Classical music reigns this week

The London-based Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will perform Wednesday at the Phillips Center. (Courtesy of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields)

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 8:29 a.m.

Two internationally acclaimed classical ensembles — London's Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Leipzig String Quartet from Germany — will bring their own renowned styles and performance approaches to concerts respectively at the Phillips Center and University Auditorium.

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields:

Named for the church in Trafalgar Square where it formed in 1958, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields has grown to become a chamber orchestra renowned around the world for its musicianship — to the point where in 2011 it named violin virtuoso Joshua Bell as its music director.

On Wednesday, the orchestra's touring ensemble performs at the Phillips Center without a conductor — just as the church's original ensemble did in its first performance there in 1959.

Along with Benjamin Britten's “Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge” and Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor “Farewell,” Wednesday's program includes Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and Johann Sebastian Bach's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, which will feature pianist Inon Barnatan.

Weilerstein is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow while Barnatan is an Avery Fisher Career Grant winner.

Tickets for Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. performance are $30 to $50 for adults, $15 for students, and are available by calling 392-2787 or at Ticketmaster.com.

Help Select the Leipzig Quartet's program:

On March 17, the Leipzig String Quartet performs at University Auditorium in a concert that hints of the ensemble's expertise and command of its repertoire.

Rather than perform a set program of works, the ensemble, formed in 1988 by principals of the famed Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, will play an all-Beethoven program in which listeners can choose three specific works.

By going to http://bit.ly/TvSNUy, audiences can vote for a Beethoven work in each of three eras — Early Quartet, Middle Quartet and Late Quartet — with the winning pieces to be performed in the 2 p.m. concert on March 17.

Tickets are $20 to $30 for adults, $10 for students, and are available by calling 392-787 or at Ticketmaster.com.

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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