the first to succeed the founder Sir Neville Marriner in this position. Anna Rowe, the executive director of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, talked in an interview, about the contributions of musical director Joshua Bell, about the tour that took place in April and about future projects.
It's been almost a year since Joshua Bell is the new music director of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields. Why Joshua Bell to succeed Sir Neville Marriner in this position?
It is a great joy for us that Joshua Bell was appointed music director in May last year and took the position in September. He is a great successor to Sir Neville Marriner. In fact, Joshua Bell has a history with the ensemble since he was a very young violinist. His first CD recording was with the Academy St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Mariner, in 1986. He recorded concertos by Bruch and Mendelssohn. He was also a guest conductor during the past decade. So when we had to find the right person to lead the orchestra the first choice was Joshua Bell.
How would you describe Joshua Bell's contribution as a music director of the Academy so far?
Joshua is great; I love working with him. He is full of ideas and is always thinking about interesting programs for the ensemble. And when it comes to playing with the orchestra, we get some great concerts - spontaneous, lively, and dynamic. But more than that, he got involved in many aspects of the orchestra. For example, last week he played the Mendelssohn Octet Concerto with other musicians in the ensemble for a fundraiser. He also got involved in our marketing area, so he is very involved in all aspects of the Academy St. Martin in the Fields.
An important project of the Academy will start on 11th April, with Joshua Bell at the head of the ensemble, but also as a soloist. Can you give us more details about the tour in the United States of America?
Joshua Bell will be in the concert master for two different programs: 'Symphony No. 25 in G minor' by Mozart, Bruch's 'First Concerto' and Beethoven's 'Symphony No. 4'. The second part is dedicated to Beethoven: 'Coriolan Overture', 'Violin and Orchestra Concerto' and 'Symphony No. 7'. The tour includes fifteen concerts, from Lincoln Center in New York, continuing in Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Michigan, several cities in California, ending with San Francisco in late April.
Have you already prepared the following projects of the Academy?
Yes, in May, after this tour we will record Beethoven's 'Symphony No. 7' and'Symphony No. 4', then Joshua will return to London to work with us in October. We have in mind a series of other projects, so we plan to do many great things together.
Translated by Bîrsan Vlad and Florina Sămulescu
MTTLC, Bucharest University